Salonen, the Finnish music director of the Los Angles Philharmonic; Gergiev, artistic director of St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre, and Michael Tyd_n, head of the Stockholm venue Berwaldhallen, created the festival to encourage musical relationships among the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea. This year, concerts will take place in Turku and Helsinki in Finland, Tallinn in Estonia, and Gdansk in Poland, as well as at the Berwaldhallen, the festival's home base.
"This year's festival is beginning to bring us close to the crazy dream we had on a late June night in St. Petersburg in 1999," Salonen said in a statement. "It was a kind of utopia we started developing, the idea that lots of musicians, composers, orchestras, and choirs could build bridges."
Highlights of the festival include performances of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov by the Mariinsky company, led by Gergiev, and concerts by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the Swedish Radio Symphony and Choir, the Helsinki Philharmonic (led by Salonen), the Estonian National Symphony (led by J‹rvi), the Danish Radio Symphony, and the SNYKO Stockholm Chamber Orchestra (also led by Salonen).