‘NORDIC SWANS’ TOUR OF ITALY, SLOVENIA, GERMANY AND POLAND IN SEPTEMBER 2021

After 12 months of unprecedented interruptions to live performance, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi are set to return to European touring in September 2021. The orchestra’s ‘Nordic Swans’ tour of Italy, Slovenia, Germany and Poland from 3–12 September will feature performances in Merano, Verona, Ljubljana, Peenemünde/Usedom and Szczecin. All concerts will depend on the progress of the pandemic.

Following two days of rehearsal in Bucharest, where the orchestra is making its debut at the Enescu Festival on 30 and 31 August, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will begin the ‘Nordic Swans’ tour at the Merano Music Festival (3 September). The orchestra’s next concert is at Verona’s Teatro Filarmonico (4 September), where it last played in 2015. A debut for the ensemble in Ljubljana follows on 6 September, before the musicians travel to Germany for the Usedom Music Festival celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Peenemünde Historical-Technical Museum on the Baltic Sea island of Usedom (11 September). The tour will conclude with a livestreamed debut for the orchestra at Szczecin’s strikingly designed Philharmonic Hall (12 September).

‘Nordic Swans’ – celebrating a Baltic bird of beauty
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s new programme is inspired by one of nature’s noblest creatures – the swan. This majestic bird is often visible on the Baltic coast, especially at sunset. For the Romantics, the swan was a symbol of loyalty, purity and elegance. A swan draws the hero’s boat in Wagner’s opera Lohengrin and appears in the Finnish national poetry epic Kalevala. Kristjan Järvi explains his fascination with the bird: ‘Swans are creatures of great purity and beauty, and all the Nordic countries have them in their culture, which is why we’re focusing the repertoire in this way.’ The programme opens with Arvo Pärt’s hymn-like and contemplative Swansong, and continues with the most well-known of Sibelius’s Four Legends from the Kalevala, The Swan of Tuonela. The programme climaxes with the world’s most popular music on the theme of swans, Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake, in a special reworking by Kristjan Järvi. Explaining his aim was to ‘highlight the brilliance of Tchaikovsky’s epic work’ and also ‘keep the music alive for younger generations’, Järvi arranged the score as a Dramatic Symphony that combines the composer’s famous melodies with more rarely heard sections of the original ballet. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s recording of Järvi’s similarly inspired arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty was released on Sony Classical in November 2020 and nominated for the Opus Klassik 2021 in the categories ‘Ensemble/Orchestra of the Year’ and ‘Symphonic Recording of the Year’.

A unique spectacle of multisensory dimensions
For Kristjan Järvi, the swan also inspires a sense of wonder, and of being transported to a different dimension. ‘It is the symbol of a majestic feeling of infinity,’ he says. ‘And this is what I try to instil in people with everything that I do – to think with a sense of the infinite.’ The Baltic Sea Philharmonic embodies this ambition in its innovative approach to performance presentation, offering audiences a transformative, multisensory experience that throws classical concert conventions out of the window.

For its ‘Nordic Swans’ concerts, the orchestra will perform the entire 90-minute programme from memory and without an intermission, with most of the musicians standing up and able to move freely without the constraints of music stands and scores. Specially devised choreography and bespoke half-black and half-white concert outfits will subtly combine to conjure an impression of swans dancing and moving on dark water. Dynamic lighting design will add to the vivid atmosphere, and the musical performance will feature elegantly crafted digital sound effects. All these elements aim to inspire in audiences a deeper and more immediate understanding of the music, and they also reflect the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s innovative and experimental approach and its desire to add an extra dimension to every performance.

