The Berliner Philharmoniker’s tour blog

The Berliner Philharmoniker are at home all over the world. Follow the orchestra on tour with their blog! Lots of photos and videos give you an impression of their travels to the great concert halls and of the work of the musicians both on-stage and behind the scenes.

USA Tour 2022

In November 2022, the Berliner Philharmoniker embark on a very special concert tour: the first USA tour under the direction of chief conductor Kirill Petrenko. The journey will take them from New York to Boston, Chicago, Ann Arbor and finally to Naples FL.

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Festival Tour 2022: Salzburg, Lucerne, London

On 28 August, the Berliner Philharmoniker and chief conductor Kirill Petrenko start this year's festival tour, which traditionally takes them to the Salzburg and the Lucerne Festivals. The tour will conclude with a guest performance at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall in London. The first concert programme, conducted by Kirill Petrenko, features Mahler's Seventh Symphony. In the second concert programme, Daniel Harding will conduct Bruckner's Fourth Symphony and Schnittke's Concerto for Viola and Orchestra with soloist Tabea Zimmermann.

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Europakonzert 2022 in Liepāja

This year’s concert was originally scheduled to take place at the Odesa National Academic Opera. The concert plans stayed in place for as long as possible, but a performance in Odessa has now become unthinkable for the foreseeable future. So instead of the Black Sea, the Berliner Philharmoniker will be guests on the Baltic Sea, in the Latvian city of Liepāja. In one of the world’s most spectacular venues, the Great Amber Concert Hall, music will be performed that gives voice to the idea of self-determination and independence.

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Easter Festival Baden-Baden 2022

Peter Tchaikovsky’s music is at the centre of the programme for the Easter Festival in Baden-Baden: Kirill Petrenko will perform the opera Pique Dame with the Berliner Philharmoniker in a production by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier. Iolanta - also a work by the Russian composer - will be performed in concert performance. Visitors can also look forward to a diverse chamber music programme and exciting educational projects for young music fans.

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Tour Vienna, Ljubljana and Zagreb

From 15-19 February 2022, the Berliner Philharmoniker and principal conductor Kirill Petrenko will travel to Austria, Slovenia and Croatia. Starting with two concerts at the Musikverein in Vienna, followed by trips to Ljubljana and Zagreb. In addition to Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto with soloist Sir András Schiff, the orchestra will perform Josef Suk’s “The Ripening”, Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s “Photoptosis” and the First Symphony by Witold Lutosławski.

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Concert tour Scandinavia, Hamburg and Rome

The Berliner Philharmoniker and Kirill Petrenko will be guests in Northern Europe from 16-20 November 2021 with a total of four concerts. The programme includes Felix Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10. For the first time, the orchestra and its chief conductor will perform at the Musikhuset in Aarhus, at the Malmö Live Konserthus and at the Musikkens Hus in Aalborg. This short Scandinavian tour will be complemented by a matinee concert at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg on 20 November. The final performance will be a concert at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome on 21 November.

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Baden-Baden in November

Baden-Baden in November – you wouldn’t normally expect to find the Berliner Philharmoniker and its chief conductor Kirill Petrenko there at this time of year. But this year, everything is different. After the planned Easter Festival in April had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, the orchestra will now have an autumn residency in the Baden-Württemberg spa town. On the programme: chamber music, two concert programmes and the performance of Tchaikovsky’s opera “Mazeppa”.

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Festival Tour 2021: Salzburg, Lucerne, Paris

Even in 2021, the Berliner Philharmoniker and chief conductor Kirill Petrenko will set off on a festival tour immediately after the opening of the season in Berlin: it traditionally takes them to the Salzburg Festival and the Lucerne Festival. The tour concludes with a guest performance at the Philharmonie de Paris. The two tour programmes subtly contrasts music of the Romantic and Modernist periods. The first programme juxtaposes Carl Maria von Weber’s Oberon overture and Paul Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis; the programme also includes Franz Schubert’s “Great” C major Symphony, considered the epitome of a Romantic symphony. The second programme features Slavic composers, with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet, Sergei Prokofiev’s First Piano Concerto and Josef Suk’s tone poem Pohádka léta (A Summer’s Tale). The soloist in the piano concerto is Anna Vinnitskaya, who is accompanying the Berliner Philharmoniker on tour for the first time.

