BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC TO AUDITION YOUNG MUSICIANS IN BERLIN ON 25 JUNE

On the eve of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s ‘Midnight Sun’ tour-opening concert at Berlin’s Philharmonie on 26 June, the orchestra’s principal musicians and conductor Kristjan Järvi will hold open auditions for prospective members of the ensemble. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic regularly auditions talented musicians from across the Baltic Sea region in order to refresh the pool of outstanding players who perform with the orchestra on tour. The special Talent Day in Berlin on 25 June is a continuation of the Baltic Sea Music Education Foundation’s Talent Tour 2019, which has already featured open auditions in Palanga, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki and St. Petersburg during the orchestra’s ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of the Baltic States, Finland and Russia in March.

Around 50 applicants are set to take part in the Berlin auditions. Each applicant will have the opportunity to shine in a solo first round, with the best players then going through to a special second round, when they will get to join the full orchestra in a public dress rehearsal at the Berlin Philharmonie, which all interested young musicians are welcome to attend. Successful candidates will join the orchestra’s player pool, with the chance to be invited on tours with the orchestra, beginning with the ‘Divine Geometry’ tour of Germany and Italy in September 2019.

Empowering the players of today and tomorrow
The Baltic Sea Music Education Foundation is committed to empowering young musicians and developing their leadership and entrepreneurial skills. The Talent Tour audition process strongly reflects this, in that it is led by a nine-strong panel of the orchestra’s principals. Principal violist Marzena Malinowska, from Poland, explains the panel’s approach: ‘We try to take musicians out of their comfort zones – not in search of failure or perfection, but to see who they really are as people. We let them show and share their passion, and we ask them to do certain things, such as playing by heart, in order to show that crossing mental boundaries is fun.’

Applicants have so far found the Talent Tour auditions a refreshing and inspiring experience. Margaret Galinke, an 18-year-old flute player who auditioned in St. Petersburg, said: ‘I had never played an orchestral piece like Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty by heart in an audition before, so that was a very unusual and exciting opportunity. Also, this was the first audition where I felt truly comfortable, because the panel was so warm and encouraging. It felt from the beginning like we were friends. The atmosphere was wonderful.’

For more information about the Talent Tour 2019, see here

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC EMBARKS ON ‘MIDNIGHT SUN’ TOUR OF GERMANY AND AUSTRIA

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is all set to tour Germany and Austria from 26 June to 2 July with ‘Midnight Sun’, an exciting new programme that the orchestra will perform entirely from memory. The musicians are now gathered in the German town of Vlotho, North-Rhine Westphalia, where today they begin five days of intensive rehearsals under the direction of conductor Kristjan Järvi and a team of specialist coaches. Joined by violin soloist Mari Samuelsen and guest artist Mick Pedaja, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will give a public dress rehearsal in Vlotho on 23 June at 7.30 pm. The musicians will then travel 360 km to Berlin for the opening tour concert at the Berlin Philharmonie on 26 June. Their next destination is Ossiach in southern Austria, where they will perform at the Carinthian Music Academy on 29 June. The tour concludes in Hamburg on 2 July, with a sold-out concert at the Elbphilharmonie.

‘Midnight Sun’ – magical Arctic soundscapes
‘Midnight Sun’ is a celebration of nature and Nordic unity, inspired by the phenomenon of the sun never setting at night. The musical programme begins with a special collaboration between the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Mick Pedaja, an Estonian singer-songwriter whose songs have a mystical quality and a powerful sense of Nordic landscape. After this unique opening, the orchestra performs Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Cantus Arcticus, his concerto for birds and orchestra that features taped birdsong recorded in northern Finland. Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen then performs four works with the orchestra: Kristjan’s Aurora, which is inspired by the magical lights of the aurora borealis; Arvo Pärt’s Fratres; Pēteris Vasks’s meditative second violin concerto Vientuļais Eņģelis (Lonely Angel); and Max Richter’s Dona Nobis Pacem. ‘Midnight Sun’ climaxes with more magical light, this time courtesy of the mythical Firebird of Russian folklore, in the shape of Stravinsky’s 1945 version of his great ballet The Firebird.

Playing by heart
In 2017 the Baltic Sea Philharmonic made history by becoming the first orchestra in the world to perform The Firebird from memory. Performing without sheet music has since become a trademark of the ensemble, and the orchestra will be playing the entire ‘Midnight Sun’ programme by heart. The concerts in Berlin and Hamburg will furthermore be performed with no interval, allowing the memorised music to flow almost seamlessly for around 100 minutes.