Join the ‘Nordic Swans’ tour and book you concert tickets here

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DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON TO RELEASE NEW MAX RICHTER ALBUM EXILES FEATURING BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC AND KRISTJAN JÄRVI

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic will make its label debut for Deutsche Grammophon with the new Max Richter album EXILES. Set for release on 6 August 2021, EXILES features the orchestra and its Music Director and Founding Conductor Kristjan Järvi in new recordings of pieces from previous Max Richter albums, as well as pieces originally composed for ballet scores. The album comprises seven tracks but especially the mainwork ’Exiles’ dealing with the humanitarian disaster of the migrant crisis resonates the country-bonding mission of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic. ’It has this “peacemaking” function, people being able to talk to each other in a creative way. It struck me that it would be nice to have that orchestra play music that matched that theme’, said Max Richter. Besides ‘Exiles’ in two parts the album also contains ‘The Haunted Ocean’ from Waltz with Bashir; ‘Infra 5’ from Infra; ‘Flowers of Herself’ from Woolf Works; ‘On the Nature of Daylight’ from The Blue Notebooks; and ‘Sunlight’ from Songs from Before.

EXILES was recorded in September 2019 at the studio of Estonian Public Broadcasting in Järvi’s home city of Tallinn, Estonia, in the presence of the composer. The album represents the orchestra’s first major collaboration with Max Richter, although his compositions have previously featured on the programmes of Baltic Sea Philharmonic concerts. Richter and Järvi have worked together on various other projects, including with the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig, when Järvi was the orchestra’s chief conductor and Richter was artist in residence for its 2016/17 season.

Lights of openness and unity
Max Richter composed the main work on the album, the 33-minute ‘Exiles, for the Nederlands Dans Theater, and the music had its premiere in 2017 as the score for a dance work called Singulière Odyssée. Like some other Richter works, ‘Exiles has a socio-political dimension, in that it is a personal response to the humanitarian disaster of the migrant crisis and the plight of Syrian refugees. In this light, the choice of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic – with its open, borderless and unifying nature – as collaborators for the album was therefore an important one for the composer. ‘They are engaged with music and society, connecting people who live around the Baltic Sea so that obviously includes former Western European countries, former Eastern European countries,’ he said. ‘The orchestra has an explicit social dimension, which really struck me as important.’

For Kristjan Järvi, the openness and fearlessness he has encouraged in the Baltic Sea Philharmonic musicians are essential qualities for playing Max Richter’s emotionally direct works, with their exposed musical lines. ‘This music is so personal that if the lines are not played with personal commitment and dedication, then they don’t work,’ he said. ‘It means on an emotional level it’s scary for the musicians to go out on stage and commit themselves, because then they’re showing the audience exactly who they are. But that’s why I love doing these pieces with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic.’

Find out more about how we made the album EXILES in our storyboard.

Max Richter: EXILES
Deutsche Grammophon

Recorded at Eesti Rahvusringhääling (Estonian Public Broadcasting), Tallinn, Estonia, September 2019

Music Composed by Max Richter
Orchestra Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Conductor Kristjan Järvi

 Tracklist
Exiles Pt. 1
Exiles Pt. 2
The Haunted Ocean (from Waltz with Bashir)
Infra 5 (from Infra)
Flowers of Herself (from Woolf Works)
On the Nature of Daylight (from The Blue Notebooks)
Sunlight (from Songs from Before)

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Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi receive multiple nominations for OPUS KLASSIK 2021 awards

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi have been nominated in eight categories for the OPUS KLASSIK 2021, the new prize for classical music in Germany. No fewer than three albums by the orchestra and its Founding Conductor – Sleeping Beauty and Glass & Stravinsky Violin Concertos, both released on Sony Classical in 2020, as well as the BMG album Nordic Escapes (2020) – are nominated in various categories. Such broad recognition is a reward for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s passionate and creative work in a year full of challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With Sleeping Beauty, a new arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet music as a 70-minute dramatic symphony by Kristjan Järvi, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic has been selected in the categories ‘Ensemble/Orchestra of the Year’ and ‘Symphonic Recording of the Year’. Kristjan Järvi is nominated as ‘Conductor of the Year’ with all three albums and also as ‘Composer of the Year’ with Nordic Escapes. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic also made it into the ‘Concerto Recording of the Year’ category with Glass & Stravinsky Violin Concertos, for which the young Swiss violinist David Nebel, the soloist on the album, was also nominated in the ‘Young Artist of the Year’ category. Kristjan Järvi’s album Nordic Escapes is further nominated in the categories as ‘Innovative Concert of the Year’ and ‘Classic without Limits’.

