THE 'WATERWORKS' PROJECT
25 AUG | 20:00:00 | 2017
The Open Sea Foundation has become the official partner of the ‘Waterworks’ project that will be represented as a tour of Baltic Sea Philharmonic led by conductor Kristjan Jarvi.
The orchestra was born out of the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic (BYP), which was formed in 2008, and brings together leading orchestral musicians from the ten countries of the Baltic Sea region – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden. Under the leadership of Founding Conductor and Music Director Kristjan Järvi, the ensemble performs wide-ranging repertoire from across the region, both classical masterpieces and special commissions from emerging composers, in celebration of the region’s cultural diversity.
Kristjan Järvi has ‘earned a reputation as one of the canniest, and most innovative, programmers on the classical scene.’ [Reuters]
Curating and conducting his original, genre-fusing projects and festivals with an individual approach and style, his concerts have been proclaimed a ‘life-enhancing experience.’ [Herald Scotland]
Born in Estonia, Kristjan Järvi emigrated to the United States as a child and grew up in New York City. He realises his pioneering ideas with four ensembles: as Music Director of the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Gstaad Festival Orchestra, as Founder-Conductor of his New York-based classical-hip-hop- jazz group Absolute Ensemble, and as Founder and Music Director of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic he now leads both the oldest Radio Orchestra in Europe and the newest young musicians’ orchestra.
Jarvi works with some of today’s brightest creative minds, from film directors Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis, to composers and artists Arvo Pärt, Steve Reich, Tan Dun, Hauschka, Dhafer Youssef, Anoushka Shankar and Esa-Pekka Salonen, with whom he started his career as Assistant Conductor at the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
‘Waterworks’, a nine-date tour of Germany and Denmark, which starts in Hattingen on 5 May and ends in Hamburg on 29 August with a concert at the dazzling new Elbphilharmonie. ‘Waterworks’ celebrates both the life-giving power of water and the way we are connected by the planet’s rivers and oceans.
The tour takes us back to some familiar places: to the Danish Radio Concert Hall in Copenhagen, to the Konzerthaus in Berlin, and also to Peenemünde on the Baltic Sea island of Usedom, where our story began in 2008. But there are plenty of firsts too, including a performance in Aarhus as it celebrates its year as European Capital of Culture, and our closing concert at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, a fitting final destination with its stunning wave-topped facade mirroring the movement of water in the harbour it overlooks.
As on previous visits to Denmark, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will give a series of school concerts during the ‘Waterworks’ tour as part of Danish Radio’s ‘Into the Music’ project. Every year this ground-breaking scheme brings thousands of schoolchildren from rural Denmark to major urban concert halls, to experience what for many of them is their first live orchestral performance.
The repertoire for ‘Waterworks’ includes a special arrangement of Handel’s Water Music and a new orchestration of Philip Glass’s Aguas da Amazonia. Philip Glass turned 80 in January this year, and we’re celebrating his birthday in the ‘Waterworks’ programmenot only with Aguas da Amazonia but also with his Violin Concerto No. 2 The American Four Seasons, for which we’ll be joined by Russian-born virtuoso Mikhail Simonyan.
Kristjan Järvi wanted to do something extra special to celebrate the 80th birthday of Philip Glass, the renowned American composer of minimalist music (or ‘music with repetitive structures’ to use Glass’s preferred terminology). Kristjan had fallen in love with Glass's Aguas da Amazonia when he first heard it performed by the experimental Brazilian group UAKTI. Originally conceived in the 1990s as a dance score for a ballet company in Belo Horizonte, the music is inspired by the great Amazon river and its tributaries, and is influenced by folklore, jazz and New Age elements.When Kristjan was planning the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s repertoire for 2017 and developing his idea of fusing music with lighting and projection art, he knew that Aguas da Amazonia would be perfect for the ‘Waterworks’ tour.
What makes this tour even more special is the way it will be shaking up the concert experience. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is collaborating with lighting designer Bertil Mark, projection artist Philipp Geist and sound designer Chris Ekers to immerse audiences in a thrilling world of music, light, images and sound. Kristjan says: ‘I want to create an atmosphere from the moment a concert goerenters the space. The audience should feel as if they are suddenly entering a new dimension, a world where anything is possible.’