The Baltic Sea Festival, which opens on the 9th of September, marks the beginning of the Radio Choir’s and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra’s concert season 2021 – 2022 at Berwaldhallen.


As always, music is centre stage as the Baltic Sea Festival offers up a festival week brimming with content from the 9th to the 18th of September. This year’s festival centres on hope for the future, and the highly anticipated new beginning many of us are waiting for. Rebirth is the theme, and it runs through the musical programme as well as the festival’s series of talks. Prominent musicians, authors and politicians feature in talks organised by the festival’s collaboration partners in Helsinki, Gdańsk, Riga, Vilnius, Kista, Oslo and Copenhagen, within the festival’s concept Music & Talks.

A festival experience, broadcast live, and with an on-site audience at Berwaldhallen
The first festival tickets will be released on the 3rd of June. All concerts throughout the festival are performed at Berwaldhallen, with a seated audience. It’s still unclear how many people will be allowed on the premises in September. We are following restrictions closely, and will release more tickets as and when. As usual, you can listen to all the concerts on Swedish Radio P2. The festival is broadcast live for free on Berwaldhallen Play, with Erik Blix and Malin Jacobson Båth hosting.

Seven days of music and talks
The festival begins on Thursday the 9th of September with a vibrant opening concert featuring Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

The festival week will see a double premiere, with two pieces by Britta Byström: Ink-Wash on Paper, performed to projected images by artist Gunnel Wåhlstrand, and A Room of One’s Own, inspired by Virginia Woolf’s essay. Mendelssohn’s Octet will also be performed, by Malin Broman and others.

There will also be music by Bach, Dutilleux and Stravinsky, performed by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, led by Klaus Mäkelä, Principal Guest Conductor. The soloists are Peter Mattei, baritone, and Miklós Perényi, cello.

The Radio Choir will finally be able to perform publicly with its new chief conductor Kaspars Putniņš, in a programme including pieces by Kaija Saariaho, Pēteris Vasks and Jan Sandström.

The Stenhammar Quartet performs Joseph Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Christ. A unique experience in which the singularly beautiful music is merged with selected words from representatives of the seven world religions. Dramaturgy and direction by Magnus Lindman.

The festival week ends with Handel’s Messiah, featuring the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Radio Choir, joined by world-class soloists, and led by Reinhard Goebel.

The week offers many interesting talks connected to music and the festival’s theme of rebirth. We’ll meet Danish author Carsten Jensen, the founder of the Järva Week, Ahmed Abdirahman, Knut Storberget, former Minister of Justice in Norway, Latvian composer Raimonds Tiguls, and author Nora Ikstena.

To the Baltic Sea Festival’s programmes and tickets


When the concert season continues after the Baltic Sea Festival, we’ll meet beloved classics, and reunite with conductors and soloists that we know from before, but we’ll also acquaint ourselves with new names, composers and works. The complete concert programme and tickets will be released in September, but we can already reveal some treats from the autumn programme.

Chief Conductor Daniel Harding begins the autumn with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and world violinist Isabelle Faust, playing Schönberg’s astounding Violin Concerto. Next, Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra perform Brahms’ fourth symphony, and Mahler’s ditto. Young, celebrated soprano Johanna Wallroth sings Mahler’s fourth.

In the second of two programmes with Harding, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Radio Choir meet Haydn’s magnificent Nelson Mass.

Led by young, award-winning conductor Elim Chan, we’ll hear violin concerto In Silence by American composer Elizabeth Ogonek. We welcome young, American violinist Benjamin Beilman as this concert’s soloist to Berwaldhallen for the first time.

Internationally celebrated violinist Janine Jansen, who ended the 2020 – 2021 season at Berwaldhallen with two fantastic concerts, returns this autumn. Alongside violist Amihai Grosz, she meets the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor Klaus Mäkelä in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Radio Choir, and Mäkelä will also perform Mozart’s Requiem at the same concert.

We’re just as pleased to welcome baritone Christian Gerhaher, who returns to Berwaldhallen to performs Mahler’s Das Knaben Wunderhorn and Dvořák’s Biblical Songs alongside the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding.

Hans Ek – known for his ability to seamlessly merge classical, pop and jazz – is another of our frequent guests, who most recently led the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra’s collaboration with Zara Larsson. In the autumn of 2021, he’s back at Berwaldhallen with a concert that is a portrait of legendary producer, composer and musician Brian Eno. Hans Ek has arranged the music for symphony orchestra.

From the 21st to the 24th of October, 2021, it’s time for the next edition of the Eric Ericson Award – perhaps the world’s most prestigious competition for young choral conductors. The competition is organised by Swedish Radio, and run by Berwaldhallen in collaboration with the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, the Rosenborg Gehrman Foundation, and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The Eric Ericson Award 2021 will be the fourth edition, aiming to identify, encourage and support young, promising choral conductors in the spirit of Eric Ericson. The award strives to achieve a very high artistic and competitive standard in choral conducting, equivalent to the status Eric Ericson enjoyed across the world during his active years. The Eric Ericson Award provides the next generation of choral conductors with conditions for an international career.

In collaboration with Unga Klara, Berwaldhallen presents Poetic (R) Evolution, a current performance where spoken word and classical music are interwoven in an unexpected and emotional programme aimed at secondary school and upper secondary school students. What happens when young poets who live and work today meet the big composers of musical history? Nachla Libre, poet, visual artist, and author, directs. Composer and conductor Jonas Nydesjö selects and arranges the music.

This year’s festival centres on hope for the future, and the highly anticipated new beginning many of us are waiting for. A new beginning for exchange and collaboration across borders, and for conversations about the issues that bind us together. The theme is rebirth and culture’s role when society opens up again. See the programme and buy your ticket here.


Your safety as a concert visitor in Berwaldhallen is important to us. Therefore, we have taken a number of measures for our visitors as well as our staff to minimize the possible spread of infection. Read more here.