An independent jury for the OPUS KLASSIK 2021 will select the winners of the 25 award categories by October. The festive awards ceremony will take place with a TV gala at the Konzerthaus Berlin on 10 October. The OPUS KLASSIK is awarded annually by the Association for the Promotion of Classical Music. Its members include labels, promoters, publishers and individuals from the classical music world.

 

OPUS KLASSIK 2021 Nominations

 

Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi

Category 8, Ensemble/Orchestra of the Year
Category 11, Concerto Recording of the Year, Glass & Stravinsky Violin Concertos nominated
Category 14, Symphonic Recording of the Year, Sleeping Beauty nominated
Category 4, Conductor of the Year, Kristjan Järvi nominated

Kristjan Järvi
Category 5, Composer of the Year, Nordic Escapes album
Category 13, Classic without Limits, Nordic Escapes album
Category 18, Innovative Concert of the Year, Nordic Escapes album

David Nebel together with Kristjan Järvi and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Category 7, Young Artist of the Year

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AMAZON PRIME VIDEO RELEASES ‘BASTILLE – REORCHESTRATED’ DOCUMENTARY STARRING BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC AND KRISTJAN JÄRVI

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi star in a new documentary released today on Amazon Prime Video. ‘ReOrchestrated’ is a feature-length film exploring how British pop pand Bastille redefined its sound and the musical experience for its fans by experimenting with orchestral arrangements. The documentary features extensive performance and behind-the-scenes footage from a spectacular charity concert at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie on 4 January 2020, when the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi joined Bastille on stage to perform special reorchestrations of the band’s songs. The concert, in support of YouTube charity channel Channel Aid, was a wild success, with 2,100 music fans packing the Elbphilharmonie, and more than 10,000 following a livestream of the performance on YouTube. Bastille lead vocalist Dan Smith said on the collaboration with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic: ‘It was a real privilege to play with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi. To collaborate on stage with so many brilliant musicians was such an incredible experience and one that we’ll never forget.’ A trailer of the documentary is available on the Baltic Sea Philharmonic YouTube channel.

The ‘Bastille – ReOrchestrated’ documentary traces the evolution of the band’s ‘ReOrchestrated’ project, from its origins with a string quartet and choir at London’s Union Chapel in 2017, to Bastille’s huge show with choir and orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in 2018, and finally to the Elbphilharmonie in 2020 and the collaboration with Kristjan Järvi and the full Baltic Sea Philharmonic. Alongside amazing footage from the Hamburg concert, the documentary also features an interview with Kristjan Järvi.

In the run-up to the release of the ‘Bastille Reorchestrated’ film, on 15 January Amazon Music released a new single, ‘Warmth ReOrchestrated’, which was recorded live at the Elbphilharmonie concert. The new track is a supercharged version of Bastille’s song ‘Warmth’, which first appeared on the group’s 2016 album Wild World. A video to accompany the ‘Warmth ReOrchestrated’ single has been released on Amazon Music Unlimited and on Bastille’s social media channels.

Watch to ‘ReOrchestrated’ on Amazon Prime Video here

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC’S DIGITAL TALENT TOUR CONCLUDES AFTER LIVE VIDEO AUDITIONS FOR 91 APPLICANTS FROM ALL AROUND THE BALTIC SEA REGION

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic has completed its first-ever Digital Talent Tour, having moved its 2020 recruitment drive online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the week of 18–22 January 2021, the orchestra held live video-conference auditions for 91 candidates from the entire Baltic Sea region. These 91 musicians were selected from more than 200 candidates who had applied between 15 October and 30 November 2020 and had submitted recorded video performances.

The live virtual auditions were held in front of a jury comprising ten Baltic Sea Philharmonic principal musicians and conductor Kristjan Järvi, with the candidates given 15–20 minutes to tell the jury about themselves and perform selected repertoire that they had prepared. Following the live virtual auditions, the jury made a final selection of 70 musicians, who will now join the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s pool of outstanding players for upcoming international tours and exciting opportunities on stage, in the studio and online.

