BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC AND KRISTJAN JÄRVI ROCK HAMBURG’S ELBPHILHARMONIE WITH BRITISH INDIE GROUP BASTILLE

In a spectacular start to the new year, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi wrote pop history at the Elbphilharmonie on 4 January in a special collaboration with indie band Bastille. The orchestra and the British group teamed up to headline Channel Aid’s latest ‘Live in Concert’ event, which was livestreamed on YouTube. 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. The Saturday night concert was a sell-out, with 2,100 music fans packing the Elbphilharmonie. More than 10,000 viewers followed the livestream, with every view resulting in a donation to FABS Foundation social projects. Single videos from the show will be released on the Channel Aid YouTube channel at a later date.

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 British 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. Ahead of the concert, the orchestra’s 52 musicians had rehearsed for two days in Hamburg together with the band. In an interview with German newswire dpa (Deutsche Presse-Agentur) on the day of the show, Bastille frontman Dan Smith said his most important new year’s resolution was ‘not to screw up this gig’, adding that it was a great privilege to be playing in the Elphilharmonie with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic.

The performance garnered wildly enthusiastic reactions on social media from concert goers and those watching the YouTube livestream. 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.’ One Facebook user wrote: ‘Absolutely loved this. Such a pleasure to see the orchestra enjoying performing, and the conductor was fabulous.’ The reorchestrations proved a hit with Bastille fans, one of whom posted on Facebook: ‘We need an album of the orchestrated songs please!’

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi will next be back at the Elbphilharmonie on 5 September 2020 as part of their ‘Nordic Pulse’ concert tour of Germany and Italy in the autumn. Tickets for the concert, which features Kristjan’s innovative recasting of Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Sleeping Beauty as a dramatic symphony, will go on sale from 1 April.

See our Facebook page and Instagram feed for photos from the Channel Aid ‘Bastille Reorchestrated’ concert

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC CHARITY CONCERT WITH POP BAND BASTILLE ON 4 JANUARY TO BE LIVESTREAMED ON YOUTUBE

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi will kick off 2020 with a charity concert show at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie on 4 January, which will be livestreamed on YouTube. The orchestra will join British indie pop band Bastille for the latest event in 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. The Elbphilharmonie concert show will be livestreamed on the Channel Aid YouTube channel, with all proceeds from the livestream going directly to charity: every view of the channel means a donation to FABS Foundation social projects. Tune into www.Channel-Aid.Tv on Saturday 4 January at 8.00 pm CET for ‘Bastille Reorchestrated’.

The Channel Aid concert with Bastille is another new artistic adventure for the boundary-breaking Baltic Sea Philharmonic, as it will be the orchestra’s first collaboration with a major pop band. Building on their experience on working with Estonian singer-songwriter Mick Pedaja on tour with their ‘Nordic Pulse’ and ‘Midnight Sun’ programmes in 2019, the orchestra and Kristjan Järvi will perform specially orchestrated Bastille songs in signature Baltic Sea Philharmonic style to create a unique orchestral soundtrack. The musicians will play the whole show by heart, and as a single uninterrupted stream of music.

Looking ahead to later in 2020, the orchestra and Kristjan Järvi will return to the Elbphilharmonie on 5 September as part of their concert tour of Germany and Italy in the autumn. Another major European tour in June and July with the signature programme ‘Midnight Sun’ includes concerts in Poland, Germany and Russia.

‘Channel Aid – Live in Concert’
Performed by Bastille & Kristjan Järvi & Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Saturday, 4 January 2020, 8.00 pm, Hamburg (Elbphilharmonie), Germany
Livestream: www.channel-aid.Tv

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC SET FOR NEW ADVENTURES IN 2020

With 2019 almost at an end, we’re excited to announce our plans for next year. In 2020 the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, under the inspirational leadership of Kristjan Järvi, will continue its remarkable progress on the international music scene, creating unique, transformative concert experiences for audiences across Europe and beyond.