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Germany Tour 2020 with Kirill Petrenko

Our first Germany Tour with chief conductor: Kirill Petrenko leads us for five concerts to Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne, Frankfurt and Dresden. The program contains works by Igor Stravinsky, Bernd Alois Zimmermann and Sergej Rachmaninoff. The tour start at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg (17. February). It continues in Hanover's Kuppelsaal (18. February), followed by the Cologne Philharmonie (19. February) and the Alte Oper in Frankfurt (20. February). We will make our debut at the new Kulturpalast Dresden (21. February) as last stop of this tour.

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Japan tour 2019 with Zubin Mehta

Travelling to Japan is always a treat! Our first Japan tour with honorary member Zubin Mehta with concerts in Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka, Kawasaki and Tokyo. On the program: “Don Quixote” by Richard Strauss with our first principal cellist Ludwig Quandt and our first principal violist Amihai Grosz as soloists, Ludwig van Beethoven's Third symphony and Anton Bruckner's Eighth symphony. This is our first pure Japan tour since 15 years.

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Festival Tour 2019: Salzburg, Lucerne, Bucharest

After the inaugural concerts of our new chief conductor Kirill Petrenko, we start our traditional festival tour. This year, we are performing at the Salzburg Festival, the Lucerne Festival and the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest. We will be presenting two programmes: Alban Berg’s “Lulu” Suite with soprano Marlis Petersen as the soloist, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Rundfunkchor Berlin (in Salzburg and Lucerne) and the George Enescu Philharmonic Choir (in Bucharest). The soloists are Marlis Petersen, Elisabeth Kulman, Benjamin Bruns and Kwangchoul Youn. The second programme sees violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja performing Schoenberg’s Violin Concerto followed by Peter Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

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European concert 2019 in Paris and concerts in Turin and Lugano

The European concert 2019 takes place at the Musee d'Orsay's sculpture hall. Daniel Harding conducts works by Wagner, Debussy and Berlioz. Soloist is the Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel. After the concert in Paris the tour continues to Turin and Lugano.

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Easter Festival 2019 in Baden-Baden

Giuseppe Verdi's “Otello” is the focus of our 2019 Easter festival, with the Berliner Philharmoniker playing under the baton of Zubin Mehta. The main characters are sung by Stuart Skelton (Otello), Sonya Yoncheva (Desdemona) and Vladimir Stoyanov (Iago), directed by Robert Wilson. “You are driven by your demon and I am that demon” gloats Iago in Otello. These words are the inspiration for many of the programmes of the “Master Concerts” series, in which chamber ensembles from the Berliner Philharmoniker and other members of the orchestra will appear. Two orchestra concerts with symphonic repertoire are conducted by our chief conductor designate Kirill Petrenko, one with violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and one with pianist Lang Lang. Riccardo Muti conducts Verdi's Requiem with, among others, Elīna Garanča.

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European tour with Yannick Nézet-Séguin

A short trip through Europe is our first tour in 2019. We will be joined by conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who has been a regular guest and good friend of the orchestra since his debut in October 2010. The tour takes us to four newly-built concert halls that have been completed within the last five years: the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the National Forum of Music in Wrocław, the NOSPR Concert Hall in Katowice and finally the Philharmonie in Paris. The programme includes works by Debussy and Prokofiev.

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Asia tour with Gustavo Dudamel

After the traditional kick-off concert in Frankfurt/Main, our big Asia tour this year sees the orchestra playing in Bangkok, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Shenzhen, Xi'an and Beijing. Besides Taipei and Beijing all concerts are debuts in the respective cities. We are extremely happy, that Gustavo Dudamel, with whom we are already celebrating 10 years as guest conductor, joins us on this tour. We perform works by Bernstein (with soprano Tamara Mumford), Shostakovich, Mahler and Mozart (with pianist Lang Lang).

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Festival tour with Kirill Petrenko

Our first tour with chief conductor designate Kirill Petrenko started with a benefit concert for the Berlin castle as prelude. We travel on to the Salzburg Festival, the Lucerne Festival and the BBC Proms in London.

