Midnight Sun – Sounds of a Nordic summer

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi return in June 2020 with ‘Midnight Sun’, a spectacular reinvention of the concert experience inspired by the Nordic phenomenon of the never-setting sun.

‘Midnight Sun’ is the orchestra’s first major European tour of 2020 with concerts at the Berlin Philharmonie on 23 June, at the Kissinger Sommer festival in Bad Kissingen on 26 June and at the Stars of the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg on 28 June. Performing the entire concert from memory and joined by the acclaimed Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen as soloist, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi will present an eclectic programme of works by Rautavaara, Pärt, Max Richter, Kristjan Järvi, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, making ‘Midnight Sun’ an unmissable summer event.

The music of ‘Midnight Sun’ captures the magical atmosphere of a Nordic midsummer, and is inspired by the phenomenon of 24-hour daylight in the summer months above the Arctic Circle. ‘It’s a phenomenon that unites Nordic communities,’ says Järvi, ‘and with this musical programme we are proclaiming a message of Nordic unity.’ The Baltic Sea Philharmonic will transport listeners to the Arctic itself with Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Cantus Arcticus, his concerto for birds and orchestra that features taped birdsong recorded around the Arctic Circle and in the marshlands of Liminka in northern Finland. Violinist Mari Samuelsen stars in Arvo Pärt’s meditative Fratres, Max Richter’s heartrending Dona Nobis Pacem, and Kristjan Järvi’s joyous Aurora, which is inspired by the magical lights of the aurora borealis. The Norwegian virtuoso previously performed with the orchestra on its acclaimed ‘Midnight Sun’ tour of Germany and Austria in 2019, when the Tagespiegel Berlin praised her ‘crystalline sound’ and playing that was ‘at the same time fragile and powerful’.

The ‘Midnight Sun’ concert experience at the Berlin Philharmonie also features selections from one of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s signature pieces, Stravinsky’s The Firebird, in its 1945 orchestral version. New to the ‘Midnight Sun’ programme this year is music from Tchaikovsky’s sublime ballet The Sleeping Beauty, imaginatively adapted as a dramatic symphony by Kristjan Järvi. This piece, like every other work on the programme, will be performed entirely from memory, with most of the orchestra standing up, free to move and interact with each other – an exciting and inspirational way of playing which truly sets the Baltic Sea Philharmonic apart from other ensembles.


‘Midnight Sun’ Tour 2020

Baltic Sea Philharmonic & Kristjan Järvi
Mari Samuelsen

With works by Rautavaara, Pärt, Max Richter, Kristjan Järvi, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky

Tour dates
Tuesday, 23 June 2020, 8pm, Berlin (Berlin Philharmonie), Germany
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Friday, 26 June 2020, 8pm, Bad Kissingen (Kissinger Sommer), Germany 

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Sunday, 28 June 2020, 5pm,  St. Petersburg (Stars of the White Nights Festival), Russia
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For further information on the ‘Midnight Sun’ concert experience, please check our concert schedule.