Two major tours – ‘Midnight Sun’ in June and July, and ‘Nordic Pulse’ in September – will bring the orchestra’s stunning performances to some of the most renowned concert halls and festivals in Europe, including the Berlin Philharmonie, the Stars of the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and the Beethovenfest Bonn. But first we kick off the new year with a bang on 4 January, headlining a charity concert at the Elbphilharmonie with British indie band Bastille. This ‘Channel Aid – Live in Concert’ show, which will be livestreamed on YouTube, will be the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s first-ever collaboration with a major pop band – and to say that the orchestra musicians are excited about it is an understatement.

The ‘Midnight Sun’ and ‘Nordic Pulse’ tours in 2020 follow in the spirit of this year’s tours, in which the orchestra premiered striking new arrangements of classical masterpieces alongside stunning contemporary works; created immersive concert experiences together with sound and lighting designers; collaborated with singer-songwriters and electronic musicians; and transformed the communication between musicians and audience by stripping the stage of music stands and performing entire concerts from memory.

‘Midnight Sun’ is inspired by the sun never setting at night, a phenomenon that unites Nordic communities. The ‘Midnight Sun’ tour of Poland, Germany and Russia in June and July will reunite the Baltic Sea Philharmonic with Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen in a programme featuring music by Rautavaara, Pärt, Max Richter, Kristjan Järvi, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky.

In September the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will tour Germany and Italy with ‘Nordic Pulse’, a programme inspired by nature and Nordic landscapes. A highlight of the tour will be two concerts at the Beethovenfest Bonn, as the orchestra joins in the celebrations of Beethoven’s 250th birthday. In addition, the orchestra will return to the Merano Music Festival and the Usedom Music Festival. The music of ‘Nordic Pulse’ will include one of the orchestra’s signature pieces – Kristjan’s innovative recasting of Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Sleeping Beauty as a dramatic symphony.

Kristjan sums up the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s 2020 as ‘more fresh thinking, more imaginative collaborations, more new interpretations of great classics by Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Beethoven and others, and more exciting contemporary music, as the orchestra brings its unique energy and message to new audiences’.

For details of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s 2020 tours and to book tickets, see our concert calendar here

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2019 IN REVIEW – BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC LOOKS BACK ON YEAR OF EXCITING INNOVATIONS AND COLLABORATIONS

With 2020 around the corner, and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s first concert of the new year coming up fast on 4 January, there’s just time to reflect on what’s been another landmark twelve months for the orchestra. Building on the success of our 2018 tenth-anniversary year, 2019 was another year of innovation for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic. For the first time, the orchestra performed an entire programme not just from memory but with no breaks, creating a continuous flow of music with the addition of improvised transitional sections. New collaborations with guest soloists included the orchestra’s first-ever partnership with a singer-songwriter. And the Baltic Sea Philharmonic gave its debut performance in Budapest, one of the great European musical centres.

Three major tours in 2019 took the musicians to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Russia, Germany, Austria, Italy and Hungary, with the orchestra performing twelve concerts for a total audience of 13,000. The ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of the Baltic States, Finland and Russia in March featured the orchestra’s first collaboration with Estonian singer-songwriter Mick Pedaja, whose flowing, electronic-tinged songs evoked the mysticism and beauty of Nordic landscapes. Swiss violinist David Nebel also joined the orchestra as soloist in works by Kristjan Järvi, Pēteris Vasks and Gediminas Gelgotas. A highlight of the programme was Kristjan’s new concert suite of music from Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty. This 70-minute symphonic drama was performed completely from memory.

Our ‘Midnight Sun’ tour in June and July featured concerts in Germany and Austria, with Mari Samuelsen as soloist and Mick and Angeelia Pedaja as special guests. Musical highlights included Rautavaara’s magical Cantus Arcticus and Stravinsky’s The Firebird, with the orchestra playing the whole two-hour programme from memory, as a single unbroken ‘track’.

