The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is a new and old ensemble in one. It was founded only last year, but it draws upon the qualities and experience of the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic, which has won many fans since 2008 with its spirited performances and diverse programmes – not only at Young Euro Classic. The members of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic are still from the ten countries of the Baltic Sea region, from the Scandinavian to the Baltic States to Russia, Poland and Germany. Active members of the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic meet former orchestra members here; they are led by the vision to maintain and renew the cultural treasures of this region, for example by commissioning new works. Kristjan Järvi is the artistic director of both ensembles. This year’s programme, Waterworks, takes the Baltic Sea Philharmonic not only to Young Euro Classic, but also to Hamburg’s new Elbphilharmonie and to the Danish cultural capital of Aarhus.
The conductor Kristjan Järvi is one of the rather rare types of musician who are able to move between different genres with the ease of a virtuoso. Whether classical, jazz or hip hop: not least in conjunction with his various ensembles, the 45-year-old pursues a broad range of musical inclinations. Since 2012 he has been chief conductor of the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig; he also continues to lead the Absolute Ensemble in New York, which he founded. Born in the USA as the youngest son of the Estonian conductor Neeme Järvi, the conductor is tireless in his championship of contemporary music. He has commissioned more than 100 works, including from composers such as Arvo Pärt, Tan Dun and Erkki-Sven Tüür. Steve Reich and HK Gruber are among his artistic partners, as are Anoushka Shankar, Hauschka and Marcel Khalife. So far, Kristjan Järvi has released more than 60 albums, ranging from film scores for Cloud Atlas, A Hologram for the King and Sense 8 to the eponymous series The Kristjan Järvi Sound Project.
His first CD featuring violin concerti by Khachaturian and Barber, released in 2011, bore the telling title Two Souls. Indeed, there are two souls within the 32-year-old violinist Mikhail Simonyan. Born in Novosibirsk as the son of Armenian-Russian parents, he immigrated to the USA early in life, where he made his debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall at the age of 15. His teacher at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia was the Russian Victor Dansherenko, who had worked directly with Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Khachaturian as a young man. Since 2013 Simonyan has added the position of artistic director of the newly founded Kaluga Youth Symphony Orchestra in Moscow and president of the Open Sea Foundation to his concert engagements. The Open Sea Foundation supports more than a dozen musical projects, mainly in Russia, including concert performances of the operas Eugene Onegin and Carmen in Russia and Lithuania during recent years.
“Water Music“ (1717)
“Water Possessed“ (2017)
Concerto for Violin No. 2 “The American Four Seasons” (2009)
“Aguas da Amazonia“ (1993, arr. Charles Coleman)
We´re celebrating. Celebrate with us! At the traditional AUDIENCE PARTY after the concert.
7 pm: Pre-Concert Talk with Anne Kussmaul at the Werner-Otto-Saal
Free admission for ticket holders at 6:45 pm
Baltic Sea meets Amazon: the musicians of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic come from all the countries neighbouring the Baltic Sea, and this year the orchestra’s summer project is entitled Waterworks. Of course, any music lover immediately associates Handel’s Water Music – the Baltic Sea Philharmonic performs the popular piece alongside new works with such programmatic titles as Drenched by Charles Coleman and Water Possessed by Gene Pritsker. However, the Berlin concert will also feature the waves found in South American jungles. The American composer Philip Glass, a pioneer of minimal music, derived the music of his ballet score Aguas da Amazonia from the multi-faceted sounds and rhythms of the Amazon and its tributaries. Once again, the audience may look forward to a newly instrumented version for large symphony orchestra, performed by Kristjan Järvi and his Baltic Sea Philharmonic.