Download the full ‘Midnight Sun’ concert programme here


‘Midnight Sun’ Tour
Wednesday, 26 June 2019, 8.00 pm, Berlin (Philharmonie), Germany
Saturday, 29 June 2019, 8.00 pm, Ossiach (Carinthian Music Academy), Austria
Tuesday, 2 July 2019, 8.00 pm, Hamburg (Elbphilharmonie), Germany

Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Kristjan Järvi
Mari Samuelsen
Mick Pedaja

Mick Pedaja
Follow
Forest Hymn Pt. 2
Seis
Valgeks / To the Light
Life Full of Different Views by Mick & Angeelia aka MIANG

Einojuhani Rautavaara
Cantus Arcticus Op. 61

Kristjan Järvi
Aurora for violin and orchestra

Arvo Pärt
Fratres for violin, percussion and string orchestra

Pēteris Vasks
Vientuļais Eņģelis (Lonely Angel), Meditation for violin and string orchestra

Max Richter
Dona Nobis Pacem 2

Igor Stravinsky
The Firebird (1945)

 

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC TO TOUR GERMANY AND AUSTRIA IN JUNE AND JULY 2019 WITH NEW ‘MIDNIGHT SUN’ PROGRAMME

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi will tour Germany and Austria this summer with ‘Midnight Sun’, an exciting new programme that the orchestra will perform entirely from memory. Joined by violin soloist Mari Samuelsen and special guest artist Mick Pedaja, the orchestra will return to the Berlin Philharmonie on 26 June and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie on 2 July, and will also perform for the first time in Ossiach, Austria, on 29 June, at the Carinthian Music Academy. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic last performed at the Philharmonie in Berlin in 2014, and made a spectacular debut at the Elbphilharmonie in August 2017 with ‘Waterworks’, its immersive concert show in collaboration with Sunbeam Productions. Tickets for this summer’s Elbphilharmonie concert sold out in just eleven minutes.

‘Midnight Sun’ – magical Arctic soundscapes
‘Midnight Sun’ is a celebration of nature and Nordic unity. The phenomenon of the sun never setting at night is experienced around the time of the summer solstice in the far north of Norway, Finland, Sweden, Russia and other countries that straddle the Arctic Circle. ‘It’s a phenomenon that only the populations of the north are favoured with,’ says Kristjan Järvi. ‘It unites Nordic communities, and with this musical programme we are bringing that message of Nordic unity also to Germany and Austria.’

‘Midnight Sun’ opens with a special collaboration between the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Mick Pedaja, an Estonian singer-songwriter whose nature-inspired songs have a mystical quality and a powerful sense of Nordic landscape. Following his debut with the orchestra on its ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour in March 2019, Mick returns to sing songs from his albums Hingake/Breathe and Avaimus, specially arranged for orchestra by US composer Charles Coleman.

After this unique opening, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic performs Rautavaara’s Cantus Arcticus, his concerto for birds and orchestra that features taped birdsong recorded around the Arctic Circle and in the marshlands of northern Finland. Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen, who made her debut with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic on its 2018 ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour, then performs four works with the orchestra, beginning with Kristjan’s Aurora, which is inspired by the magical lights of the aurora borealis. In Arvo Pärt’s Fratres, the violinist plays solo variations over strings and percussion, combining virtuosic thrills with serene lyricism. A meditative quality imbues Pēteris Vasks’s second violin concerto Vientuļais Eņģelis (Lonely Angel), and the orchestra’s final piece with Mari, Max Richter’s Dona Nobis Pacem, builds from quiet contemplation to powerful climax in an emotion-packed few minutes.

‘Midnight Sun’ climaxes with more magical light, this time courtesy of the mythical Firebird of Russian folklore, in the form of Stravinsky’s 1945 version of his great ballet The Firebird.

Playing by heart
In 2017 the Baltic Sea Philharmonic made history by becoming the first orchestra in the world to perform The Firebird from memory. Performing without sheet music has since become a trademark of the ensemble, and this summer the orchestra will play the entire ‘Midnight Sun’ programme by heart. The concerts in Berlin and Hamburg will furthermore be performed with no interval, allowing the memorised music to flow almost seamlessly for around 100 minutes. Playing by heart intensifies the connection between the players, bringing them closer together, and is a natural reflection of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s mission to unite people across the whole Nordic region.

