From the Baltic Sea to the Persian Gulf

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic will give its first ever concerts in the Middle East this November, presenting its revolutionary ‘Waterworks’ programme in collaboration with Sunbeam Productions

Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi will take their acclaimed ‘Waterworks’ programme to the United Arab Emirates for two performances at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates on 11 November and at the Dubai Opera on 14 November 2018. The tour to the Middle East will be the orchestra’s first ever tour outside Europe and marks the climax of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s landmark tenth-anniversary year.

This ‘Waterworks’ tour will reunite the orchestra with Russian-born violinist Mikhail Simonyan and three members of the Absolute Ensemble – trumpeter Charlie Porter, bass player Mat Fieldes, and percussionist David Rozenblatt. All four musicians collaborated with the orchestra on its 2017 Waterworks tour of Germany and Denmark. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is also excited to be working for the first time with Emirati singer Jasim Mohamed Abdullah, who will join the orchestra for its concert at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Together they will perform the traditional Arab song ‚Sayyidi ya sayyed sadati‘.

The music of ‘Waterworks’ is inspired by water and its power to bind us together, as Kristjan Järvi, Founding Conductor and Music Director of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, explains: ‘Our programme starts with Handel’s Water Music, because as Handel was born in Germany he was originally part of our Baltic compositional fabric, and it brings us all the way down to the waters of the Amazon, with Philip Glass’s Aguas da Amazonia. The music represents how we are from this region, but are also connected to the whole world. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the waters of the Baltic or the Amazon: everything is connected.’

And ‘Waterworks’ also marks a radical new approach to presenting orchestral music. First performed in May 2017 in Hattingen, Germany, this programme sets out to do nothing less than transform the audience experience, by using cutting-edge projection, lighting and sound design to immerse concert goers in a world that’s visual as well as musical. These technological enhancements are not merely designed to thrill and delight audiences, says Kristjan Järvi, but to take them to a new level of awareness and openness. ‘I want to create an atmosphere from the moment a concert goer enters the space,’ he says. ‘The audience should feel as if they are suddenly entering a new dimension, where they can forget about their regular lives and become part of a world where anything is possible.’

Brought together by Sunbeam Productions, the designers and visual artists behind ‘Waterworks’ comprise a multidisciplinary team of leaders in their respective fields. German-born Bertil Mark is an award-winning lighting and stage designer who has designed shows and tour productions for rock groups, hip-hop artists and singer-songwriters. British-based sound designer Chris Ekers has worked with dance, theatre and opera companies, and with artists such as Gavin Bryars or Jan Garbarek. German projection artist Philipp Geist’s musical collaborations have included an installation in Bayreuth in 2013 for the Richard Wagner 200th-anniversary celebrations.

‘Waterworks’ – November 2018

Sunday, 11 November 2018, 7.30 pm, Abu Dhabi (Emirates Palace Auditiorium), United Arab Emirates
Wednesday, 14 November 2018, 8.00 pm, Dubai (Dubai Opera), United Arab Emirates

Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Kristjan Järvi
Mikhail Simonyan, violin 
Jasim Mohamed Abdullah, vocals 

in collaboration with Sunbeam Productions
Bertil Mark, light design
Philipp Geist, projection art
Chris Ekers, sound design

Programme – Waterworks

David Rozenblatt/Georg Friedrich Handel/Charles Coleman
Water Music

Philip Glass
Violin Concerto No. 2
‘The American Four Seasons’

Sayyidi ya sayyed sadati

Philhip Glass
Aguas da Amazonia
(orchestrated by Charles Coleman)