One of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s favourite projects is going on tour for the first time this year: the Be Phil Orchestra! Almost a hundred amateur musicians are working on a concert programme with our chief conductor Kirill Petrenko and members of the Berliner Philharmoniker. The highlight will be a joint concert on 26 November at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo.

In the video: Percussionist Raphael Haeger will conduct part of the concert and is really looking forward to it. | Video: Magdalena Zieba-Schwind, Adam Janisch

Who is playing?

In the end, 97 participants were selected from almost 1,200 applications:

  • The Be Phil Orchestra Japan is made up of 50% women and 50% men,
  • with an age range of between 18 and 67 years.
  • In "real life", the participants include students, bank employees, doctors, nursing staff, office workers, IT experts, designers and teachers.
  • The longest journey of around 2,000 kilometres was made by a participant from Naha, Okinawa Prefecture.

The programme

Chief conductor Kirill Petrenko will direct a suite from Sergei Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, especially arranged for the Be Phil Orchestra. Also on the programme is Johannes Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, conducted by percussionist Raphael Haeger. First concertmaster Daishin Kashimoto and first solo cellist Ludwig Quandt will perform the solo parts. The participants will prepare for the grand concert finale with a total of twelve sectional and tutti rehearsals. These will be lead by Raphael Haeger and other members of the Berliner Philharmoniker from 22 November.

To make sure you don’t miss any part of this fantastic project, we will of course be following it from start to finish here on our tour blog and on our social media channels. In addition, our partner Fuji Television Network, Inc. will produce a 60-minute documentary for Japanese television.

Since its inception in 2002, the Berliner Philharmoniker’s education programme has been made possible by support from the Deutsche Bank. The aim of both partners is to make the work of the orchestra accessible to a wide audience and to inspire people of all ages to participate in music and culture.