Recruiting new talent
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic regularly auditions the best and brightest young musicians from across the Baltic Sea region in order to renew and refresh its pool of outstanding players. In March, during the orchestra’s ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of the Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Russia, the Baltic Sea Music Education Foundation launched its Talent Tour 2019 with open auditions in Palanga, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki and St. Petersburg. The Talent Tour will continue during the ‘Midnight Sun’ tour with an audition day in Berlin on 25 June. Applicants will perform solo in front of a panel comprising Kristjan and principal musicians from the orchestra, and in a special second round the applicants will have the chance to join a full orchestra rehearsal. The deadline for applications is 15 May. Full details are available here.

 

‘Midnight Sun’ Tour
 Wednesday, 26 June 2019, 8.00 pm, Berlin (Philharmonie), Germany
Saturday, 29 June 2019, 8.00 pm, Ossiach (Carinthian Music Academy), Austria
Tuesday, 2 July 2019, 8.00 pm, Hamburg (Elbphilharmonie), Germany

Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Kristjan Järvi
Mari Samuelsen
Mick Pedaja

Einojuhani Rautavaara
Cantus Arcticus Op. 61

Kristjan Järvi
Aurora for violin and orchestra

Arvo Pärt
Fratres for violin, percussion and string orchestra

Pēteris Vasks
Vientuļais Eņģelis (Lonely Angel), Meditation for violin and string orchestra

Max Richter
Dona Nobis Pacem

Igor Stravinsky
The Firebird (1945)

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC FINDS BRIGHTEST MUSICAL TALENT FROM ACROSS NORDIC REGION IN UNIQUE AUDITION PROCESS

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic combined its ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Russia in March with a successful recruiting drive, auditioning some of the region’s best young musical talent on its Talent Tour 2019. The orchestra regularly auditions musicians from throughout the Baltic Sea region in order to renew and refresh the pool of outstanding players who perform with the orchestra on tour. From 8 to 19 March, a total of 70 players from across all the orchestral instrumental groups came to audition at Talent Days in Palanga, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki and St. Petersburg. A further Talent Day will be held in Berlin on 27 June 2019. Successful candidates will join the orchestra’s player pool and will have the chance to be invited on tours with the orchestra, as early as summer 2019 for its ‘Midnight Sun’ and ‘Divine Geometry’ tours.

A new kind of audition
Under its visionary conductor Kristjan Järvi, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic has established a reputation as a boundary-breaking ensemble, so it should come as no surprise that the orchestra’s auditioning process is special too. Talent Tour applicants had the opportunity to shine in a solo first round, but also in a new second round in which they joined a full orchestra rehearsal. And because the Talent Tour is being held as open auditions, all interested musicians were able to listen to the first-round auditions and full orchestra rehearsals, even if they themselves were not auditioning.

A significant part of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s mission is to empower musicians and develop their entrepreneurial and leadership skills. The Talent Tour audition process strongly reflected this, in that it was led by a nine-strong panel of the orchestra’s principals. Principal violist Marzena Malinowska, from Poland, explained the panel’s approach: ‘We were trying to take musicians out of their comfort zones – not in search of failure or perfection, but to see who they really are as people. We let them show and share their passion, and we asked them to do things, such as playing by heart, that they might have thought that they were incapable of doing – in order to show that crossing mental boundaries is fun.’

For 18-year-old flute player Margarete Galinka, who auditioned at the Talent Day in St. Petersburg, the experience was both refreshing and inspirational. ‘I had never played an orchestral piece like Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty by heart in an audition before, so that was a very unusual and exciting opportunity,’ she said. ‘Also, this was the first audition where I felt truly comfortable, because the panel was so warm and encouraging. It felt from the beginning like we were friends. The atmosphere was wonderful.’

 Talent Tour to continue in Berlin in June
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic will hold a further Talent Day in Berlin on 27 June 2019, during its ‘Midnight Sun’ tour to Berlin and Hamburg in June and July. The application deadline for this audition is 15 May. The Berlin Talent Day will be held as a first-round audition only, but all applicants are invited to visit the orchestra’s dress rehearsal at the Berlin Philharmonie on 26 June.