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Last tour with Sir Simon Rattle

Our last tour with Sir Simon Rattle as our chief conductor with concerts in London, Vienna, Amsterdam, Cologne, Madrid and Barcelona. On the programme, two new “tapas” by Hans Abrahamsen and Jörg Widmann as well as Johannes Brahms’s First Symphony, Witold Lutosławski’s Third Symphony, and Anton Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony with the finale by Samale et al.

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European concert in Bayreuth 2018

The European concert 2018 takes place in the newly renovated Margravial opera house of Bayreuth. This opera house is inscribed in the UNESCO world heritage list. Together with conductor Paavo Järvi and soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek we perform works by Beethoven and - of course - Richard Wagner.

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Easter Festival 2018 in Baden-Baden

The 2018 Easter Festival of the Berliner Philharmoniker in Baden-Baden is built around Richard Wagner’s Parsifal. This masterwork is conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and directed by Dieter Dorn. There are of course also a lot of orchestra concerts, chamber music, a children’s opera, a chamber opera and various musical activities throughout the beautiful town of Baden-Baden. This year also marks the last Easter Festival for Sir Simon Rattle as chief conductor of our orchestra.

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Concert on the occasion of the 275th birthday of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig February 2018

Our colleagues from the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig invited us on the occasion of their 275th birthday. We followed their Invitation happily together with Vasily Petrenko, who kindly stood in for Zubin Mehta, and soloist Michael Barenboim!

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At the Staatsoper unter den Linden Berlin

Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker have been invited by our colleagues at the Staatsoper unter den Linden to play a concert for the re-opening of their home. The programme consisted of Stravinsky's Petrushka and Sergej Rachmaninov's 3rd symphony. All photos by Monika Rittershaus

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In Asia with Simon Rattle, Yuja Wang and Seong-Jin Cho

For the last time in the Rattle era, the Berliner Philharmoniker are travelling to Asia. This tour also marks the 60th anniversary of the orchestra’s first concert in Japan. The soloists include the pianists Yuja Wang and Seong-Jin Cho.

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European tour with Haydn’s “Creation”

At the start of the 2017 season, Simon Rattle toured with the orchestra to Salzburg, Lucerne and Paris. The programme: Haydn’s oratorio The Creation and a concert with Shostakovich’s first and last symphonies.

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Waldbühne concert and tour to Italy and Switzerland with Gustavo Dudamel

Schumann’s Third Symphony and excerpts from Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen were on the programme when Gustavo Dudamel conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker at the Waldbühne and on tour to Florence and Switzerland.

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The Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle at the Elbphilharmonie

On 7 May 2017, the Berliner Philharmoniker performed for the first time in the recently spectacularly opened Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. The acoustics of the new hall were tested out with Bruckner’s powerful Eighth Symphony.

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European concert in Pafos with Mariss Jansons

Held in the open-air, the 2017 European concert offered an impressive view of the Byzantine castle of the Cypriot port city of Pafos. Mariss Jansons conducted, and Andreas Ottensamer was the soloist in Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Concerto.

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2017 Easter Festival with Puccini’s “Tosca”

The main event of this festival was Tosca, conducted by Simon Rattle. The guest artists included violinist Lisa Batiashvili and – making his debut at the Easter Festival – Kirill Petrenko with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique which received a tumultuous reception.

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Tour of the Ruhr area with Ligeti’s “Le Grand Macabre”

On tour dates in Dortmund and Essen in February 2017, the Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle and a top-class ensemble of singers presented György Ligeti’s anarchic and humorous opera Le Grand Macabre in a production directed by Peter Sellars which had already enjoyed success in Berlin

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North America tour in winter 2016 with Sir Simon Rattle

On their last trip to North America with Sir Simon Rattle as chief conductor, the Berliner Philharmoniker not only stopped off in New York as is usual, but also in Canada and California. The evening of the election of Donald Trump as president made a deep impression.

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Concert in Athens with Tugan Sokhiev and Nikolai Lugansky

In October 2016, the Berliner Philharmoniker travelled to Athens for a concert with works by César Franck, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Nikolaj Rimsky-Korsakov. Guest artists were conductor Tugan Sokhiev and the pianist Nikolai Lugansky.

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With Simon Rattle to Salzburg, Lucerne and London

The time for farewell tours has begun in the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Sir Simon Rattle era. As is the case here: his last performance as chief conductor with the Berliner Philharmoniker in London’s vast Royal Albert Hall.

