Bolero Berlin | Picture: Lena Laine


“The Cuban bolero is melancholic, mysterious, sensual, slow in tempo and full of wonderful melodies”: Martin Stegner, who has been a violist with the Berliner Philharmoniker since 1996, loves the vibrant sounds of Latin America. A passion shared by some of his orchestra colleagues, particularly clarinettist Manfred Preis (now retired), principal bass Esko Laine and percussionist Raphael Haeger, who as a passionate jazz pianist likes to switch from percussion to keyboard. They are joined by two accomplished jazz musicians: guitarist Paulo Morello and Argentinian percussionist Daniel “Topo” Gioia.

This mixture of classically trained musicians and jazz musicians is what makes Bolero Berlin so appealing. “An excellent sextet, each a virtuoso in their own right, but none a prima donna, none wanting to push themselves into the foreground even for a few bars. Masters of their instrument and servants of a greater whole” (Birdland). Since 2008, this unusually line-up has been causing a sensation thanks to its unusual arrangements – with all the precision of Philharmoniker sound culture, infectiously jazz-inflected groove and breathtaking improvisations.

All Bolero Berlin concerts offer “boldness and genre cross-overs”, because the musicians not only play “Duke Ellington or Astor Piazzolla, but they also play Ravel and Messiaen, only in a completely different way than one is used to” (Süddeutsche Zeitung).


Martin Stegner
Esko Laine
Raphael Haeger
Paulo Morello 
Daniel »Topo« Gioia 
Manfred Preis

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