A new kind of audition process for unprecedented times  

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic constantly strives to refresh and expand its roster of musicians, and was set to run its Talent Tour 2020 audition programme alongside its planned ‘Midnight Sun’ tour of Poland, Germany and Russia in June and July 2020. When that tour was postponed because of the pandemic, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic immediately started to develop innovative digital projects and solutions. Recognising that there was a significant hunger among musicians to showcase their talents and artistic personality at a time of drastically reduced performance opportunities, the orchestra launched a two-stage Digital Talent Tour combining video and online technology with an in-person virtual audition.

Like the regular Talent Tour, the Digital Talent Tour was open to applicants aged 18 to 28 from, or studying in, one of the ten countries around the Baltic Sea – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden. The 91 applicants selected for the live virtual auditions represented the full spectrum of orchestral instruments, with 36 string players, 12 brass players, 24 woodwind players, 7 harpists, 6 percussionists and 6 pianists.

Empowering musicians on both sides of the screen

In common with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s other digital initiatives of recent months, including the innovative ‘Musical Chain’ series of classical remix videos, the Digital Talent Tour aims to connect, unite and empower musicians amid an extremely challenging landscape for the performing arts. The orchestra’s principals had important responsibilities throughout the entire Digital Talent Tour audition process, from helping to choose the audition repertoire, to assessing the initial video applications, and then conducting the live virtual auditions. By helping to appraise and interview their peers, these experienced members play a key role in shaping and developing the unique personality of the orchestra as a whole.

As jurors, the principals felt it was important at the live auditions to create a supportive atmosphere for the candidates. Principal flautist Kristine Beitika, from Latvia, said: ‘When I listened to the applicants I wanted them to succeed and feel confident and happy about their playing. Having had this experience I know that it will help me for my own auditions. It was important for applicants to realise that there is not much to worry about when you’re at an audition, that the jury definitely knows how it feels to play an audition and that they will do everything they can to make you feel at ease.’

Applicants who were selected for the second round certainly valued the opportunity to perform in a live virtual audition in front of a jury. Spanish clarinettist Alejandro Lobato, who is studying in Sweden, said: ‘An online audition is the best idea right now, because I consider that an audition has to be live and direct, and not just based on a video recording. During the audition all the jurors were very professional and polite, and it was a good experience to share some music with them and also tell them about my own experience.’ Lobato was one of the second-round candidates chosen by the jury to join the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s pool of talented musicians, and the orchestra looks forward to working with him and all the other successful applicants in the near future.

Read more about the Digital Talent Tour here

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC HAS TO CANCEL ITS MARCH 2021 ‘MIDNIGHT SUN’ CONCERTS IN BERLIN, HAMBURG AND SZCZECIN

The continuing COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Baltic Sea Philharmonic to cancel its ‘Midnight Sun’ tour of Poland and Germany, which was planned for March 2021. The orchestra and Kristjan Järvi had hoped to perform in Szczecin on 12 March, at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg on 14 March, and in Berlin on 15 March. Owing to the virus containment measures imposed in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, the three concerts will now not take place. The Szczecin concert has been postponed to September 2021, when it will form part of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s new ‘Nordic Swans’ tour.

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is continuing to plan for live concerts later this year including the annual visit to the Usedom Music Festival in September, performing a new ‘Nordic Swans’ programme featuring music by Arvo Pärt, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius.

Orchestra strengthens unique digital presence
Amid the ongoing disruption of live performances, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi  are developing a range of innovative online initiatives, such as ‘Musical Chain’, a series of strikingly original music remix videos bringing musicians from the orchestra together with other artists and creative collaborators. Since its launch in July 2020, ‘Musical Chain’ has so far featured four videos that reimagine iconic classical pieces: ‘Midnight Mood’, based on Grieg’s ‘Morning Mood’ from Peer Gynt; ‘Beethoven’s Twilight’, inspired by Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony; ‘Ascending Swans’, based on Sibelius’s ‘Song of Praise’ from the Swanwhite Suite; and ‘Nutty Christmas’, a fun seasonal take on Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. ‘Musical Chain’ will continue in 2021 with more international collaborations and guest artists.

