Going virtual for Shostakovich 7

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Before the COVID-19 crisis took hold in Europe, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic had been set to perform Shostakovich’s monumental Symphony No. 7 (the ‘Leningrad’) at the Berlin Konzerthaus on 9 May. The planned concert was part of Music for Peace to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. But with performances cancelled across the world because of the pandemic, Music for Peace became an online event, which premiered on 8 May. The centrepiece of the production was a ‘virtual orchestra’ recording of a 20-minute excerpt from the Shostakovich symphony’s first movement. The ambitious recording featured 108 Baltic Sea Philharmonic musicians in 18 countries, each of whom made audio and video recordings at home. All these recordings were then edited together to produce one epic video, which you can watch on our YouTube channel. Shostakovich composed the symphony while his beloved city of Leningrad was under siege in World War II, and the piece quickly became a symbol of freedom and defiance in the face of oppression and occupation. Our new recording carries a message of peace, strength and solidarity at a time when so many millions around the world have been under lockdown.

Shostakovich composed the symphony while his beloved city of Leningrad was under siege in World War II, and the piece quickly became a symbol of freedom and defiance in the face of oppression and occupation. Our new recording carries a message of peace, strength and solidarity at a time when so many millions around the world have been under lockdown.

With the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s June tour of ‘Midnight Sun’ postponed until 2021, we have more new digital projects coming up soon. Look out in the early summer on our social media channels for Musical Chain. This innovative online campaign will feature Baltic Sea Philharmonic musicians and creative collaborators coming together for a series of musical-chain videos, in which, for example, a popular piece of classic music is rewritten.


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