ìMusic is a universal language, it has no political leanings, and it effortlessly crosses the language barrier to reach people everywhere. That is why a major festival of this kind can develop unity around the Baltic Sea.î With these words Esa-Pekka Salonen describes the aim of the Baltic Sea Festival which will take place from August 19-22 in Stockholm this year. The festival that was held for the first time last summer received much international critical acclaim presenting music and musicians from Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Russia, Denmark and Germany. The Financial Times wrote: "The Baltic Sea Festival more than proved its artistic worthiness as a contender in the annual summer marathon of European music festivals.î (September 4, 2003)
The artistic director Esa-Pekka Salonen together with Valery Gergiev and the organizer Swedish Radio Berwaldhallen invited a number of internationally renowned artists from around the Baltic Sea to Stockholm. Along with Salonen, artists such as Valery Gergiev will perform at the festival: ìThis kind of festival does not only offer fantastic possibilities for musicians and audience but also leaves plenty of space for political and socio-critical discussion.î Gergiev will give two performances with the Mariinsky Theater at the Royal Opera as well as a concert at the Berwaldhallen:
Michael TydÈn, Chief of the Berwaldhallen and together with Salonen initiator of the festival, is very happy that the festival can be presented with a first class program also this year. îThis festival is important in many ways, not just musically. It unifies the countries boardering on the Baltic Sea which is especially significant now that the new countries have joined the European Union.î The theme of the Baltic Sea Festival is music and nature. Once again the World Wildlife Fund will have a seminar focusing on the Baltic Sea.