Digital kick-off in 2021: Digital Talent Tour and ‘Warmth Reorchestrated’ with Bastille
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is starting 2021 with a range of exciting digital activities. The orchestra and Kristjan Järvi feature on ‘Warmth Reorchestrated’, a new version of pop band Bastille’s single ‘Warmth’ released by Amazon Music on 15 January. The track was recorded live at last January’s ‘Bastille Reorchestrated’ charity concert for Channel Aid at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, where the British indie group joined the Baltic Sea Philharmonic to perform special reorchestrations of the band’s songs. An accompanying ‘Warmth Reorchestrated’ video is released on Amazon Music Unlimited and also on Bastille’s YouTube channel.

Between 18 and 22 January the orchestra is holding live video-conference auditions as part of its Digital Talent Tour to recruit new musicians to the pool of Baltic Sea Philharmonic players. Moving its Talent Tour online in response to the pandemic is, like ‘Musical Chain’, another example of how the orchestra is evolving new ways to unite and empower musicians in the face of an extraordinary situation.

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AMAZON MUSIC RELEASES NEW VERSION OF BASTILLE’S SINGLE ‘WARMTH’ FEATURING BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC AND KRISTJAN JÄRVI

Almost exactly a year to the day since the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi rocked the Elbphilharmonie with pop band Bastille in an epic charity concert, Amazon Music is today exclusively releasing a new single which was recorded live at that spectacular show in Hamburg. ‘Warmth Reorchestrated’, released as an Amazon Original production, is a supercharged version of Bastille’s song ‘Warmth’, which first appeared on the British indie group’s 2016 album Wild World. The new single captures the energy and joy of the sold-out ‘Bastille Reorchestrated’ show for Channel Aid on 4 January 2020, when Kristjan Järvi conducted reorchestrations of Bastille songs in front of 2,100 enthusiastic fans and more than 10,000 viewers who followed a livestream of the event on YouTube.

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Bastille were teaming up as part of Channel Aid’s ‘Live in Concert’ series. 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. Every view of the YouTube livestream of the concert resulted in a donation to FABS Foundation social projects. Channel Aid released a series of single videos from the concert in the days after the event. A new video to accompany the ‘Warmth Reorchestrated’ single has been released on Amazon Music Unlimited rand on the Bastille’s social media channels.

A thrilling, wildly well-received 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 group, the orchestra and Kristjan Järvi performed specially orchestrated Bastille songs in signature Baltic Sea Philharmonic style, with a gospel choir adding an extra dimension to the sound.

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.’ Another Facebook user wrote: ‘Absolutely loved this. Such a pleasure to see the orchestra enjoying performing, and the conductor was fabulous.’

Listen to ‘Warmth’ (Live from the Elbphilharmonie with Kristjan Järvi and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic) here and watch the music video here

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC AND KRISTJAN JÄRVI END 2020 WITH CONTINUING INNOVATION AND RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF THE PANDEMIC

After a year of unprecedented disruption to live performance, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi head into 2021 with a distinctive digital presence that has taken on a new dimension in the face of pandemic challenges. The orchestra’s innovative online ‘Musical Chain’ project, which launched in the summer of 2020, not only strengthened the bonds between the musicians of the orchestra, who were unable to travel and play together. It also set in motion a new creative outlet for the ensemble, with musicians and artistic collaborators coming together with professional production teams to produce strikingly original music videos that build on the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s reputation as a fearless, boundary-breaking ensemble. Although the orchestra was able to tour safely and successfully in September 2020, and is carefully planning its return to the stage in 2021, ‘Musical Chain’ has become an important part of the ensemble’s identity, and will continue to develop and inspire in 2021.

2020 in review – innovation and success in the face of adversity
Before the COVID-19 pandemic upended the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s touring schedule for much of 2020, the orchestra started the year in spectacular style with a charity concert at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie with the pop band Bastille. The orchestra and the British indie group joined forces to headline the event on 4 January for Channel Aid, which livestreamed the performance on its YouTube charity channel. The hugely well-received concert was a sell-out, with 2,100 music fans packing the Elbphilharmonie, and more than 10,000 following the livestream on YouTube.

When the pandemic forced the cancellation of a special performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic musicians came together virtually to record a 20-minute excerpt from the symphony’s first movement. A total of 108 musicians made their own recordings at home, and these recordings were then brought together to create a virtual orchestra performance, which premiered online on 8 May.