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Season opening at the Kulturforum

In the late summer of 2016, thousands of spectators took up the invitation to attend an open-air festival to open the season. The Berliner Philharmoniker performed under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle, plus there was a moving performance by an orchestra of Syrian musicians.

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Concerts with Yannik Nézet-Séguin in Italy and Germany

In the summer of 2016, the Berliner Philharmoniker brought their season to a close with a concert tour to German and Italian cities performing Czech music together with the conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the violinist Lisa Batiashvili, as in the previous Walbühne concert.

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Waldbühne concert with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Lisa Batiashvili

In June 2016, Yannick Nézet-Séguin presented an all-Czech programme for his debut conducting of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Waldbühne concert. Lisa Batiashvili made a great impression as the soloist in Dvořák’s Violin Concerto.

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Beethoven’s symphonies in Taiwan and Japan

The Taiwanese and Japanese classical music fans also enjoyed the Beethoven symphonies previously performed in Berlin, Paris and New York by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Simon Rattle. The concerts in Taipei and Tokyo were rapturously received.

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European concert in Røros with Vilde Frang

In 2016, the European concert was held in Norway, in a beautiful Baroque church in Røros, under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle. The young violinist Vilde Frang, who made her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, also comes from the Scandinavian country.

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Easter Festival in Baden-Baden with Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde”

At the 2016 Easter Festival in Baden-Baden, Sir Simon Rattle conducted a work by Richard Wagner for the first time. The title roles in his tragic love story Tristan and Isolde were sung to much acclaim by Stuart Skelton and Eva-Maria Westbroek.

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Beethoven cycle in Paris and New York

After the celebrated performance of all of Ludwig van Beethoven’s nine symphonies in Berlin, the Berliner Philharmoniker, under the baton of Simon Rattle, also played the cycle on tour – including in Paris and New York.

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Tour of summer festivals with Britten and Shostakovich

In the late summer of 2015, for their traditional guest appearance at the Salzburg Festival and at Lucerne, Bucharest and Grafenegg, the Berliner Philharmoniker and chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle performed Shostakovich’s devastating Fourth Symphony.

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Concerts in Milan and Vienna

Directly after their European concert in May 2015, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Simon Rattle travelled to Italy and Austria. Leoš Janáček’s Sinfonietta and Anton Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony were performed in the legendary la Scala in Milan.

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European concert in Athens with Simon Rattle and Leonidas Kavakos

In 2015, in the year of the great European and Greek crisis, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle held their European concert in Athens as a sign of their commitment to solidarity on the old continent. Leonidas Kavakos dazzled as the soloist in Sibelius’ Violin Concerto.

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The “Rosenkavalier” and “La Damnation de Faust” at the Easter Festival in Baden-Baden

With Richard Strauss’ Rosenkavalier and Hector Berlioz’ La Damnation de Faust, the 2015 Easter Festival in Baden-Baden featured brilliantly orchestrated music drama works. In Berlioz’ setting of Goethe, the mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato was singled out for particular praise.

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Sibelius cycle in London, first appearance at the new Philharmonie in Paris

As part of a one-week residency in London in February 2015, concerts with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker included the complete symphonies of Jean Sibelius. The following debut of the orchestra at the newly opened Philharmonie in Paris was eagerly awaited.

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Violins of Hope

February 2014 saw the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. To commemorate this event, members of the Berliner Philharmoniker played in a moving concert on instruments that were once owned by Holocaust victims.

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Martha Argerich and Riccardo Chailly in Essen

In 2014, the highly esteemed pianist Martha Argerich returned to the Berliner Philharmoniker after a long absence. Following a series of concerts in Berlin, her performance of Schumann’s Piano Concerto conducted by Riccardo Chailly was also given in the Essen Philharmonie.

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Concerts commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall

To mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 2014, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Simon Rattle played in cities closely related to the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe. Beethoven’s Ninth was flanked by works by composers born in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

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Concert in Frankfurt and Residency in New York

In October 2014, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Simon Rattle had a residency in New York. The audience was deeply moved by Peter Sellars’ staging of the St. Matthew Passion, and the symphonic concert soloists included the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, who has had close ties to the orchestra from her early youth.

