The Baltic Youth Philharmonic (founded in 2008) is part of a much larger and bolder enterprise embracing the 10 nation states bordering the Baltic Sea. At a time of financial duress when governments are downgrading culture as a low priority the BYP is forging ahead with privately funded and ever more ambitious schemes whose aim is to celebrate the national identity and cultural diversity of its members as surely as it seeks to develop unity between them.
The BYP’s director, Kristjan Järvi, speaks of creating “new vibes” in order to instill an open and lively approach to music and music-making. Music, he insists, is part of a broader cultural canvas which in turn should be at the very heart of education. Estonian born but raised in America (and part of a distinguished conducting dynasty) Järvi knows what it is to be “in the groove” of a multi-cultural society and his passionate advocacy of music’s “pluralism” makes him a natural communicator for the cause. “A New Voice in the North” is how the project has been billed; Järvi is making sure it’s heard.