With their next digital initiative, ‘Musical Chain’, Kristjan Järvi and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic took the virtual orchestra concept in a completely fresh direction, bringing musicians from the orchestra together with other artists and creative collaborators. ‘Musical Chain’, which launched in July 2020 and will continue in 2021 with further collaborations and special guest artists, showcases how the Baltic Sea Philharmonic is evolving to become more and more like a band, with Järvi as much producer as conductor. The project has so far featured four remix videos that reimagine iconic classical pieces: ‘Midnight Mood’, based on Grieg’s ‘Morning Mood’ from Peer Gynt; Beethoven’s Twilight’, inspired by Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony; ‘Ascending Swans’, based on Sibelius’s ‘Song of Praise’ from the Swanwhite Suite; and ‘Nutty Christmas’, a fun seasonal take on Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. For each video, Baltic Sea Philharmonic musicians recorded audio tracks at home and filmed themselves outside in atmospheric landscapes. Kristjan Järvi then mixed the audio and a professional video production team edited the final videos, which were released on the orchestra’s social media channels.

‘Musical Chain’ received wide media coverage: Northern German Broadcasting (NDR) and international blogs reported on the innovative project, and the three-country television station 3SAT broadcast ‘Nutty Christmas’ as a Christmas greeting to all its viewers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on the release day of 11 December.

In September 2020 the Baltic Sea Philharmonic was able to return to the stage with a shortened ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of Italy and Germany. Touring as a smaller ensemble of 39 musicians, the orchestra gave sell-out concerts at the Merano Music Festival and the Usedom Music Festival, performing to a total of 1,300 concert-goers. The programme took audiences on a thrilling musical voyage through the Baltic Sea region, with composers from all around the region represented. The players performed the entire 70-minute-plus programme from memory, with members of the ensemble taking the soloist roles in several pieces.

Away from the stage, Sony Classical released two recordings by the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi in 2020. The first of these, which came out in May, and which features the orchestra and Swiss violinist David Nebel in Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto, has been nominated for the 2021 ICMA Classical Music Awards in the concertos category. The second recording, released in November, was Sleeping Beauty, Kristjan Järvi’s innovative arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet as a dramatic symphony. This album received enthusiastic media acclaim in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and David Nebel also feature on Kristjan Järvi’s album Nordic Escapes, which was released on BMG’s Modern Recordings in August, with Järvi conducting the violinist and orchestra in his dynamic and uplifting piece Aurora.

 

Check out our YouTube channel to watch all the ‘Musical Chain’ videos, and see our concert calendar to keep up to date with our 2021 live performance schedule

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC AND KRISTJAN JÄRVI RELEASE NEW ‘MUSICAL CHAIN’ VIDEO – ‘NUTTY CHRISTMAS’

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi today release the fourth video in their innovative digital project ‘Musical Chain’. The new video, ‘Nutty Christmas’, continues the orchestra’s striking transformations and remixes of iconic classical pieces. It follows the release of ‘Midnight Mood’, based on Grieg’s ‘Morning Mood’ from Peer Gynt, ‘Beethoven’s Twilight’, inspired by Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, and ‘Ascending Swans’, based on the ‘Song of Praise’ from Sibelius’s Swanwhite Suite. With ‘Nutty Christmas’ the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi transform the ‘Dance of the Reed Pipes’ and the ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker into a unique musical Christmas cracker.

The audio for the new production was recorded by 22 musicians from the orchestra, and the video features 14 musicians, most of whom filmed themselves outside in wintery landscapes and city streets lit up by Christmas decorations. Reflecting the international make-up of the ensemble, the film takes in performances from Wroclaw, Berlin, Hamburg, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Belgrade, Madrid and the countryside of Finland and Lithuania. Kristjan Järvi remixed the audio and a professional production team edited the video, which captures the Baltic Sea Philharmonic musicians in a fun and festive mood. ‘Nutty Christmas’ is available to watch from today on the orchestra’s social media channels.

