Berliner Philharmoniker

Musikfest Berlin 2015
The Danes are coming!

From 2 to 20 September 2015, the new Berlin concert season gets underway with Musikfest Berlin, organised by the Berliner Festspiele together with the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation. Over 19 days and 30 events, more than 70 works by 25 composers will be presented in the Philharmonie, its chamber music hall, the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, the Passionskirche and the Martin-Gropius-Bau, performed by some 30 orchestras, instrumental and vocal ensembles and numerous soloists from the international music scene and the city of Berlin.

International orchestras and great conductors

The San Francisco Symphony from the American West Coast and the Boston Symphony Orchestra from the East Coast last played at Musikfest Berlin eight years ago. This year, they both return to the Philharmonie with their chief conductors Michael Tilson Thomas and Andris Nelsons. There are also orchestras which will be appearing at Musikfest Berlin for the first time: the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with Zubin Mehta, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra with Daniel Harding, and the Royal Danish Orchestra with Michael Boder. For the first time too, there is Christoph von Dohnányi with the London Philharmonia Orchestra, which he shaped for many years. The Royal Danish is incidentally the oldest orchestra in Europe with a history that goes back to 1448 and the royal court in Copenhagen. Around 440 years later, sitting among the second violins of the orchestra was a composer who was about to become the Danish star among European composers at the turn of the century: Carl Nielsen.

Carl Nielsen, Arnold Schoenberg and Gustav Mahler

The music world is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Nielson’s birth, and Musikfest Berlin is presenting a musical portrait in six concerts. After the acclaimed Viking Exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau last year, the Danes are now also making their musical presence known in Berlin. Daniel Barenboim and his Staatskapelle open Musikfest Berlin with a demonstration of their commitment to the music of Arnold Schoenberg. The composer’s oeuvre is featured in a series of 15 concerts, programmed together with works by Gustav Mahler. Another definite highlight of the festival will be the performance of Schoenberg’s unfinished oratorio Die Jakobsleiter by the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, conducted by Ingo Metzmacher. The ethereal music of Jakobsleiter, involving more than 200 performers, is combined with Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and Shaar by Iannis Xenakis, which was commissioned by Recha Freier, founder of the Israel Composers Fund, for the Testonium Festival in Jerusalem which she started in 1966. Recha Freier lived in Berlin from 1926 to 1940, and during the National Socialist period, she managed to save thousands of Jewish children and take them to Palestine. Also co-commissioned by Recha Freier was the opera Donnerstag aus “Licht” by Karlheinz Stockhausen whose full-length Act 2, Michaels Reise um die Erde, will be presented at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele in its quasi-concertante version. Just as the Archangel Gabriel is the protagonist in Schoenberg’s Jakobsleiter, the central figure of Michael in the 2nd act of the opera – a highly virtuoso instrumental live electronic Trumpet Concerto – is inspired by the figure of the Archangel Michael. Performers are the trumpeter Marco Blaauw and the 35-member ensemble Musikfabrik which gave the acclaimed America première of Michaels Reise um die Erde at New York’s Lincoln Center Festival.

Festival prelude with Steve Reich

With the title “Tehillim”, Musikfest Berlin begins with a prelude to the opening concert with Steve Reich’s psalm setting of the same name, performed by the Ensemble Modern and Synergy Vocals in the chamber music hall of the Philharmonie. And it ends with a programme by the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, which partners Schoenberg’s Die Glückliche Hand with Nielsen’s Fourth Symphony “The Inextinguishable”, preceded by Bernard Herrmann’s music for Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Also from the same date (18 September) in the Martin-Gropius-Bau, the Berliner Festspiele present another founding figure of Western music history in Susanne Kennedy’s performative installation on Monteverdi and his Orfeo, first performed in 1607. At which time, the Royal Danish Orchestra was already almost 160 years old.

