On the day before the ‘Midnight Sun’ concert at the Philharmonie, the Baltic Sea Music Education Foundation organised a Talent Day in Berlin, when around 30 young musicians came to audition for the chance to join the orchestra on future tours. A panel of principals from the Baltic Sea Philharmonic listened to the applicants play solo in the morning, and then selected 20 to sit in and play during a full orchestra rehearsal in the afternoon – a fantastic opportunity for these players to experience the special chemistry and communication that comes with playing from memory.
On the ‘Midnight Sun’ tour itself, we welcomed several first-time members of the orchestra who had successfully auditioned at the Talent Days we held during our ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of the Baltic States, Finland and Russia in March. Russian violinist Zhanna Troitskaya said that the warm atmosphere at her audition in St. Petersburg encouraged ‘improvisation and the freedom to create music without fear or shame’. Being part of ‘Midnight Sun’, she added, was ‘the best experience of my musical life’, and ‘playing by heart opened up to me a new way of performing orchestral music’. Her fellow new violinist Jokūbas Švambaris, from Lithuania, said he had embraced the challenges of the Talent Day in Palanga: ‘The solo audition was calm, whereas the joint rehearsal was one of the craziest things I’ve done in an orchestra: I had never played the programme before, and Kristjan asked the musicians to play standing and so I just joined in. That was an amazing experience, and really motivated me to become a member of this orchestra.’
Check out our Facebook page for photos from the Berlin Talent Day