‘Musical Chain’ – a digital evolution

A symbol of unity and solidarity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and inspired by the human chains formed by people across the three Baltic States in August 1989, ‘Musical Chain’ brings together musicians from across Europe in a new kind of virtual orchestra collaboration. Launched in July 2020, ‘Musical Chain’ reflects the orchestra’s boundary-breaking spirit and its dedication to communicating through digital media the energy, style and freedom of its live performances. It also highlights how the Baltic Sea Philharmonic is evolving to become more and more like a band, with Kristjan Järvi as much producer as conductor.

Musical gems recut for the 21st century
The ‘Musical Chain’ project launched with the ‘Rewritten Series’ of music remix videos, the first of which was the Grieg-inspired ‘Midnight Mood’. Released on 23 July, it features 13 musicians under the creative direction of Kristjan Järvi. The video accompanied the orchestra’s performances on the opening day of the 27th Usedom Music Festival on 19 September. The second video in the series, ‘Beethoven’s Twilight’, was released on 24 September. This cutting-edge, electronics-infused take on Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 features 21 musicians from the orchestra. Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony was part of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s recent concert programmes, in celebration of this year’s 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

The third ‘Musical Chain’ video, ‘Ascending Swans’, is based on the ‘Song of Praise’ from Sibelius’s Swanwhite Suite, one of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s favourite encore pieces. The orchestra recorded the music for ‘Ascending Swans’ in Merano, Italy, in September 2020, during its ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of Italy and Germany. Kristjan Järvi remixed the audio and, as before, a professional production team edited the video. The film features 13 Baltic Sea Philharmonic musicians, who recorded themselves outdoors in atmospheric landscapes, along with stunning images that celebrate the nature and landscapes of the North. ‘Ascending Swans’, ‘Beethoven’s Twilight’ and ‘Midnight Mood’ have together had more than 130,000 views on Facebook and 64,000 views on YouTube.

‘Musical Chain’ will continue in 2021 with more wide-ranging collaborations involving not only the musicians of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic but also guest artists and soloists with whom the orchestra will be performing live in 2021.

Watch ‘Nutty Christmas’ here

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC RELEASES NEW ‘MUSICAL CHAIN’ VIDEO ‒ ‘ASCENDING SWANS’

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi today release the third video in their innovative digital project ‘Musical Chain’. The new video, Ascending Swans, follows the release of ‘Midnight Mood’, based on Grieg’s ‘Morning Mood’ from Peer Gynt, and ‘Beethoven’s Twilight’, inspired by Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. ‘Ascending Swans’ was written and produced by Kristjan Järvi, and is based on the ‘Song of Praise’ from Sibelius’s Swanwhite Suite, one of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s favourite encore pieces. The fourth and final ‘Musical Chain’ video of 2020 will be based on Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. A seasonal gift from Kristjan Järvi and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, the video is set for release on 11 December.

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic recorded the music for ‘Ascending Swans’ in Merano, Italy, in September 2020, during its ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of Italy and Germany. Kristjan Järvi remixed the audio and a professional production team edited the video, which features 13 Baltic Sea Philharmonic musicians who recorded themselves outdoors. These videos are interlaced with stunning images that celebrate the nature and landscape of the North. Calming and uplifting, elemental and spiritual, ‘Ascending Swans’ reflects the grace, purity and strength of the eponymous birds, many thousands of which migrate south from the Arctic in October and November. ‘Ascending Swans’ is available to watch from today on the orchestra’s social media channels.

‘Musical Chain’ – connections and creativity in challenging times

A symbol of unity and solidarity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and inspired by the human chains formed by people across the three Baltic States in August 1989, ‘Musical Chain’ brings together musicians from across Europe in a new kind of virtual orchestra collaboration. Launched in July 2020, ‘Musical Chain’ reflects the orchestra’s boundary-breaking spirit and its dedication to communicating through digital media the energy, style and freedom of its live performances. Kristjan Järvi says: ‘The pandemic put us into a situation where we’ve had to come out of our normal groove and comfort zone, our usual structures, methods and routines. Physically we can’t produce the same energy in the same room, but we’re creating a new way to convey our energy and spirit to people around the world who are inspired by what we do and the way we make music.’

Find out more about ‘Musical Chain’ in our storyboard.

Watch ‘Ascending Swans’ now on YouTube

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