This October, pioneering British musician, composer, producer and visual artist Brian Eno will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Biennale Musica 2023 in Venice. Estonian conductor Kristjan Järvi and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will be making their own Venice Biennale debut as well with the world premiere of Eno's new work "Ships."
The world premiere of "Ships" will take place at the famous Teatro La Fenice on October 21, in two performances that will bring the Baltic Sea Philharmonic conducted by Kristjan Järvi, actor Peter Serafinowicz as well as guitarist Leo Abrahams and software designer Peter Chilvers to the stage, the Biennale said in a press release.
Also premiering from October 22-29 is "Nothing Can Ever Be The Same," a 168-hour-long generative video art installation by American filmmaker Gary Hustwit and British digital artist Brendan Dawes based on Eno's music, ideas, art and other documentary material.
The world premiere of "Ships" reflects the Baltic Sea Philharmonic's "distinctive mission to take musical performances to new dimensions," the orchestra said in its own announcement Tuesday.
"The collaboration with Brian Eno is the latest in a string of unique projects and encounters with such musicians as British indie-pop band Bastille (2020), Estonian singer-songwriter Mick Pedaja (2019) and pianist Olga Scheps (2022)," the orchestra said. "With 'Ships,' the innovative ensemble and its conductor set course for the sound worlds of a musical legend."
From Roxy Music to lifetime achievement award
In a ceremony to be held at the Salla delle Colonne at Ca' Giustinian the day after the world premiere of "Ships," Brian Eno will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Biennale Musica this October "for his research into the quality, beauty and diffusion of digital sound and for his conception of the acoustic space as a compositional instrument," the Biennale said.
The decision was made by the Board of Directors of La Biennale di Venezia, which approved the recommendation of Lucia Ronchetti in alignment with the "Micro-Music" theme of the 67th International Festival of Contemporary Music, which aims to highlight "the fascination and richness of expression of digital sound."'
Eno first gained international prominence in the early 1970s as a founding member of British band Roxy Music, followed by a series of solo albums and collaborations. His work as producer includes albums with acts including Talking Heads, U2, James and Coldplay, and he has collaborated with the likes of David Bowie, John Cale and David Byrne.
Eno was inducted as a member of Roxy Music into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019.
Career spanning to diaspora and back
Born in Estonia, conductor, producer, composer and arranger Kristjan Järvi emigrated to the U.S. together with his family as a child, where he grew up in New York City. In 2015, he relocated his home base from the U.S. back to Tallinn.
As conductor, he has directed everything from classics like Wagner and Tchaikovsky to arrangements of modern ensembles including Radiohead on major international stages. He also founded Sunbeam Productions as well as the record label nEscapes. As a recording artist, Järvi has more than 60 albums to his credit.
Founded by Järvi in 2008, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic is an acclaimed world-class orchestra bringing together musicians from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden.
Known for its innovative concerts involving sound, light, choreography, visual art and technology, the musicians perform the entire program from memory, making each performance an unrepeatable experience.
Editor: Aili Vahtla