During the ‘Nordic Pulse’ and ‘Midnight Sun’ tours, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic held a concurrent ‘Talent Tour’ to recruit new members and refresh the pool of outstanding musicians who perform in the orchestra on tour. We welcomed a total of around 100 players from across all the orchestral instrumental sections to auditions in Palanga, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Berlin.

In September the ‘Divine Geometry’ tour imaginatively intertwined arrangements of Baroque masterpieces with major new works by American minimalists Philip Glass and Steve Reich. At the Merano Music Festival and Usedom Music Festival, Simone Dinnerstein was the soloist in Glass’s Piano Concerto No. 3, and in the Usedom concert the orchestra gave the German premiere of Reich’s Music for Ensemble and Orchestra. Both concerts were sold out and were recorded for broadcast.

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic closed 2019 with a ‘Midnight Sun’ concert in Budapest on 19 November. Making its Hungarian debut, the orchestra was joined by Budapest-born pianist József Balog for a programme including Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Peer Gynt Suite No. 1. Away from the concert hall, there was one more special event in November – the world premiere screening in Tallinn of Nordic Pulse, a new documentary starring the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi. This fascinating portrait of the orchestra received an enthusiastic reception at the Black Nights Film Festival on 28 November, and is set for international release in 2020.

See our Facebook page and Instagram feed for photos from our 2019 tours, and watch the trailer for Nordic Pulse here

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MAJOR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL IN TALLINN HOSTS WORLD PREMIERE OF BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC DOCUMENTARY NORDIC PULSE

Nordic Pulse, an inspirational film portrait of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi, received its world premiere last night at the 23rd Black Nights Film Festival in Kristjan’s home city of Tallinn, Estonia. The premiere was attended by Kristjan and a number of the orchestra’s musicians, as well as senior directors of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and the production company Sunbeam Productions.

The screening was followed by a special Q&A session featuring Kristjan and two of the musicians who starred in the film – trumpet player Märt Metsla from Estonia, and violinist Ilze Gagaine from Latvia. One of the biggest film festivals in northern Europe, the Black Nights Film Festival screens around 250 features and welcomes 80,000 film goers every year. Nordic Pulse was a guest film at this year’s festival and is set for international release in summer 2020.

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker David Donnelly (Maestro, Forte), Nordic Pulse follows the orchestra and Kristjan on two landmark European tours in 2017 – ‘Waterworks’ and ‘Baltic Folk’. The film explores how the Baltic Sea Philharmonic challenges expectations of what an orchestra can be, and it’s also the story of a visionary artist, leader and entrepreneur who wants to transform the concert experience for audiences and change their way of thinking about the world.

The audience reaction – ‘inspiring’ and ‘insightful’
‘Inspirational’ was the word used by many cinema goers as they gave their reaction to the film after the premiere screening. ‘The viewer feels the emotions, the excitement, the expectations and the relief and success of the orchestra,’ said one. ‘The film provides a great insight into the world and work of an orchestra,’ said another. One audience member commented that ‘The film brings across the vibes of this orchestral experience in the best possible way,’ adding that ‘Kristjan is amazing in his approach to what he does, and the film manages to give a real understanding of what is happening in his mind.’

With ‘Waterworks’, Kristjan wanted to transport audiences to a new dimension, and Nordic Pulse captures the unique atmosphere as an expert creative team from Sunbeam Productions transforms the musical performance into an immersive concert experience with lighting, sound design and projection art. On the ‘Baltic Folk’ tour the orchestra made history by performing Stravinsky’s The Firebird from memory for the first time. Nordic Pulse shows the musicians’ journeys from wondering whether playing such a complex score by heart is even possible, to feeling like it’s the most natural and inspiring experience they’ve ever had in an orchestra. The film also reveals how performing from memory has become a signature of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, with the musicians now regularly performing entire 120-minute programmes by heart, improvising, dancing, and singing.

