Talent Tour in March held in parallel with orchestra’s ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Russia featuring some 70 applicants from across all instrument groups
Innovative audition process combined solo round and full orchestra rehearsal
Nine-strong panel of orchestra principals led each Talent Day – giving current musicians key role in choosing future colleagues
BERLIN - The Baltic Sea Philharmonic combined its ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Russia in March with a successful recruiting drive, auditioning some of the region’s best young musical talent on its Talent Tour 2019. The orchestra regularly auditions musicians from throughout the Baltic Sea region in order to renew and refresh the pool of outstanding players who perform with the orchestra on tour. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic works with the region’s top conservatoires to recruit the best and brightest musicians, who are usually aged between 18 to 28. From 8 to 19 March, a total of 70 players from across all the orchestral instrumental groups came to audition at Talent Days in Palanga, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki and St. Petersburg. A further Talent Day will be held in Berlin on 27 June 2019. Successful candidates will join the orchestra’s player pool and will have the chance to be invited on tours with the orchestra as early as summer 2019 for its ‘Midnight Sun’ or ‘Divine Geometry’ tours.
A new kind of audition
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic, under its visionary conductor Kristjan Järvi, has established a reputation as a boundary-breaking ensemble, through its commitment to playing major orchestral works by heart and through innovations such as immersive concert experiences that feature cutting-edge lighting, sound design and projection art. It should therefore come as no surprise that the orchestra’s auditioning process is special too. Applicants had the opportunity to shine in a solo first round, but also in a new second round in which they joined a full orchestra rehearsal. And because the Talent Tour is being held as open auditions, all interested musicians were able to listen to the first-round auditions and full orchestra rehearsals, even if they themselves were not auditioning. For young conservatoire players eager to learn more about the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, these rehearsals are a window on the orchestra’s world, and a unique chance to see how this convention-busting ensemble works.
A significant part of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s mission is to empower the musicians and develop their entrepreneurial and leadership skills. The Talent Tour audition process strongly reflected this, in that it was led by nine of the orchestra’s principals. Although Järvi listened to each applicant perform solo and conducted the full orchestra rehearsals, the panel of principal musicians had a leading role in choosing their future fellow players. Principal violist Marzena Malinowska, from Poland, explained the panel’s approach: ‘We were trying to take musicians out of their comfort zones – not in search of failure or perfection, but to see who they really are as people. We let them show and share their passion, and we asked them to do things, such as playing by heart, that they might have thought that they were incapable of doing – in order to show that crossing mental boundaries is fun. When the audition itself becomes an experience that teaches you something, and lets you discover new things in yourself, then the final result does not matter quite so much.’
For 18-year-old flute player Margarete Galinka, a student at the Gnessin Moscow Special School of Music who auditioned at the Talent Day in St. Petersburg, the experience was both refreshing and inspirational. ‘I had never played an orchestral piece like Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty by heart in an audition before, so that was a very unusual and exciting opportunity,’ she said. ‘Also, this was the first audition where I felt truly comfortable, because the panel was so warm and encouraging. It felt from the beginning like we were friends, like we could speak freely and improvise together. The atmosphere in the audition was wonderful.’
Talent Tour to continue in Berlin in June
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic will hold a further Talent Day in Berlin on 27 June 2019, during its ‘Midnight Sun’ tour to Berlin and Hamburg in June and July. The application deadline for this audition is 15 May. The Berlin Talent Day will be held as a first-round audition only, but all applicants are invited to visit the orchestra’s dress rehearsal at the Berlin Philharmonie on 26 June. More details about the Talent Tour 2019 can be found on the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s website at www.baltic-sea- philharmonic.eu/talenttour2019/.
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; its passion for playing orchestral works from memory transforms the musical experience for both players and audiences; and its performances, under the electrifying baton of Music Director Kristjan Järvi, have a special passion and energy that’s infectious. But even more than this, as a community of musicians from ten Nordic 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.
Alexander Datz, Press Officer, Baltic Sea Music Education Foundation e.V.
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