Orchestra will perform new programme from memory at Berlin Philharmonie on 26 June and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie on 2 July

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.