Kristjan Järvi conducts orchestra in completely memorised programme inspired by Nordic phenomenon of never-setting sun

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