More details about the Talent Tour 2019 can be found here

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC AND KRISTJAN JÄRVI COMPLETE ACCLAIMED ‘NORDIC PULSE’ TOUR OF BALTIC STATES, FINLAND AND RUSSIA

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi completed their first major tour of 2019 on 21 March with a special concert at the historic Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg. The ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour, which began in Palanga, Lithuania, on 11 March, featured six performances in eleven days. Joined by Swiss violinist David Nebel and Estonian singer-songwriter Mick Pedaja, the orchestra travelled more than 1,000 km from Palanga to St. Petersburg, via Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki. Around 4,500 concert goers experienced the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s unique spirit and energy, and witnessed the orchestra perform, completely from memory, a new 70-minute concert suite drawn from Tchaikovsky’s ballet masterpiece The Sleeping Beauty.

‘Nordic Pulse’ – an exhilarating Baltic adventure
The tour opened on Lithuania’s Restoration of Independence Day with the orchestra’s debut at the Palanga Concert Hall. From Palanga, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic travelled to Riga to perform in the Great Guild Hall. The tour continued in Tallinn, the city of Kristjan Järvi’s birth, with a sold-out concert at the Estonia Concert Hall, before moving on to Helsinki and a debut performance at Finlandia Hall. ‘Nordic Pulse’ concluded with two concerts in St. Petersburg – the first at the ultra-modern Mariinsky II, and the second at the grand, Rococo-style Catherine Palace. Alongside the ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic held a parallel Talent Tour, auditioning top music students in Palanga, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki and St. Petersburg, with the aim of recruiting the best talent from across the region to join the orchestra on future tours.

Playing by heart – a Tchaikovsky world premiere
A major highlight of the ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour was the unveiling of a new concert suite, arranged by Kristjan Järvi, of music from Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty. The 70-minute work was performed entirely from memory. ‘The suite is a condensed version of the whole ballet,’ explains Järvi, ‘and comprises 3,056 bars of music. It takes what we’ve been doing over the last two years in the realm of memorisation to a new level.’ As on previous tours, the memorised performances proved a revelation for audiences, with one concert goer, Massimo Nunzi, enthusing: ‘This is a completely new way to approach classical music. This is the future.’

Inspired by nature – and focused on the environment
‘Nordic Pulse’ took inspiration from nature and at the same time underlined the orchestra’s commitment to the environment. The musical programme was infused with themes of renewal and fresh life, evident in Kristjan Järvi’s Aurora for violin and string orchestra – a work inspired by both the warmth of spring and the lights of the aurora borealis – and in the awakening of Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. Sensitivity to the Nordic landscape shone through in both Pēteris Vasks’s second violin concerto Vientuļais Eņģelis (Lonely Angel) and the 2018 Violin Concerto by Gediminas Gelgotas, both performed together with violinist David Nebel. Special guest Mick Pedaja added a mystical dimension with songs inspired by his natural surroundings, especially the forests of Estonia.

Two of the ‘Nordic Pulse’ concerts were directly focused on the environmental cause. The performance in Helsinki was a benefit concert for the John Nurminen Foundation, which directs projects dedicated to protecting the waters of the Baltic Sea. And the final concert of the tour, at the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg, was a special performance for delegates to the 20th annual Baltic Sea Day, an international forum that focuses on ways to protect the Baltic Sea environment.

Acclaim from critics and audiences
The irrepressible energy of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic impressed the reviewer from the Helsingin Sanomat, who wrote of the Helsinki concert: ‘In an entertaining first half, Järvi’s Aurora captured the joyous dance of the sun, and seemed to call all the nations of the Baltic Sea together in a merry midsummer celebration. Playing by heart undoubtedly welds the ensemble together both physically and mentally, and strengthens communication. The atmosphere was colourful, with Järvi inspiring his players like a circus ringmaster.’

Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks was in the audience at Riga’s Great Guild Hall to hear his violin concerto Lonely Angel. He commented: ‘Who cannot like Kristjan Järvi? He has such a youthful spirit, and carries all the young musicians with him. He’s also looking for new methods of presenting orchestral music, and new ways to attract young people to experience symphony orchestras. It’s a miracle.’