Nielsen
Carl Nielsen
Mutter
Christoph von Dohnányi
Sir Simon Rattle
Novus String Quartet
Andris Nelsons
Aimard
Marco Blaauw
Emerson String Quartet

All concerts of the Musikfest Berlin 2014

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Friday

04

September
2015

Philharmonie

20:00

San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas, St. Lawrence String Quartet
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Musikfest Berlin

San Francisco Symphony

Michael Tilson Thomas Conductor

St. Lawrence String Quartet

Works by Arnold Schoenberg, John Adams and Ludwig van Beethoven

Saturday

05

September
2015

Chamber Music Hall

17:00

Schumann Quartett
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Musikfest Berlin

Schumann Quartett

Works by Arnold Schoenberg and Ludwig van Beethoven

Saturday

05

September
2015

Philharmonie

20:00

Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons
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Musikfest Berlin

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Andris Nelsons Conductor

Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 6

Sunday

06

September
2015

Philharmonie

11:00

Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Iván Fischer, Philippe Jaroussky
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Musikfest Berlin

Konzerthausorchester Berlin

Iván Fischer Conductor

Philippe Jaroussky Countertenor

Works by Marc-André Dalbavie and Gustav Mahler

Sunday

06

September
2015

Philharmonie

20:00

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Zubin Mehta
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Musikfest Berlin

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

Zubin Mehta Conductor

Works by Arnold Schoenberg and Gustav Mahler

Monday

07

September
2015

Philharmonie

20:00

SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, François-Xavier Roth
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Musikfest Berlin

SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg

François-Xavier Roth Conductor

Klaus Steffes-Holländer, Matan Porat, Florian Hoelscher, Julia Vogelsänger, Akiko Okabe, Christoph Grund Piano

Works by Iwan Wyschnegradsky, Georg Friedrich Haas and Arnold Schoenberg

Tuesday

08

September
2015

Philharmonie

20:00

Orchester und Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Donald Runnicles
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Musikfest Berlin

Orchester und Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin

Donald Runnicles Conductor

Evelyn Herlitzius

Klaus Florian Vogt

Seth Carico Bass (Klingsor)

Works by Claude Debussy, Marius Constant and Richard Wagner

Wednesday

09

September
2015

Philharmonie Foyer

18:30

Carl Nielsen – Music is Life
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Musikfest Berlin

Carl Nielsen – Music is Life

Wednesday

09

September
2015

Chamber Music Hall

20:00

Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Søndergård
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Musikfest Berlin

Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Thomas Søndergård Conductor

Isabelle Faust Violin

Alexander Melnikov Piano

Works by Carl Nielsen and Alban Berg

Thursday

10

September
2015

Chamber Music Hall Exhibition Foyer

18:00

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Musikfest Berlin

Critics’ Quartet

Ludolf Baucke Freelance Music Critic, Hannoversche Allgemeine and others, Susanne Benda (Stuttgart, Stuttgarter Nachrichten), Eleonore Büning (Frankfurt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), Christian Wildhagen (Zürich, Neue Züricher Zeitung)

Olaf Wilhelmer Presentation

Thursday

10

September
2015

Chamber Music Hall

20:00

Emerson String Quartet, Barbara Hannigan
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Musikfest Berlin

Emerson String Quartet

Barbara Hannigan Soprano

Works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Anton Webern, Alban Berg and Arnold Schoenberg

Friday

11

September
2015

Philharmonie

20:00

Philharmonia Orchestra London, Christoph von Dohnányi, Carolin Widmann
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Musikfest Berlin

Philharmonia Orchestra London

Christoph von Dohnányi Conductor

Carolin Widmann Violin

Works by Charles Ives, Alban Berg and Franz Schubert

Saturday

12

September
2015

Chamber Music Hall

17:00

The Danish String Quartet
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Musikfest Berlin

The Danish String Quartet

Works by Carl Nielsen and Ludwig van Beethoven

Saturday

12

September
2015

Chamber Music Hall

22:00

Late Night IPPNW Charity Concert
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Musikfest Berlin

Late Night IPPNW Charity Concert

Members of the Staatskapelle Berlin

Works by Franz Schubert

Sunday

13

September
2015

Chamber Music Hall

11:00

The Danish String Quartet
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Musikfest Berlin

The Danish String Quartet

Works by Carl Nielsen and Ludwig van Beethoven

Sunday

13

September
2015

Chamber Music Hall

17:00

Novus String Quartet
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Musikfest Berlin

