‘MUSIC FOR PEACE’ PROJECT FEATURES BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC’S VIRTUAL ORCHESTRA RECORDING OF SHOSTAKOVICH’S SYMPHONY NO. 7

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi have collaborated with the Open Sea Foundation from Russia on an ambitious project marking 75 years since the end of World War II in Europe. The new project, titled Music for Peace, will premiere online on 8 May, and features a virtual orchestra recording by the Baltic Sea Philharmonic of music from Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7, the ‘Leningrad’. The orchestra had been due to perform the symphony at the Berlin Konzerthaus on 9 May, in one of five simultaneous live Music for Peace events across Europe. But with the concerts cancelled because of COVID-19, 108 musicians from the Baltic Sea Philharmonic each made their own recording at home of a 20-minute excerpt from the symphony’s first movement. All the recordings were then brought together using the latest audio and video technology to create a virtual orchestra performance with Kristjan Järvi conducting.

Music for Peace premieres online on Friday 8 May at 2pm Berlin time / 3pm Moscow time at the Facebook and YouTube social media channels of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic.

Shostakovich completed his epic Seventh Symphony in December 1941, having been evacuated from his beloved home city of Leningrad, which was under siege by Nazi forces. A microfilm of the score was smuggled out of Russia and the symphony quickly became popular in the Soviet Union and the West as a symbol of freedom and defiance in the face of oppression and occupation. The symphony was heroically performed in Leningrad amid the direst of conditions on 9 August 1942. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s new recording brings together musicians from 18 countries, both in the Nordic region and elsewhere across the world, and carries with it a message of peace, strength and solidarity at a time when so many millions of people are under lockdown.

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TALENT TOUR 2020 DATES IN BERLIN AND ST. PETERSBURG CANCELLED

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic, like so many creative organisations around the world, continues to face an unprecedented situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. Owing to travel restrictions and bans on large public gatherings, the orchestra’s ‘Midnight Sun’ tour in June through Germany and Russia is postponed to March 2021. Unfortunately, this means that the Talent Tour 2020 that was included in the tour, with dates in Berlin on 22 June and in St. Petersburg on 29 June, will also have to be cancelled.

In the meantime, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic is working on alternatives to these dates, with alternative formats also under consideration. As soon as there is more information, an update will be announced on the website and on the orchestra’s social media channels.

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC POSTPONES ‘MIDNIGHT SUN’ TOUR TO MARCH 2021, AND LAUNCHES UNIQUE ONLINE PROJECTS

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic continues to face an unprecedented situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. Owing to travel restrictions and bans on large public gatherings, the orchestra has sadly had to postpone its first major tour of 2020, ‘Midnight Sun’. Originally planned to run from 20 June to 1 July, with concerts in Szczecin (Poland) and Berlin, at the Kissinger Sommer Festival in Germany, and in St. Petersburg and Chelyabinsk in Russia, the tour has been rescheduled for March 2021. ‘Midnight Sun’ concerts will now take place in Szczecin on 12 March, at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg on 14 March, and in Berlin on 15 March.

While the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi are still scheduled to undertake their ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of Germany, Italy and Sweden in September 2020, the orchestra is constantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation and consulting regularly with concert presenters. But the orchestra is not silently waiting for live performances to resume. Beginning this month, it will launch a range of innovative online projects showcasing the creativity, the musical energy, and the solidarity of this unique international ensemble. From Music for Peace, a virtual orchestra of 108 musicians performing Shostakovich’s ‘Leningrad’ Symphony, to Musical Chain, a series of musical-chain performances featuring members of the orchestra and artistic collaborators, Kristjan and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will use technology to bring the unique atmosphere of their live performances into homes around the world.

‘Midnight Sun’ to shine again in 2021

‘Midnight Sun’ is a spectacular reinvention of the concert experience, inspired by the Nordic summertime phenomenon of the never-setting sun. The programme features an eclectic selection of works by composers including Rautavaara, Pärt, Kristjan Järvi, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. With no music stands on stage, and the musicians able to stand and move and interact with each other, the orchestra uses memorisation and choreography to achieve a remarkable freedom and energy in performance. When ‘Midnight Sun’ debuted in Berlin in 2019, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic was acclaimed by audiences and critics for the originality of its presentation, with the musicians praised for the commitment and joy of their playing. Although this year’s tour sadly cannot go ahead, ‘Midnight Sun’ will return in March 2021 with three performances in Poland and Germany; further performances in this period may be possible, but are not yet confirmed. Tickets already purchased for the 23 June 2020 ‘Midnight Sun’ performance at the Berlin Philharmonie will be valid for the new Berlin date (on 15 March 2021), or they can be returned for refunds.