‘Midnight Sun’ tour to come
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s ‘Midnight Sun’ tour of Germany in June and July 2019 is the next step on the orchestra’s journey to realise hitherto unseen and unheard concert experiences. The tour is inspired by the phenomenon of the sun never setting at night, and will feature Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen and Mick Pedaja in a programme that will be performed completely from memory. The debut of ‘Midnight Sun’ will be on 26 June at the Berlin Philharmonie. A second performance will follow at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie on 2 July.

See our Facebook page and Instagram feed for concert videos, performance shots and behind-the-scenes photos from the ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC ON TALENT TOUR 2019

Just as the Baltic Sea Philharmonic is gearing up for its first tour of 2019 this month – ‘Nordic Pulse’ – it is also on a new recruitment drive. The orchestra’s Talent Tour 2019 seeks out the best and brightest young musicians from across the Nordic region. The Talent Tour runs as open auditions alongside the orchestra’s ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of the Baltic States, Finland and Russia, and also in June during the orchestra’s ‘Midnight Sun’ tour of Germany. The first day of the series of special Talent Days took place in Palanga (8 March). The tour continues in Riga (13 March), before heading to Tallinn (15 March), Helsinki (18 March) and St. Petersburg (19 March) as well as Berlin (27 June). More than 120 applicants have signed up to take part in this month’s auditions; applications for the Talent Day in Berlin are open until 15 May.

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic regularly auditions talented musicians from throughout the Baltic Sea region in order to renew and refresh the pool of outstanding players who perform with the orchestra on tour. The orchestra works with top conservatoires throughout the region to recruit leading young musicians. Many of these players are residents of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden or Russia, but some may also be international students enrolled at music academies in these ten countries. Integrating the orchestra’s Talent Tour with its ‘Nordic Pulse’ and ‘Midnight Sun’ tours will open up direct access to auditions for students at such prestigious institutions as the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the St. Petersburg State Conservatory and the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in Tallinn.

The orchestra is introducing a new two-stage audition process this year, giving applicants the chance not only to perform a solo piece but also join a full orchestra rehearsal. Kristjan Järvi and a panel of Baltic Sea Philharmonic principal musicians will together decide which players have the talent and personality to thrive in the orchestra. Giving current players a say in who will join them in the ensemble reflects Kristjan’s mission to empower the musicians of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and develop their entrepreneurial and leadership skills.

Successful Talent Tour applicants will get to experience the unique Baltic Sea Philharmonic spirit on tour, and perform innovative programmes under Kristjan Järvi’s baton in Germany, Italy and Hungary in June/July, September and November 2019. Follow the Talent Tour on our social media channels Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC’S ‘NORDIC PULSE’ TOUR STARTS TODAY IN PALANGA, LITHUANIA

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi kick off their ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Russia with a concert today in the Lithuanian resort town of Palanga. March 11 is an important date for Lithuania, as the country celebrates its Restoration of Independence Day. ‘Nordic Pulse’ is the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s first tour of 2019 and features five concerts in nine days. Following today’s performance in Palanga, the orchestra will go on to play in Riga (12 March), Tallinn (16 March), Helsinki (18 March) and St. Petersburg (19 March).

Music of light and magic
Nature inspires the music of ‘Nordic Pulse’ and the theme of reawakening, of new life, runs through the whole programme – from the radiant, spring light of Kristjan’s Aurora to the fairytale magic of Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty, with its Princess Aurora awakened by a kiss. Kristjan has arranged a concert suite from Tchaikovsky’s great ballet, which the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will play entirely by heart – performing from memory having become a trademark of the orchestra in the last two years.

Joining the orchestra for Aurora will be Swiss violinist David Nebel, who is also the soloist in Pēteris Vasks’s meditative second violin concerto Vientuļais Eņģelis (Lonely Angel) and Gediminas Gelgotas’s 2018 Violin Concerto. The orchestra will also be joined for the opening of each concert by Estonian singer-songwriter Mick Pedaja, whose ambient, flowing, electronic-enriched music is strongly inspired by landscape and nature. He will perform songs from his 2016 album Hingake/Breathe, and his latest album Avaimus, which was released in December 2018.

