Welcome to the Baltic Sea Festival – a festival for musical experiences and inspirational talks where emotions and the power of thought meet. At our festival we aim for new ideas to be discussed, artistic experiences to be explored in greater depth and to emerge a sense of community around the Baltic Sea.

The Baltic Sea Festival in Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, is one of Europe’s largest and foremost classical music festivals with world-class artists, orchestras and conductors from the Baltic Sea region.

In collaboration with libraries and other cultural venues around the Baltic Sea region, we present discussions between high-profile individuals within the fields of music, politics and environmentalism, moderated by journalists from Swedish Radio. The discussions revolve around music and sustainability and serve as a thematic pre-concert talk that is broadcast live for the concert audience. The purpose is to open up the audience’s awareness to the sensitive environment and the vulnerability of the Baltic Sea through the emotional power of music.

The Baltic Sea Festival operates throughout the Baltic Sea region, physically as well as digitally. The Baltic Sea Festival concerts are streamed on and broadcast live on P2 on Swedish Radio, on all public service companies around the Baltic Sea and via the European Broadcasting Union, EBU.

The Baltic Sea Festival - the story

The idea for the Baltic Sea Festival was born in the early 2000s when the conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen had to stop his children from swimming in the Baltic Sea because of algal bloom. He pondered what he could do for the Baltic Sea region- as musician- and soon the Baltic Sea Festival with its unique set up was born.

The first Baltic Sea Festival took place in 2003 with the mission of uniting the audience around world-class classical music and at the same time – together with partner organizations – focusing on the Baltic Sea environment and the leadership required to create a sustainable future. Over the years, the Baltic Sea Festival has delivered unforgettable musical highlights and developed into a forum where musical and human interaction strengthen our shared interest in the Baltic Sea.

In 2019, the Baltic Sea Festival acquired new leadership and a new more distinctive profile – mainly through the addition of the talks and the collaborations with Partner venue’s such as libraries and cultural venues around the Baltic Sea, as well as the expanded digital distribution of the festival. In 2020 the Baltic Sea Festival was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Discover programs from our friends around the Baltic Sea.