Berlin, 6 January 2020
Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi rock Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie in charity concert with pop band Bastille

  • Orchestra and British indie group headlined ‘Channel Aid – Live in Concert’ on Saturday 4 January

  • Kristjan Järvi conducted specially reorchestrated songs by Bastille

  • Sold-out performance was livestreamed on YouTube, with donations from every view going to Hamburg-based FABS Foundation, which supports sports and dance projects for children and disabled people

Berlin 6 January 2020. In a spectacular start to the new year, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi performed a charity concert show at the Elbphilharmonie on 4 January with the pop band Bastille. Together they wrote pop history in Hamburg’s landmark concert hall in a wildly celebrated concert. The orchestra and the British indie group teamed up to headline Channel Aid’s latest ‘Live in Concert’ event, which was livestreamed on YouTube. Channel Aid, the world’s first YouTube charity channel, is an initiative of the Hamburg-based FABS Foundation, which provides access to sports and dance activities for children and the disabled. The Saturday night concert was a sell-out, with 2,100 music fans packing the Elbphilharmonie. More than 10,000 viewers followed the YouTube livestream, with every view resulting in a donation to FABS Foundation social projects. Single videos from the show will be released on the Channel Aid YouTube channel at a later date, with every viewing also meaning another donation.

A thrilling collaboration

The concert with Bastille represented a new artistic adventure for the boundary-breaking Baltic Sea Philharmonic, as it was the orchestra’s first collaboration with a major pop band. Sharing the stage with the Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling British group, the orchestra and Kristjan Järvi performed specially orchestrated Bastille songs in signature Baltic Sea Philharmonic style, with a gospel choir adding a special extra dimension to the sound. The set list was drawn from Bastille’s albums Bad Blood (2013), Wild World (2016) and Doom Days (2019). Ahead of the concert, the orchestra’s 52 musicians had rehearsed for two days in Hamburg together with the band. In an interview with German newswire dpa (Deutsche Presse-Agentur) on the day of the show, Bastille’s band leader Dan Smith said his most important new year’s resolution was ‘not to screw up this gig’, adding that it was a great privilege to be playing in the Elphilharmonie with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic.

Making new fans in Hamburg and around the world

The reaction on social media from concert goers and those watching the YouTube livestream was hugely enthusiastic. Comments on Facebook included: ‘This was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Being in this hall with so many incredibly talented musicians was like a wave of joy washing over me.’ One Facebook user wrote: ‘Absolutely loved this. Such a pleasure to see the orchestra enjoying performing, and the conductor was fabulous.’ The reorchestrations proved a hit with Bastille fans, one of whom posted on Facebook: ‘We need an album of the orchestrated songs please!’

Return to the Elbphilharmonie and more

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi will be coming back to the Elbphilharmonie on 5 September 2020 as part of their ‘Nordic Pulse’ concert tour of Germany and Italy in the autumn. Tickets for the concert, which includes one of the orchestra’s signature pieces – Kristjan Järvi’s innovative recasting of Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Sleeping Beauty as a dramatic symphony – will go on sale from 1 April. The ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour also includes performances at the Beethovenfest Bonn (5 and 6 September) and the Usedom Music Festival (12 September). The ‘Midnight Sun’ tour of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic in June will feature concerts at the Berlin Philharmonie (23 June) and the Stars of the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg (28 June).

Baltic Sea Philharmonic – a revolution in music and culture

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic takes the orchestral concert experience to a new dimension. Every performance is a voyage of musical discovery, as the musicians perform the entire programme from memory, creating a one-of-a-kind artistic journey. Each concert is a unique spectacle of sound, light, visual art and technology, and under the electrifying baton of Music Director and Founding Conductor Kristjan Järvi every performance has a special energy that’s absolutely infectious. But even more than this, as a community of musicians from ten Nordic countries, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic transcends boundaries and has become a movement for bringing people together. Embodying all that is innovative and progressive about the Nordic region, this visionary ensemble is taking the traditional orchestral model further than ever before. ‘It is a living breathing creature, with boundless energy and enthusiasm for the new – an adventure in itself,’ says Kristjan Järvi.