New online projects offer light in dark times

Until the orchestra can once again perform on stage, it will take its musical mission of international collaboration online, with a series of innovative digital projects. The first of these is Music for Peace, an ambitious 15-minute ‘virtual orchestra’ performance of an excerpt from the first movement of Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony, the ‘Leningrad’. Produced in collaboration with the Open Sea Foundation to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, Music for Peace will premiere online on 8 May. In place of a live performance of the ‘Leningrad’ Symphony that was set to take place at the Berlin Konzerthaus on 9 May, the new digital production brings together sound and video recordings made by 108 musicians in their homes.

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi, in collaboration with Sunbeam Productions, are also working on another new digital project called Musical Chain, to be launched in early summer. This dedicated online campaign is inspired by historic human chains, such as the Baltic Way, which was a peaceful political demonstration on 23 August 1989 when around two million people joined hands to form a human chain across the three Baltic states. Musical Chain will feature musicians from the Baltic Sea Philharmonic joining with creative collaborators for a series of musical-chain videos, in which, for example, a piece of music is transformed by one performer after another, or new pieces are composed by different musicians on the same theme.

‘Midnight Sun’ – March 2021
Friday, 12 March 2021, 8pm, Szczecin (Philharmonie), Poland
Sunday, 14 March 2021, 8pm, Hamburg (Elbphilharmonie), Germany
Monday, 15 March 2020, 8.30pm, Berlin (Philharmonie), Germany

Baltic Sea Philharmonic &
Kristjan Järvi

Programme to include music by Rautavaara, Pärt, Kristjan Järvi, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky

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Sony Classical to release new CD featuring violinist David Nebel and Kristjan Järvi together with Baltic Sea Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s second recording for Sony Classical is set for release on 1 May 2020. The new CD pairs violin concertos by Igor Stravinsky and Philip Glass. Swiss violinist David Nebel is the soloist in both works, with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s Founding Conductor and Music Director Kristjan Järvi conducting the orchestra in the Stravinsky concerto and the London Symphony Orchestra in the Glass concerto. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic recorded the Stravinsky concerto in the Great Amber Concert Hall in Liepaja, Latvia The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s debut release for Sony Classical was 2016’s The Ring: An Orchestral Adventure, an arrangement for orchestra of Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

Violinist David Nebel has been a close collaborator with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic for a number of years. Having partnered the orchestra and Kristjan Järvi for the Stravinsky concerto recording, Nebel joined the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s giving the world premiere of Lithuanian composer Gediminas Gelgotas’s Violin Concerto on 7 July 2018 at the Kissinger Sommer festival in Bad Kissingen, Germany. The violinist returned as soloist for the orchestra’s March 2019 ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Russia, performing Kristjan Järvi’s Aurora, Pēteris Vasks’s Lonely Angel, and the Gelgotas concerto.

Nebel shares a passion for contemporary music with Kristjan Järvi and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic. The Gelgotas concerto was the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s third world premiere of the composer’s music, after Never Ignore the Cosmic Ocean in 2012 and Mountains. Waters. (Freedom) in 2015. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic has also given world premieres of works by composers Daniel Schnyder and Severi Pyysalo, and Järvi regularly conducts the orchestra in music by major contemporary composers such as Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt, Krzysztof Penderecki and Erkki-Sven Tüür. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic has a particular affinity, too, for the music of Stravinsky, Glass and Reich: in 2017 the orchestra gave the first ever completely memorised performance of Stravinsky’s The Firebird (in its 1945 orchestral version) and also performed a new orchestration of Glass’s Aguas da Amazonia; and in 2019 The orchestra gave the German premiere of Steve Reich’s first composition for orchestra after 30 years – a commission of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic together with such renowned orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Born in 1996, Nebel shares the free-spirited dynamism and youthful energy of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic musicians. He has described the collaboration as ‘inspiring and a lot of fun at the same time’, adding: ‘The players are great musicians, and they understand how I feel about the music. There is always a good atmosphere when we’ve worked together. The musicians always give their best and I can feel how much they enjoy the experience.’ Järvi describes the violinist as ‘probably the sincerest musician I know’, and is already planning more Baltic Sea Philharmonic collaborations with him for the near future.

