Within a few short years the ensemble had become one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world. It has since cemented its international reputation in major concert venues around the world.
In the past 15 years Kremerata Baltica has played more than 1,000 concerts, performing in 600 cities and over 50 countries in Asia, Australia, the US, Latin America, Russia and throughout Europe. The orchestra has been invited to perform in the most prestigious venues, including Konzerthaus in Vienna, Musikverein, Bozar, Carnegie Hall, Rudolfinum, Royal Albert Hall and Suntory Hall.
The orchestra has recorded some two dozen CD, and in 2002 it won a Grammy Award and the Echo Award.
It received the Praemium Imperiale Grant for Young Artists in 2009.
Kremerata Baltica hosts its own festival in Sigulda in Latvia, and receives state funding from the governments of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, the three Baltic states that are home to its members.
Among the celebrated soloists with whom Kremerata Baltica has performed are soprano Jessye Norman, pianists Mikhail Pletnev, Evgeny Kissin and Oleg Maisenberg, violinists Thomas Zehetmair and Vadim Repin, and cellists Boris Pergamenshikov, Yo Yo Ma and Mischa Maisky. Guest conductors have included Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Christoph Eschenbach, Kent Nagano, Heinz Holliger and Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Each of these musicians has contributed to shaping the unique spirit of the chamber orchestra.
LEssential to Kremerata Baltica’s artistic personality is its creative approach to programming, which often looks beyond the mainstream and has given rise to numerous world premières of works by composers such as Arvo Pärt, Giya Kancheli, Peteris Vasks, Leonid Desyatnikov and Alexander Raskatov..
The orchestra’s wide-ranging and carefully chosen repertoire is also showcased in its many CD recordings, such as Eight Seasons (Vivaldi’s concertos and Piazzolla’s Buenos Aires suites), as well as contemporary compositions by Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass and Vladimir Martynov.
After Mozart, a 21st-century study of the composer, won a much-coveted Grammy Award. The Complete Violin Concertos was recorded live at the Salzburg Festival in 2006 for the composer’s bicentenary. Also available is a recording of Mozart’s Concertos No. 20 and No. 27 with Evgeny Kissin.
Recent releases on the Nonesuch label include De Profundis and Hymns and Prayers with Gidon Kremer. The Art of Instrumentation: Homage to Glenn Gould was released in September 2012 to mark Glenn Gould’s 80th birthday.
Mieczyslaw Weinberg was released in January 2014 to great acclaim in professional music circles and nominated for a Grammy Award. Recorded with Gidon Kremer in Neuhardenberg and Lockenhaus in 2012 and 2013, the album confirms Shostakovich’s assessment that Weinberg was one of the greatest composers of his time.
In concert, a recent highlight is To Russia with Love, a concert to raise awareness of human rights in Russia held in October 2013 at the Berliner Philharmonie. Eminent performers at the event included Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Elsbeth Moser, Nicolas Altstaedt, Khatia Buniatishvili, Emmanuel Pahud and Sergey Nakaryakov. Kremerata Baltica performed in the All About Gidon show which set the eminent violinist’s career to a score of music by composers from Haydn to Piazzolla.
In a meeting of two 20th-century maestros, Kremerata Baltica and Gidon Kremer recently teamed up with clown Slava Polunin and his Snowshow Symphony to create a highly original show that was a resounding success.
Another unique performance this year was a rendition of The American Four Seasons by Philip Glass with a specially created video projection.