For more information about the music and musicians of ‘Nordic Pulse’, check out the tour programme here. And for details of the concert schedule, and to book tickets, see here and follow the tour with latest updates on our social media channels Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC AND KRISTJAN JÄRVI TO TOUR BALTIC STATES, FINLAND AND RUSSIA IN MARCH 2019

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Jarvi will begin their first major tour of 2019 in Palanga, Lithuania, on 11 March. The ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour will take the orchestra on to three European capitals – Riga (12 March), Tallinn (16 March) and Helsinki (17 March) – before concluding in St. Petersburg (19 March). The tour includes debuts for the orchestra at the Palanga Concert Hall, the ultra-modern Mariinsky II in St. Petersburg, and the Alvar Aalto-designed Finlandia Hall in Helsinki. The tour will also underline the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s commitment to protecting the Baltic Sea environment, with a benefit concert for the John Nurminen Foundation in Finland and a special concert at the environmental forum Baltic Sea Day in St. Petersburg.

‘Nordic Pulse’ – music of light and magic

‘Nordic Pulse’ is inspired by nature, and by the fairytale magic of Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty. The programme includes Kristjan Järvi’s Northern Lights-inspired Aurora, Pēteris Vasks’s meditative second violin concerto Vientuļais Eņģelis (Lonely Angel) and Gediminas Gelgotas’s 2018 Violin Concerto. The soloist in both concertos is Swiss violinist David Nebel.

The programme closes with a memorised performance of Järvi’s arrangement of the concert suite from Tchaikovsky’s great ballet The Sleeping Beauty. Playing without sheet music has rapidly become part of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s identity after the ensemble made history in 2017 by becoming the first orchestra in the world to perform Stravinsky’s The Firebird from memory. ‘Performing from memory is all about chemistry and communication,’ says Järvi. ‘It intensifies the connection between the players, bringing them closer together.’

The ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour will also feature the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s debut collaboration with Estonian singer-songwriter Mick Pedaja. A performer whose ambient, flowing, electronic-enriched music is strongly inspired by landscape and nature, Pedaja released his latest album Avaimus in December 2018. He will open each ‘Nordic Pulse’ concert with a special performance alongside the orchestra.

Protecting the Baltic Sea

Ever since it was founded in 2008, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic has been committed to the environment, and especially the Baltic Sea itself. ‘This body of water is the engine of the whole Nordic region and must be cherished and protected,’ says Järvi. The ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour will underline the orchestra’s environmental vision in two significant ways. Firstly, in Helsinki the orchestra will support the work of the John Nurminen Foundation, with one Euro of every concert ticket sold going towards the Foundation’s projects to protect the waters of the Baltic Sea. Secondly, the orchestra will give a special extra concert in St. Petersburg on 21 March, at the grand, Rococo-style Catherine Palace, for delegates to the 20th annual Baltic Sea Day, an international forum that focuses on ways to protect the Baltic Sea marine environment.

Recruiting new musical talent

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic regularly auditions the best and brightest young musicians from across the Baltic Sea region in order to renew and refresh the pool of outstanding players who perform with the orchestra on tour. In March the orchestra will run its Talent Tour 2019 alongside the ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour, giving musicians the opportunity to audition in Palanga (8 March), Riga (13 March), Tallinn (15 March), Helsinki (18 March) and St. Petersburg (19 March). A new two-stage audition process will feature both a solo round and the chance to join a full rehearsal with the entire orchestra. Full details are available here.

For details of the ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour and to book tickets, see our concert calendar here

‘Nordic Pulse’ Tour

Monday, 11 March 2019, 7.00 pm, Palanga (Palanga Concert Hall), Lithuania
Tuesday, 12 March 2019, 7.00 pm, Riga (Great Guild Concert Hall), Latvia
Saturday, 16 March 2019, 7.00 pm, Tallinn (Estonia Concert Hall), Estonia
Sunday, 17 March 2019, 3.00 pm, Helsinki (Finlandia Hall), Finland
Tuesday, 19 March 2019, 7.00 pm, St. Petersburg (Mariinsky II), Russia
Thursday, 21 March 2019, 7.00 pm, St. Petersburg (Baltic Sea Day / Catherine Palace), Russia

Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Kristjan Järvi
David Nebel
Mick Pedaja

Pēteris Vasks
Vientuļais Eņģelis (Lonely Angel), Meditation for violin and string orchestra

Kristjan Järvi
Aurora

Gediminas Gelgotas
Violin Concerto

Peter I. Tchaikovsky
The Sleeping Beauty concert suite arranged by Kristjan Järvi – from memory

Jean Sibelius
ʻSong of Praise’ from Svanevit, Op. 54 – Finland only

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TICKETS GO ON SALE FOR BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC’S ‘MIDNIGHT SUN’ CONCERTS IN GERMANY THIS SUMMER

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi will return to the Philharmonie in Berlin and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie this summer with ‘Midnight Sun’, an exciting new programme that the orchestra will perform entirely from memory. Tickets for both concerts (in Berlin on 26 June, and Hamburg on 2 July) go on sale this Thursday, 24 January. The orchestra last performed at the Philharmonie in Berlin in 2014, and made a spectacular debut at the Elbphilharmonie in August 2017 with the immersive concert show ‘Waterworks’.

