Berlin 9 June 2022. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is celebrating the 50th birthday of its Founding Conductor and Music Director Kristjan Järvi this month. Järvi, who turns 50 on 13 June, has directed the Baltic Sea Philharmonic since its formation in 2008, and has built the ensemble’s reputation as a powerful engine of innovation, creative freedom and risk-taking on the international orchestral scene. Through his work with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, Järvi has inspired a generation of musicians to step out of their comfort zone and find their voice as performers, creators, composers, producers and entrepreneurs. He has shown the members of the orchestra, and audiences around the world, that on the musical stage anything is possible, from performing entire concert programmes from memory to using cutting-edge lighting design and digital soundscapes to transform the concert experience. And as a recording artist he is as prolific and eclectic at the age of 50 as he ever has been, releasing albums of Tchaikovsky and Max Richter with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, mixing and producing the orchestra’s ‘Musical Chain’ series of singles and music videos, releasing the first album of his original compositions, and establishing his own record label, all in the last two years.
Back home for birthday festivities
As a proud Estonian, Kristjan Järvi is excited to be bringing the Baltic Sea Philharmonic to Estonia in July for the Pärnu Music Festival in Estonia in July. The Järvi family will be reunited in the seaside resort town of Pärnu, with Neeme Järvi conducting the festival opening concert, Paavo Järvi conducting the Estonian Festival Orchestra, and Kristjan Järvi and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic giving four concerts in as many days.
Celebration and education
As well as marking Kristjan Järvi’s birthday during the Pärnu Music Festival, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will be supporting the training of young musicians selected for the Järvi Academy, which is an inseparable part of the festival experience. Students on this year’s Järvi Academy Conducting course will have coaching sessions with Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Kristjan Järvi and Leonid Grin, and will take part in three Masterclass Concerts with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic. The first of these is at the Arvo Pärt Centre in Laulasmaa on 12 July and will feature music by the renowned Estonian composer. Two more masterclass concerts with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will take place in Tallinn (12 July) and Pärnu (14 July), both featuring music by Ravel, Stravinsky and Bartók.
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s main festival concert with Kristjan Järvi in Pärnu on 15 July has the theme ‘Nordic Amazonia’ and will feature Aguas da Amazonia by Philip Glass and pieces by Kristjan Järvi from his album Nordic Escapes, which was released on BMG/Modern Recordings in 2020. The orchestra will be joined for the performance of Järvi’s Aurora and Nebula by Swiss violinist David Nebel, who recorded both pieces for the Nordic Escapes album. The ‘Nordic Amazonia’ concert will be performed in signature Baltic Sea Philharmonic style, completely from memory, and as one flow of music with no breaks or interval. The concert will celebrate the 85th birthday (in January this year) of Philip Glass and the 50th birthday of Kristjan Järvi.
A return to Estonia in September
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi will be back in Tallinn later this year as part of their ‘Meresillad’ tour of Germany and Estonia (15–21 September). The tour, the Estonian language title of which translates as ‘sea bridges’, celebrates Estonia, which as one of the most progressive and innovative Nordic countries is a natural fit with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic. The tour programme includes music by Estonian composers past and present, with works by Eduard Tubin (1905–1982) and Jään Raats (1932–2020) as well as Liis Jürgens, who is a harpist in the Baltic Sea Philharmonic. The programme will also feature Kristjan Järvi’s Dramatic Symphony version of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. This completes his trilogy of reworkings of the Russian composer’s ballets, after Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. Following concerts in Eisenach (15 September) and at the opening of the Usedom Music Festival (17 September), which dedicates its 2022 season to Estonia, the ‘Meresillad’ tour will conclude in Tallinn on 21 September with a concert at the Estonia Concert Hall.
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, technology, choreography and playing by heart, and under the electrifying baton of Music Director and Founding Conductor Kristjan Järvi every performance has a special energy that is 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.
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