‘Meresillad’ (‘Sea Bridges’ in Estonian) underlines orchestra’s mission to connect countries, cultures and communities around the Baltic Sea

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is dedicating its traditional September tour to Estonia this year. The orchestra will return to the Estonian capital Tallinn and will celebrate the 50th birthday of Kristjan Järvi, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s Estonian-born Artistic Director and Founding Conductor. The ‘Meresillad’ tour (15–21 September) also features two concerts in Germany – in Eisenach and at the Usedom Music Festival, which itself is dedicated to Estonia this year. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic will mainly perform music by Estonian composers, one of whom is also a musician in the orchestra. Completing the programme is a new arrangement by Kristjan Järvi of Tchaikovsky’s beloved Nutcracker ballet as a Dramatic Symphony. All the concerts will be played in signature Baltic Sea Philharmonic style, entirely from memory, with smooth transitions and without intermission.

Celebrating Estonia and a passion for bridge-building
As one of the most progressive of the Nordic countries, with an international reputation for digital and tech innovation, Estonia is a natural fit for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s September tour, as the orchestra embodies all that is innovative and progressive about the Nordic region. The title of the tour, ‘Meresillad’, which means ‘sea bridges’ in Estonian, highlights the continuing mission of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic to build bridges between countries, cultures and communities. The orchestra achieves this not only by being a borderless community of musicians from ten countries around the Baltic Sea, but also by connecting performers and audiences through exciting new concert formats and innovative digital projects.

The ‘Meresillad’ programme celebrates Estonian composers past and present. The orchestra will perform works by two of the country’s best-known 20th-century composers, Eduard Tubin (1905–1982) and Jään Raats (1932–2020). Another Estonian composer to be featured on the programme is Liis Jürgens (born 1983), who is also a harpist in the Baltic Sea Philharmonic. Her composition The Dream of Tabu-tabu was premiered by the orchestra and Kristjan Järvi in Antwerp in March 2022 and is inspired by Estonian nature, people, composers and culture. Commissioned by the Baltic Sea Music Education Foundation, The Dream of Tabu-tabu is another example of the orchestra empowering its musicians as creators, collaborators and innovators.

With the final work on the programme, Kristjan Järvi concludes his trilogy of classic Tchaikovsky ballet arrangements with a reworking of the Nutcracker as a Dramatic Symphony. The Nutcracker was Tchaikovsky’s final ballet and is one of the most beloved Christmas pieces in the classical repertoire. Järvi’s arrangement of the work, like his previous recastings of Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, showcases all the quintessential colour and drama of Tchaikovsky’s theatre music.

From Germany to Estonia, home to home
The ‘Meresillad’ tour begins with a concert at the Thuringian State Theatre in Eisenach on 15 September before returning to the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s spiritual home of Usedom for the opening of the Usedom Music Festival on 17 September. The orchestra then travels to Estonia for a concert in Tallinn, the birthplace and home city of Kristjan Järvi – at the Estonia Concert Hall on 21 September.

Get your tickets for the ‘Meresillad’ tour here