Twenty years ago Gidon Kremer created ideal conditions for a musical revolution. The internationally acclaimed violinist unveiled his new initiative at Austria’s Lockenhaus Festival in the summer of 1997. The birth of Kremerata Baltica – comprising twenty-three outstanding young musicians from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – was greeted with a standing ovation. The orchestra has since captivated audiences worldwide with playing of unrestrained joy and programming of limitless imagination.
Kremerata Baltica arose from Gidon Kremer’s determination to share his rich experience with young colleagues from the Baltic States. The ensemble’s preparation process, which holds no room for artistic compromise, is ruled by a commitment to excellence and creative daring.
In addition to exploring works from the repertoire mainstream, Kremerata Baltica has also delivered world premieres of compositions by, among others, Lera Auerbach, Leonid Desyatnikov, Giya Kancheli, Arvo Pärt, Georgs Pēlecis, Alexander Raskatov, Valentin Silvestrov, Victor Kissine, Sofia Gubaidulina and Pēteris Vasks.
Kremerata Baltica’s repertoire breadth is reflected in an award-winning discography that spans everything from Mozart’s complete violin concertos with Gidon Kremer, Enescu’s Octet and Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Ballet to first recordings of music by Kancheli, Kissine and Pärt. After Mozart on Nonesuch Records won Grammy and ECHO Klassik awards in 2002, while albums of works by George Enescu and Mieczysław Weinberg have since secured Grammy Award nominations.
Kremerata Baltica has performed in over 50 countries, presenting over 1,000 concerts in 600 cities. It makes regular appearances at many concert series and festivals, including Berlin’s Schloss Neuhardenberg, Bavaria’s Schloss Elmau and the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival.
The ensemble has broadened its work in recent years to include “To Russia with Love”, a concert staged at Berlin’s Philharmonie in 2013 to promote the cause of human rights in Russia, and its latest creative project, “Pictures from the East”, a collaborative venture with Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr highlighting the desperate plight of refugees from conflicts in the Middle East.
Since 2003 Kremerata Baltica has held its own Festival in the Latvian hillside town of Sigulda.
Kremerata Baltica celebrates its 20th anniversary and Gidon Kremer’s 70th birthday year in 2016-17 with a nine-concert tour of the United States and an extensive Anniversary Tour of Europe under Maestro Kremer’s leadership.
Kremerata Baltica has been Kronberg Academy's Orchestra in Residence since February 2008.
Last updated: March 2017