Watch the trailer of Nordic Pulse here and see photos of the Tallinn premiere here

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC MAKES HUNGARIAN DEBUT WITH MEMORISED PERFORMANCE AT MÜPA BUDAPEST

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic brought its twelfth year of international touring to a close with a warmly received debut in Budapest on 19 November. Under the baton of Founding Conductor and Music Director Kristjan Järvi, the orchestra performed the 100-minute ‘Midnight Sun’ programme of music by Grieg and Stravinsky entirely from memory. Budapest-born pianist József Balog joined the orchestra as soloist in Grieg’s Piano Concerto, and the programme also included another celebrated work by Grieg – the Peer Gynt Suite No. 1. The performance climaxed with Stravinsky’s 1945 orchestral version of The Firebird, a piece which the Baltic Sea Philharmonic became the first orchestra in the world to perform completely from memory, in August 2017 on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland.

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic was proud to be performing for the first time in Hungary, a country with such a rich musical history and so many great composers, from Liszt, Bartók and Kodály to Ligeti, Kurtág and others. The musicians were also excited to be bringing a new kind of concert experience to the Budapest audience: not only did they perform the complete programme from memory, but they also played it as a single continuous ‘track’, interweaving movements of the Peer Gynt suite with movements of the Piano Concerto. The orchestra gave the enthusiastic 1,656 concert goers in the sold-out Béla Bartók Concert Hall at Müpa Budapest two special encores – the Finale from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, and an Estonian folk song, Arg Kosilane, which the musicians sung.

Next up for Kristjan and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic is an exciting new collaboration with British indie band Bastille for ‘Channel Aid – Live in Concert’ at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie on 4 January 2020. Major European tours later next year will see the orchestra perform in Poland, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Russia.

See our Facebook page and Instagram feed for photos of ‘Midnight Sun’ in Budapest

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC DOCUMENTARY NORDIC PULSE TO PREMIERE AT TALLINN BLACK NIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL ON 28 NOVEMBER

An inspirational documentary about the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi will receive its world premiere at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia on 28 November. Nordic Pulse, which was directed by acclaimed filmmaker David Donnelly (Maestro, Forte), follows the orchestra on two landmark European tours that it made in 2017 – ‘Waterworks’ and ‘Baltic Folk’. It’s a portrait of an exceptional group of musicians from ten different nations who come together for a journey of self-discovery. The film explores how the Baltic Sea Philharmonic challenges expectations of what an orchestra can be, and it’s also the story of a visionary leader, Kristjan Järvi, who wants to transform the concert experience for audiences and change their way of thinking about the world.

Within the first few days of filming, Donnelly knew he was witnessing something special. “I have been documenting the classical sphere for nearly a decade,” he says, “but within minutes of the first rehearsal, I realised this was a completely unique organisation with ambitious goals that went far beyond just making music. What they are doing can’t be defined by a traditional description of an orchestra or genre.”

Nordic Pulse follows Järvi and the orchestra to nine cities in four countries, with exclusive concert footage from venues including the spectacular Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, and the poignant Historical Technical Museum in Peenemünde, the site of the Nazis’ V2 rocket facility in the Second World War, now transformed into a place of culture, peace and hope.

With ‘Waterworks’, Järvi wanted to transport audiences to a new dimension, and Nordic Pulse captures the unique atmosphere as an expert team from Sunbeam Productions transforms the musical performance into a fully immersive concert experience, complete with vibrant projections and real-time lighting and sound design. On the ‘Baltic Folk’ tour the orchestra made history by performing Stravinsky’s The Firebird from memory for the first time. Nordic Pulse shows the musicians’s journeys from wondering whether playing such a complex score by heart is even possible to feeling like it’s the most natural and inspiring experience they’ve ever had in an orchestra. Players began asking Järvi if the orchestra could do whole concerts from memory, and since 2017 this has indeed become a trademark of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, with the musicians now regularly performing entire 120-minute programmes by heart, improvising, dancing, and even singing.

Watch the trailer of Nordic Pulse here

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MERANO CONCERT ‘DIVINE GEOMETRY’ TO BE BROADCAST ON RAI ON 10 November 2019

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s ‘Divine Geometry’ concert at the Merano Music Festival on 20 September, which featured the Italian premiere of Philip Glass’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with US-American pianist Simone Dinnerstein, will be broadcast in full on RAI radio, on 10 November at 8.00 pm CET.