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC TO HOLD SPECIAL AUDITIONS IN JUNE 2020 FOR NORDIC REGION’S BEST AND BRIGHTEST MUSICAL TALENTS

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s international reputation as a boundary-busting, free-spirited ensemble has got the best and brightest musicians wanting to be a part of this Nordic success story. This year the orchestra is seeking out the Nordic region’s top musical talent, and with its Talent Tour 2020 will hold auditions in Berlin (22 June) and St. Petersburg (29 June) during the orchestra’s ‘Midnight Sun’ tour of Germany and Russia. Applications for the Talent Tour are now open, and musicians have until 15 April 2020 to apply.

This year’s Talent Tour follows a major recruitment drive in 2019, when the orchestra auditioned some some 100 musicians aged 18 to 28. Successful applicants joined the Baltic Sea Philharmonic membership pool of outstanding players, and have had the opportunity to tour under the visionary leadership of conductor Kristjan Järvi, performing inspirational music from memory in some of the most renowned concert halls in Europe.

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is a uniquely innovative ensemble, renowned for playing from memory and for pioneering immersive concert experiences, and musicians applying to join the orchestra can expect an equally innovative auditioning experience. Applicants will have the opportunity to shine in a solo first round, and, at the Talent Day in Berlin, will also be able to join a full orchestra rehearsal. The joint rehearsal will be open to the public, so all interested musicians are invited to listen, even if they are not auditioning themselves. For young conservatoire players eager to learn more about the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, such a rehearsal is like a window on the orchestra’s world, and is an amazing chance to see how this ensemble works with Kristjan.

The Talent Tour is just as empowering for the orchestra’s musicians as it is for the players auditioning, in that the Baltic Sea Philharmonic principals are the ones choosing their future colleagues. The orchestra’s principal musicians will lead the nine-strong audition panel for the first-round auditions, and along with Kristjan will help make the final selection decisions. Therefore the players themselves have a major role in the orchestra’s evolution. And in doing so they further develop their leadership skills.

Principal violist Marzena Malinowska, from Poland, explained the positive philosophy at the heart of the Talent Tour auditions: ‘We are trying to get players out of their comfort zone not in search of failure or perfection, but to see who they really are as people. We let them do what they love, to show and share their passion, and then we ask them to do things they might have thought they couldn’t do, to show that crossing mental boundaries is fun. When the audition itself becomes an experience that teaches you something and lets you discover new things in yourself, then the final official result doesn’t matter so much.’

String, wind, brass and percussion players who want to apply for the Talent Days in Berlin on 22 June or St. Petersburg on 29 June must be between the ages of 18 and 28; hold a passport from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia or Sweden; and be enrolled in a music academy anywhere in the world. Alternatively, applicants can be international students enrolled in a music academy in one of the ten countries of the Baltic Sea region. Erasmus students enrolled in a music academy in one of the ten above-mentioned countries are also welcome. The application deadline is 15 April 2020.

For full details of the Talent Tour audition process, rules and regulations, and how to apply, see www.baltic-sea-philharmonic.eu/talenttour2020/

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TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE FOR BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC’S ‘MIDNIGHT SUN’ CONCERT EXPERIENCE AT BERLIN PHILHARMONIE ON 23 JUNE 2020

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi return to the Berlin Philharmonie on 23 June 2020 with ‘Midnight Sun’, a spectacular reinvention of the concert experience inspired by the phenomenon of the never-setting sun. With the orchestra performing the entire concert from memory, joined by acclaimed Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen as soloist, and with an eclectic programme of works by Rautavaara, Pärt, Max Richter, Kristjan Järvi, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, ‘Midnight Sun’ will be an unmissable summer event. Tickets for the concert, a cooperation with the Berlin international music festival Young Euro Classic, are available now.

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

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

The Berlin Philharmonie concert experience on 23 June 2020 is part of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s first major European tour of 2020. Further ‘Midnight Sun’ performances take place at the Kissinger Sommer festival in Bad Kissingen on 26 June, and at the Stars of the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg on 28 June.

For more details of ‘Midnight Sun’ at the Berlin Philharmonie, and for the full Baltic Sea Philharmonic concert calendar, see https://baltic-sea-philharmonic.eu/music/concerts-schedule/.

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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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