Innovative training ensemble Baltic Academies Orchestra aims to present high-level students from the Nordic region and the musical heritage of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to an international audience

Project initiated by Estonian music organisation GMF La Nota, Baltic Sea Philharmonic and national music academies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Baltic Academies Orchestra debuts in Tartu, Estonia, from 2 to 9 February 2018, with rehearsals, masterclasses and workshops Debut tour will mark the centenary of independence for Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia by including works by Vasks, Čiurlionis and Pärt

Participating students will have opportunity to audition for Baltic Sea Philharmonic

Berlin, 19 October 2017. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic has reinforced its commitment to developing young talent in the region by collaborating on the launch of a new ensemble that brings together some of Europe’s top music students. The Baltic Academies Orchestra (BAO) will have its debut on 2 to 9 February 2018 in Tartu, Estonia, with a week of intensive rehearsals, masterclasses and workshops, ahead of a tour of the Baltic States, Poland and Germany from 10 to 18 February 2018. Comprising students from the national academies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, together with students from, or studying, in the Baltic Sea countries, the BAO aims to bridge the gap between education and professional practice, giving high-level students new skills and experiences to help prepare them for their performing careers.

Through the BAO, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will continue the work of its Academy LAB, an intensive series of workshops and seminars for young orchestral players, which has run annually as part of the Baltic Sea Music Education Foundation’s teaching and development programme. All BAO participants will be able to audition for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, and thus have the chance to take their orchestral experience to the next level. In addition, students who are unable to attend for the full duration of the BAO education week will have the opportunity to audition for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic in Tartu on 7 and 8 February 2018. Online applications for the 2018 BAO programme are open until 20 November 2017 under [email protected]

In addition to showcasing the best young musicians from the Baltic Sea region, the BAO will champion the best of Baltic music. The orchestra’s debut tour will mark the centenary of independence for Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia by including works by the three nations’ most celebrated composers: Pēteris Vasks, M. K. Čiurlionis and Arvo Pärt.

Pathway to professionalism
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s Music Director, Kristjan Järvi, is a driving force behind the BAO and will be a central figure in its activities – sharing conducting duties in rehearsals and on tour, and leading a conducting masterclass. As well as developing students’ musical skills, Järvi takes a holistic approach to training young musicians, encouraging them to be entrepreneurial and open to new experiences, such as performing musical works from memory. He believes that a strong sense of national identity can be an asset for a musician, and says it’s important for artists to be aware of their cultural heritage. ‘Professionalism starts with understanding who you are and where you are from,’ he says. ‘In this sense, promoting your national music, whether it’s Estonian, Latvian or Lithuanian music, becomes a way of developing and promoting yourself.’

Järvi will be joined on the BAO’s launch programme by several of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s regular performance coaches, among them bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann (Estonia), violinist Jan Bjøranger (Norway) and trumpeter Charlie Porter (United States). Estonian percussionist Heigo Rosin, a Baltic Sea Philharmonic alumnus, will also be part of the BAO coaching team. Learning from such experienced musicians will help equip BAO participants for future professional opportunities, and is the perfect preparation for training and performing with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic.

A shared Nordic vision
The Baltic Academies Orchestra is a partnership between the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Estonian music organisation Global Music Facilities (GMF) La Nota, with the backing of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, and the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. The project is being financed by the governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and by other funders from each country. As the three nations prepare to celebrate the centenary of their independence in 2018, the BAO represents a major new cultural collaboration, presenting the greatest Baltic music and the most talented young Baltic musicians to the world, and exemplifying the energy and outward-looking character of the region.

Together, the BAO and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will form a dynamic hub of Nordic creativity, nurturing talented young performers on their journey from high-level students to professional musicians. The collaboration also aims to build networks between musicians and composers, audiences, educators, music therapists, producers and arts managers, with the BAO offering training opportunities to a wide range of emerging music professionals, in addition to its main focus on orchestral players.

Baltic Sea Philharmonic – a revolution in music and culture The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is a new paradigm for music making in the 21st century. Its concerts are a unique spectacle of sound, light, projection art and choreography, and its performances, under the electrifying baton of Music Director Kristjan Järvi, have a special passion and energy that’s infectious. But more than this, as a community of musicians from ten countries, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic transcends geographical and historical boundaries and has become a movement for bringing people together. Embodying all that is innovative and progressive about the Nordic region, this visionary ensemble is taking the traditional orchestral model further than ever before. ‘It is a living breathing creature, with boundless energy and enthusiasm for the new – an adventure in itself,’ says Kristjan Järvi.


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