Monday 27 February 2017

Looking ahead: the Baltic Sea Philharmonic's Waterworks

Kristjan Jarvi, Baltic Sea Philharmonic - Waterworks - (c) Peter Adamik
Kristjan Jarvi, Baltic Sea Philharmonic - Waterworks - (c) Peter Adamik
The brainchild of Kristjan Järvi, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic brings together up to 100 young musicians in an orchestra which involves musicians from all ten Baltic countries and seeks to tour them too. Kristjan Järvi's concerns though are not just musical, he seeks to bring Baltic peoples of all cultures and traditions together, and to campaign for the environment.

In person Kristjan Järvi is powerfully charismatic (see my interview with him), and when I talked to him last year he was full of exciting plans for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic's 2017 tour. This is entitled Waterworks, and combines music by Handel and Philip Glass. The orchestra will be taking the programme on tour in May and in August 2017, visiting Hattingen in Germany, Copenhagen and Aarhus in Denmark (Aarhus is the 2017 European Capital of Culture), Berlin, the Usedom (the island in the Baltic), Lutherstadt Wittenberg (2017 being the 500th anniversary of the Reformation), and the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg.

True to Kristjan Järvi's concern to include environmental concerns in his programmes, Waterworks celebrates the life giving properties of water with arrangements of Handel's Water Music, Philip Glass's Violin Concerto No. 2, The American Four Season (with violinist Mikhail Simonyan) and a new arrangement of Philip Glass's Aguas da Amazonas by Charles Coleman, a celebration of the multiple facets of the Amazon River.

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic's concerts are always more than simply a concert experience, and Waterworks to be an immersive experience with lighting, projections and sound production. and they have teamed up with projection artist Philipp Geist and lighting designer Bertil Mark.

Kristjan Järvi said of the tour: 'The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is the one single Nordic cultural export that unifies all ten countries that surround the Baltic Sea. From Norway to Russia, whether they are in the EU or not, whether they're North or South, we're all connected by this incredible body of water'.

Full details of the Waterworks tour from the Baltic Sea Philharmonic's website.

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