New classics and magnificent symphonies – many highlights at the 13:th Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm

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STOCKHOLM (18 August 2015) – Magnificent, symphonic music – but also new classics – are set to dominate the thirteenth Baltic Sea Festival. The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra with Kent Nagano recognises the 150:th anniversary of Nielsen and Sibelius. Tchaikovsky, whose 175:th anniversary is celebrated this year, is honoured with an orchestral version of the Nutcracker performed by the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, conducted by Valery Gergiev. 

New music has always represented an important part of the Baltic Sea Festival, and the Swedish premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Karawane will take place during the week. The festival this year also recognises the 80th anniversary of composer and living legend Arvo Pärt. Schönberg’s Gurrelieder performed by two symphony orchestras and singers from six choirs provides a grand finale to the festival week.

“We are proud to also this year present fantastic artists and orchestras from around the whole Baltic Sea region as well as world-class music experiences,” said Michael Tydén, festival director and cofounder of the Baltic Sea Festival. “Environment, leadership and music represent the key pillars of the festival. The Baltic Sea, our mutual and highly vulnerable inland sea, represents the whole region’s circulatory system and unites us across national borders. Cooperation and dialogue is the key to our future.”


24 August:          
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, with principal guest conductor Kent Nagano, soloist Martin Fröst, clarinet. The programme celebrates the 150-year anniversary of Nielsen and Sibelius.

25 August:          
The 175-year anniversary of Tchaikovsky is celebrated with a concert with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev, and young winners from the International Tchaikovsky competition.

26 August:          
Orchestral version of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev

27 August:          
Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts – for the first time in Sweden – his own work Karawane together with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Swedish Radio Choir.

28 August:          
The Nordic Symphony Orchestra presents works by Saariaho, Tüur, Vasks and Shostakovich, conducted by Anu Tali.

29 August:          
The Kiev Chamber Choir at Musikaliska Concert Hall on with Ukrainian and Russian orthodox and folk music by Silvéstrov and Polevá.

Celebration of 80 years of the living legend and future classic Arvo Pärt. On the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra performs Pärt’s four symphonies and Swansong, conducted by Tōnu Kaljuste.

30 August:          
Musikaliska Concert Hall, Stockholm Wind Ensemble and their Desperate Housewives honouring composers Alma Mahler and Clara Schumann, among others, conducted by Hans Ek.

Schönberg’s Gurrelieder performed by an orchestra compiled of musicians from the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, together with singers from six choirs, in total about 300 artists on stage, at Stockholm Concert Hall. Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen.


Open seminars on the festival’s three pillars – music, environment and leadership – will be held during the week. All seminars are held mainly in Swedish, in the upper foyer of Berwaldhallen, at 17.00-18.30.

August 24:          
“Art as a threat and liberator” – Seminar arranged by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) and Swedish Radio on Russian cultural politics. The seminar has its roots in the research project “Art and Protest in Putin’s Russia”.

August 26           
“What does art mean for the development of democracy and open societies?" – Seminar arranged by The Nordic Council, the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Swedish Radio.

August 28:          
“The Baltic Sea – a sea of possibilities.” A special event with focus on sustainable blue economy in the Baltic Sea Region, arranged by the festival’s partners Swedish World Wildlife Fund WWF in cooperation with Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Raoul Wallenberg Academy Differencemakers.


Children from El Sistema return to the festival this year. The environmental fundraising initiative together with WWF and Radiohjälpen “Help us help the Baltic Sea” continues.

The Baltic Sea Festival 2015 takes place over seven days, 24–30 August. For detailed programme, bios and ticket information please visit:

Press accreditation, photos, etc.
Carin Balfe Arbman, Press Officer for the Baltic Sea Festival, mobile: +46 (0)70 633 35 08, e-mail:

The Baltic Sea Festival is an annually recurring international music festival, which was founded in 2003 by Michael Tydén, former director of Berwaldhallen in Stockholm, Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor and composer, and Valery Gergiev, conductor and director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. The Baltic Sea Festival acts within three key areas – music, environment and leadership – with the aim of creating a better future for the Baltic Sea region.



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