Baltic Sea Festival presents seven personal talks on sustainability and music


What does ex-president Tarja Halonen, chief conductor Alan Gilbert, Sami pop artist Sofia Jannok and the adventurer Berta Tilmantaitė have in common? Well, they are a few of several well-known people in culture, politics and science who participate in discussions about sustainability, environment and culture during this year’s Baltic Sea Festival.

The international Baltic Sea Festival starts on 24 August. During seven festival days, world class classical music is combined with seven livestreamed conversations in which some of our region’s most interesting personalities meet. In Lithuania, the talks are held with one of Europe’s brightest composer stars Justė Janulytė and award-winning multimedia journalist Berta Tilmantaitė. After the conversation, a concert from the Berwaldhallen will be broadcasted live on a big screen.

“We strongly believe in the power of music – and how music has the ability to engage and bring people together. We want the Baltic Sea Festival to be a music festival where also the personal meeting has a place, and where the conversations highlight different aspects of sustainability within our own region,” says Svein Arne Østevik, Deputy General Manager of Berwaldhallen.
Our common ground is the sea that unites us – the Baltic Sea – and how culture, politics and science should work together to create a sustainable future for the Baltic Sea region. Conversations will take place in front of an audience in Hanaholmen – the Swedish Finnish culture center – in Helsinki, Arvo Pärt Center in Tallinn, Alandica in Mariehamn and the national libraries in Riga, Vilnius and Copenhagen.

The series of conversations start in Copenhagen and, after visiting all the capitals of the Baltic sea countries, end in Stockholm. At the Black Diamond, the Royal Library in Copenhagen, conductor Alan Gilbert meets the musician and TV personality Nikolaj Koppel. In Latvia, Dagnija Lejina, one of the founders of the Digital Freedom Festival, and Māris Gailis, businessman and former Prime Minister of Latvia, who also used to be the Minister of the Environment, are taking part in the talks.

When it is time for Lithuania, the award-winning Lithuanian journalist and filmmaker Berta Tilmantaitė talks to Lithuanian composer Justė Janulytė. The conversation will be held on 7pm 26 August at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania Conference Hall (no. 501).

In Estonia, the talks are held in the Arvo Pärt Centre with Tarmo Soomere, Head of the Estonian Academy of Sciences and researchers in marine meteorology, and Joonas Hellerma, an Estonian TV personality, film critic and cultural journalist.

At Hanaholmen in Helsinki, internationally acclaimed violinist Pekka Kuusisto talks to Tarja Halonen, formerly President of Finland.

Before the closing event in Stockholm the festival stops at Mariehamn on Åland. Here Tatiana Lanshina talks to the winner of the Baltic Sea Award – Jochen Lamp, a German environmental activist and head of the Baltic Sea Office at WWF Germany. Tatiana Lanshina is a research assistant within Economic Modeling of Energy and Ecology and coordinator in Russia for SDSN Youth.

The last talk in the series will be in Stockholm, live in the Berwaldhallen between Johan Kuylenstierna, natural geographer and vice president of the Climate Policy Council, and Sofia Jannok, award-winning Sami artist, songwriter and reindeer owner.

Festival’s talks are broadcast live for viewers in the Northern Europe and the Baltic states.

About the festival

The Baltic Sea Festival is an international music festival founded in 2003 and organized by Berwaldhallen Concert Hall, one of the Swedish Radio’s most important cultural institutions. In the seven festival days it offers world class classical music as a platform which opens up cross-border dialogues in order to create a sustainable future for the Baltic Sea region. This year the festival has a consistent water theme.
Berwaldhallen is Swedish Radio’s concert hall. All concerts in Berwaldhallen are broadcast live in Sweden’s Radio P2 and several of them also in Europe within the EBU collaboration.