‘Midnight Sun’ – magical Arctic soundscapes
‘Midnight Sun’ is at once a celebration of nature and Nordic unity. The phenomenon of the sun never setting at night is experienced around the time of the summer solstice in the far north of Norway, Finland, Sweden, Russia and other countries that straddle the Arctic Circle. ‘It’s a phenomenon that only the populations of the north are favoured with,’ says Kristjan Järvi. ‘It unites Nordic communities, and with this musical programme we are reiterating that message of Nordic unity.’

‘Midnight Sun’ opens with 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. Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen will then perform four works with the orchestra: Kristjan Järvi’s Aurora, which is inspired by the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights; Arvo Pärt’s Fratres, a classic example of his ‘tintinnabuli’ style; Pēteris Vasks’s meditative second violin concerto ‘Lonely Angel’; and Dona Nobis Pacem by German-born British composer Max Richter. ‘Midnight Sun’ climaxes with more magical light, this time courtesy of the mythical Firebird of Russian folklore, in Stravinsky’s 1945 orchestral version of his great ballet The Firebird.

Playing by heart
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic musicians will play the entire ‘Midnight Sun’ programme from memory, bringing a thrilling extra dimension to the performance. ‘Performing from memory is all about chemistry and communication,’ says Järvi. Playing by heart intensifies the connection between the players, bringing them closer together, and is a natural reflection of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s mission to unite people across the whole Nordic region.

Book your tickets for the Berlin concert here and the Hamburg concert here. See our concert calendar for more details about ‘Midnight Sun’ and our other tours in 2019. Both ‘Midnight Sun’ concerts are presented by the Baltic Sea Music Education Foundation e.V., the Berlin concert is organized in close cooperation with Young Euro Classic.

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Talent Tour 2019: Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi looking for the best new talents – Application deadline 5 February 2019

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi are calling out for the best talents and the brightest musical personalities from across the Baltic Sea region to apply for the upcoming Talent Tour 2019. Young musicians who are open to new ideas and approaches to performing are invited to apply for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and experience the orchestra’s unique spirit. The new orchestra members will have the chance to perform innovative concert programmes, such as playing an entire concert by memory, and join the orchestra for the ‘Midnight Sun’ tour in June and July, with concerts at the world-famous Berliner Philharmonie and the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.

The Talent Tour 2019 is open to music students who are 18 to 28 years old and are string, wind, brass or percussion players. Furthermore, they need to be residents of, or hold a passport from, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia or Sweden, or be international students enrolled in a music academy in one of the ten aforementioned countries for 2018–2019 (regardless of nationality).

Talent Tour Dates 2019
The Talent Tour 2019 stops in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Russia in March 2019 as part of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour. The tour will continue with a Talent Day in Germany on 27 June 2019 as part of the ‘Midnight Sun’ tour. The application deadline is 5 February 2019 for the March dates and 15 May 2019 for the Berlin date.

Friday, 8 March 2019, Palanga, Lithuania
Wednesday, 13 March 2019, Riga, Latvia
Friday, 15 March 2019, Tallinn, Estonia
Monday, 18 March 2019, Helsinki, Finland
Tuesday, 19 March 2019, St. Petersburg, Russia
Thursday, 27 June 2019 Berlin, Germany

Talent Tour 2019 – A new way of auditioning
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s new and unique approach to making music in the 21st century is also reflected in the structure and procedure of the Talent Tour. In the first round, applicants are asked to perform a piece of their choice in front of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s principal musicians and conductor Kristjan Järvi. Kristjan and the principals will decide, together as a team, which applicants have the talent and the personality to thrive in the orchestra. Musicians who successfully complete the first round will be invited to play a joint orchestra rehearsal. This way, current members of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic are involved in choosing their future fellow musicians and are able to shape the orchestra’s future.

For details of the applicaiton and further information, see here

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