The death of Hans Werner Henze on 27 October 2012 was an especially painful loss for Berlin: The creative relationship between the great German composer and opera houses, orchestras and ensembles had lasted more than half a century. Over a period of more than 60 years, quite a number of Henzeʼs works were premiered in Berlin: in 1951, Ferenc Fricsay and the RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester were the first to perform the young composerʼs ballet Rosa Silber. This was followed by operas such as König Hirsch, Der Junge Lord and Das verratene Meer at the Deutsche Oper, Phaedra at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, and also instrumental and orchestral works such as the fourth, seventh and ninth symphonies, which were premiered by the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Even Henzeʼs final work, the Ouverture zu einem Theater which was composed for the Deutsche Oper Berlin to mark the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the company, is an expression of his connection to the house and to Berlin. To honour this lifelong relationship with the city, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and Deutsche Oper, all four of Berlinʼs cultural institutions that were closely associated with Henze and his works, are holding a joint commemorative concert in the Deutsche Oper on 6 January at 11 a. m. The programme for the matinee includes works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Hans Werner Henze.