The Berliner Philharmoniker’s tour blog

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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.

In Asia with Simon Rattle for the last time

This Asian tour is the last in the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Rattle era. It also marks the 60th anniversary of the orchestra’s first concert in Japan. The soloists include the pianists Yuja Wang and Seong-Jin Cho.
Recordings of the tour programme, which the musicians presented in advance in the Philharmonie, can be found in the Digital Concert Hall.

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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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