Novus String Quartet

Works by Arnold Schoenberg and Ludwig van Beethoven

Monday

14

September
2015

Philharmonie

20:00

Royal Danish Orchestra, Michael Boder, Magdalena Anna Hofmann
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Musikfest Berlin

Royal Danish Orchestra

Michael Boder Conductor

Magdalena Anna Hofmann Mezzo-Soprano

Works by Per Nørgård, Arnold Schoenberg and Carl Nielsen

Tuesday

15

September
2015

Philharmonie

20:00

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Harding
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Musikfest Berlin

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Daniel Harding Conductor

Anna Larsson Contralto

Michael Schade Tenor

Works by Harrison Birtwistle and Gustav Mahler

Wednesday

16

September
2015

Philharmonie

20:00

Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Marek Janowski
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Musikfest Berlin

Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin

Marek Janowski Conductor

Sabine Puhlmann Soprano

Karen Cargill Mezzo-Soprano

Young Wook Kim Bass

Works by Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg and Carl Nielsen

Thursday

17

September
2015

Philharmonie

20:00

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Ingo Metzmacher
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Musikfest Berlin

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin

Ingo Metzmacher Conductor

Wiebke Lehmkuhl Contralto (Kindertotenlieder)

Thomas E. Bauer Baritone (Gabriel)

Daniel Behle

Matthias Wohlbrecht

Martin Gantner

Boaz Daniel

Gerhard Siegel Tenor (Monk)

Edda Moser

Yeree Suh

Rundfunkchor Berlin

Anne Kohler Chorus Master

Works by Iannis Xenakis, Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schoenberg

Friday

18

September
2015

Martin-Gropius-Bau

10:00

Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop
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Musikfest Berlin

Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop

plus further artists

Susanne Kennedy, Bianca van der Schoot, Suzan Boogaerdt Stage Direction

Friday

18

September
2015

Haus der Berliner Festspiele

20:00

Ensemble Musikfabrik, Ilan Volkov
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Musikfest Berlin

Ensemble Musikfabrik

Ilan Volkov Conductor

Marco Blaauw Trumpet

Merve Kazokoğlu Basset Horn

Fie Schouten Clarinet and Basset Horn

Carl Rosman Clarinet

Bruce Collings Trombone

Kevin Austin Trombone

Paul Jeukendrup Sound Direction

Florence von Gerkan Costumes

Hwan Kim Costumes

Sara Joana Müller Choreography

Lukas Becker Light

Karlheinz Stockhausen Michaels Reise um die Erde, Act II of the opera DONNERSTAG aus LICHT

Saturday

19

September
2015

Haus der Berliner Festspiele

17:00

Ensemble Musikfabrik, Ilan Volkov
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Musikfest Berlin

Ensemble Musikfabrik

Ilan Volkov Conductor

Marco Blaauw Trumpet

Merve Kazokoğlu Basset Horn

Fie Schouten Clarinet and Basset Horn

Carl Rosman Clarinet

Bruce Collings Trombone

Kevin Austin Trombone

Paul Jeukendrup Sound Direction

Florence von Gerkan Costumes

Hwan Kim Costumes

Sara Joana Müller Choreography

Lukas Becker Light

Karlheinz Stockhausen Michaels Reise um die Erde, Act II of the opera DONNERSTAG aus LICHT

Saturday

19

September
2015

Passionskirche

22:00

Late Night Concert
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Musikfest Berlin

Late Night Concert

Rundfunkchor Berlin

Gijs Leenaars Conductor

Aleke Alpermann Cello

Wieland Bachmann Double Bass

Christine Kessler Organ

Arno Schneider Organ

Works by Heinrich Schütz, Arnold Schoenberg and Johann Sebastian Bach

Sunday

20

September
2015

Chamber Music Hall

11:00

Arditti Quartet
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Musikfest Berlin

Arditti Quartet

Works by Arnold Schoenberg and Brian Ferneyhough

Sunday

20

September
2015

Chamber Music Hall

17:00

Ilya Gringolts, James Boyd, Nicolas Altstaedt
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Musikfest Berlin

Ilya Gringolts Violin

James Boyd Viola

Nicolas Altstaedt Cello

Works by Arnold Schoenberg and Wolfgang Rihm

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All programmes may also be found at: Berlin Bühnen Go to berlin-buehnen.de