Programme ‘Divine Geometry’
Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Kristjan Järvi
Simone Dinnerstein

Johann Sebastian Bach: Chaconne, arranged by Arman Tigranyan
Philip Glass: Piano Concerto No. 3 (Italian premiere)
George Frideric Handel: Too Hot to Handel Concerti Grossi Suite, arranged by Kristjan Järvi

 

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC TO MAKE HUNGARIAN DEBUT ON 19 NOVEMBER 2019 AT MÜPA BUDAPEST

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic will make its Hungarian debut next month with a ‘Midnight Sun’ concert in Budapest, conducted by Kristjan Järvi. The programme will inventively intertwine movements from Grieg’s Piano Concerto with his Suite No. 1 from Peer Gynt, before climaxing with Stravinsky’s 1945 orchestral version of The Firebird. As is the trademark of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, the entire programme will be played by heart, with the musicians free to stand, move and interact dynamically with each other and with the conductor.

Joining the orchestra for the Grieg concerto will be József Balog, one of the most talented pianists of his generation. Born in Budapest in 1979, he grew up surrounded by the amazing heritage of the renowned Hungarian piano tradition established by Liszt, Dohnányi and Bartók. Since graduating from the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, where he studied with Jenő Jandó, he has performed as soloist and chamber musician in more than 25 countries around the world, and has collaborated with orchestras including the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, the Ukrainian National Philharmonic and the Jerusalem Chamber Orchestra. He will make his debut with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi in the 19 November concert.

‘Midnight Sun’
Tuesday, 19 November, 7.30pm, Budapest (Müpa Budapest), Hungary
Baltic Sea Philharmonic & Kristjan Järvi
Special guest József Balog

Edvarg Grieg
Peer Gynt Suite No. 1
Edvarg Grieg
Piano Concerto
Igor Stravinsky
The Firebird (1945)

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC AND KRISTJAN JÄRVI TO PARTNER POP BAND BASTILLE AT ELBPHILHARMONIE HAMBURG ON 4 JANUARY 2020

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi will kick off 2020 with a one-off charity concert show at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg on 4 January. The orchestra will join British indie pop band Bastille on stage for the latest event in 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. The Elbphilharmonie concert will be livestreamed on Channel Aid, which collects donations to FABS Foundation social projects with every view of the channel.

The Channel Aid concert is another new artistic adventure for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, as it will be the orchestra’s first collaboration with a pop band. Building on their experience of working with Estonian singer-songwriter Mick Pedaja on tour with their ‘Nordic Pulse’ and ‘Midnight Sun’ programmes in 2019, Kristjan and the orchestra will perform specially orchestrated Bastille songs in signature Baltic Sea Philharmonic style to create a unique orchestral soundtrack. The musicians will play the whole show by heart, and as a single uninterrupted stream of music. With Kristjan’s production company Sunbeam Productions co-producing the concert, the Elbphilharmonie audience is guaranteed both a sonic and visual spectacular.

Tickets for the concert go on sale on 18 October on Eventim/Channel Aid. Previous Baltic Sea Philharmonic concerts at the Elbphilharmonie, and previous ‘Channel Aid – Live in Concert’ events at the same venue, have all sold out within hours, so it’s worth booking fast to avoid missing out.

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi will next be back at the Elbphilharmonie on 5 September 2020, as part of their concert tour of Germany, Belgium and Italy in the autumn. Another major European tour in June with the signature programme ‘Midnight Sun’ includes concerts in Poland, Germany and Russia.

‘Channel Aid – Live in Concert’
Performed by Bastille & Kristjan Järvi & Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Saturday, 4 January 2020, 8.00 pm, Hamburg (Elbphilharmonie), Germany
Livestream: Channel Aid YouTube channel
Tickets: https://www.eventim.de/artist/channel-aid/

 

 

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