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“St. Matthew Passion” in Lucerne and London

Peter Sellars’ staging of the St. Matthew Passion is one of the greatest successes of the Rattle era with the Berliner Philharmoniker. In 2014, the production was seen in Lucerne and at the London Proms. In addition, Sir Simon and his orchestra appeared at the Salzburg Festival.

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Waldbühne concert and tour with Gustavo Dudamel

Works by Tchaikovsky and Brahms were at the centre of the 2014 Waldbühne concert, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. The Berliner Philharmoniker also embarked on a tour with the Venezuelan conductor at the end of the season that included the open-air event.

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“Manon Lescaut” at the Easter Festival in Baden-Baden

The second year of the Easter Festival in Baden-Baden saw Simon Rattle make his debut conducting of a work by Giacomo Puccini. Eva-Maria Westbroek scored a triumph in the title role of the opera Manon Lescaut

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Tour to Hamburg, Cologne, Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria

In February 2014, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Simon Rattle performed works by Brahms, Debussy and Georg Friedrich Haas in Hamburg, Brussels, Luxembourg, Cologne and Vienna. In Vienna, Nikolaus Harnoncourt was appointed honorary member of the orchestra.

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Asian tour with Sir Simon Rattle to Taiwan, South Korea and Japan

After a concert in Frankfurt in November 2013, the Berliner Philharmoniker set off on a tour to Asia. The programme included symphonies by Schumann and Bruckner, and concertmaster Daishin Kashimoto dazzled as the soloist in Sergei Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto.

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Beethoven’s Ninth and Fauré’s Requiem in Madrid and Barcelona

At the end of the 2012/2013 season, the Berliner Philharmoniker travelled to Madrid and Barcelona for a series of concerts. The programme included Beethoven’s Ninth, one of the most powerful symphonies, and Fauré’s Requiem, one of the most discreet masses for the dead in music history.

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Mahler’s “Resurrection Symphony” in Vienna

At the Vienna Konzerthaus in June 2013, the orchestra performed Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony, one of Sir Simon Rattle’s favourite works. In addition to the Berliner Philharmoniker, the performers included mezzo-soprano Anne Sophie von Otter and the choir of the Wiener Singakademie.

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European concert in Prague with Simon Rattle and Magdalena Kožená

In 2013, the traditional European concert of the Berliner Philharmoniker took place in the Spanish Hall of Prague Castle. Under the direction of Simon Rattle, Magdalena Kožená sang Antonín Dvořák’s Biblical songs in a programme which also included works by Vaughan Williams and Beethoven.

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First Easter Festival in Baden-Baden with Mozart’s “Magic Flute”

After moving from Salzburg, the 2013 Easter Festival took place in Baden-Baden for the first time. The main event was the production of Mozart’s Magic Flute – the first staged performance of the opera for both the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle.

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Concerts in Essen and Paris

Works by Beethoven and Schumann plus 20th century works were on the programme when the Berliner Philharmoniker set off on a short concert tour to Essen and Paris in February 2013.

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Tour to Scandinavia, Portugal and Switzerland

In November 2012, Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker travelled to Northern and Southern Europe with a German-Hungarian-French programme. The tour was particularly exciting because of the performances in the new concert halls in Scandinavia and Finland which had just opened a few years earlier.

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Concert tour to Frankfurt, Ephesus and Istanbul

After opening the season in Berlin, the Berliner Philharmoniker and chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle travelled via Frankfurt to Turkey and Greece. The venue for one concert with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony was the impressive amphitheatre in Ephesus.

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European Concert in Vienna with Gustavo Dudamel and Gautier Capuçon

In May 2012, the European concert was held at a particularly impressive and picturesque venue: the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Gustavo Dudamel was the conductor, and Gautier Capuçon made his debut with the orchestra as the soloist in Joseph Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major.

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Symphonic poems in Zurich and New York

On a short tour to Zurich and Carnegie Hall in New York, the Berliner Philharmoniker performed atmospheric orchestral works by Schoenberg, Dvořák and Debussy under the baton of its chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle.

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2011 Asian Tour

In November 2011, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle set off on their grand tour of of Asia, stopping off in South Korea, China and Japan. In addition to the Ninth Symphonies by Bruckner and Mahler, the programme also included Toshio Hosokawa’s Horn Concerto with the Philharmonikerʼs principal horn player Stefan Dohr.

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