Berwaldhallen Celebrates 40 Years with a Jubilee Season and a Pioneering Baltic Sea Festival

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An innovative, international Baltic Sea Festival starts the season in Swedish Radio’s concert hall, Berwaldhallen. The 2019/2020 season of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Swedish Radio Choir continues, with musical story-telling as the theme. The year of Berwaldhallen’s 40th birthday is celebrated with a number of concerts, the pinnacle being a gala concert in November. The season ends with a proper dose of Beethoven – who turns 250 this year – with Missa Solemnis and the mighty Symphony No. 9 under Daniel Harding's leadership. World-famous cellist Truls Mørk is the season’s Artist-in-residence.

Conductors Klaus Mäkelä and Herbert Blomstedt, soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan, cellist Truls Mörk and mezzo Anne Sofie von Otter are some of the musicians in the 2019/20 season in Berwaldhallen.

This year’s Baltic Sea Festival takes the step across the ocean, tying the Baltic Sea countries together in a new way. The programme includes seven festival days with top class music – and seven conversations where interesting personalities from the Baltic Sea region meet to talk about sustainability and music. The conversations, which take place in front of audiences in towns and cities around the Baltic Sea, are an integrated part of the festival, and will be broadcast live for audiences in the host cities and in the Berwaldhallen Hall, before the concerts. See separate press release about the Baltic Sea Festival 2019- >

The story of Berwaldhallen gets a new chapter in the autumn of 2019, when the building, which has been Swedish Radio’s concert hall and its biggest radio studio, turns 40. The music from the inaugural concert in November 1979, with both the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Swedish Radio Choir, returns and is complemented by new music composed especially for the jubilee by Swedish-American composer Molly Kien. Mahler’s spectacular third symphony with Anne Sofie von Otter as the soloist, and a big, TV-broadcast gala concert with several musical surprises are some of the highlights of the jubilee.

Allowing audiences to discover new music has been an important part of Berwaldhallen’s mission since the start. The new season focusses especially on orchestral and choral music by Australian composer Brett Dean. During the season, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and their principal trombonist Håkan Björkman will perform a new trombone concerto by Sven-David Sandström. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra has commissioned a new piece for the 75th jubilee of Pippi Longstocking, based on the film music, by Benjamin Staern.

World-famous cellist Truls Mørk will be Berwaldhallen’s Artist-in-residence in the 2019/2020 season, with his first appearance within the Baltic Sea festival. Both the Swedish Radio Choir and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra will be visited by a long line of world-famous artists, making the concerts something extra special; Ann Hallenberg, Håkan Hardenberger, Barbara Hannigan, Veronika Eberle, Pekka Kuusisto, Herbert Blomstedt, and Jukka-Pekka Saraste.

The Swedish Radio Choir will, during the season, be led by a significant number of conductors – former principal conductors Peter Dijkstra and Tönu Kaljuste, as well as the hottest choral conductor in the UK, Nigel Short, Lithuanian Giedré Slekyte and Andrew Manze among others. It will be a season with an unusual amount of highlights from the a cappella repertoire, from Thomas Tallis’ 40-part Spem in Alium to Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms. Together with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the choir will perform Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor, led by Herbert Blomstedt, and 250-year-old Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Symphony No. 9 under Daniel Harding.

The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Swedish Radio Choir also have a season characterised by musical story-telling in front of them. The ballet music for Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty, Elgar’s mighty The Dream of Gerontius, Sibelius’ Lämminkäinen Suite, and the stories of strong characters Scheherezade and Pippi Longstocking are some of the musical characterisations.

Tours in the 2019/2020 Season

In September, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Radio Choir will appear at the Anima Mundi festival in Pisa, where Daniel Harding has been the artistic director since 2018, performing Brahm’s Requiem. The Radio Choir will go on a two-week tour of Japan in November, led by their former principal conductor, Peter Dijkstra. In the spring of 2019, the Radio Choir will go on a European tour with a concertante version of Beethoven’s opera Fidelio, with world-famous soprano Nina Stemme as the soloist. In February, both ensembles will do a guest performance at Hamburg’s enormous concert hall Elbphilharmonie with Daniel Harding.

-   This is Berwaldhallen’s 40th jubilee season and it has been fun to plan different musical celebrations! says Christian Thompson, Head of Artistic Planning. Storytelling has also become a thematic thread. We also bring our two internationally acclaimed ensembles as close together as possible, sharing the same artistic vision.  And of course we have planned for thought-provoking and inspiring musical experiences, every week something new, he continues.

-   I have never had a concert with the Radio Symphonists where they didn’t play like their life depended on it! Today, I feel that the orchestra’s way of playing music is very close to my own. We have influenced each other, and we have developed together, says Daniel Harding, Music Director and Artistic Director for the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

-   For 40 years, Berwaldhallen has been the Swedish cultural scene with music that reaches out widely from north to south, and it’s a place that we’re very proud of. Strengthening Berwaldhallen’s profile as the Swedish Radio Concert Hall and thus every Swede’s concert hall, will be an important part of the jubilee celebrations, says Cilla Benkö, CEO of Swedish Radio.

Today, on the 24thof April, the subscriptions to the new concert season in the Berwaldhallen are released. One big piece of news is that the concerts of the Baltic Sea Festival will also be part of the subscription series. Individual tickets for the Baltic Sea Festival 2019 are also released today.

Karl Thorson
Press- & PR-ansvarig / Press & PR Manager
Berwaldhallen | Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester | Radiokören
08-784 18 30 | 070-431 18 93

Sveriges Radios konserthus Berwaldhallen
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