Author: Luisa Aha

Tour of Asia facts

The members of the Berliner Philharmoniker are truly professional travelers. Since its inception, regular tours for guest performances at home and abroad have been part of the orchestra's DNA. But all of the tours have one thing in common: sophisticated planning and smooth logistics. We offer you a sneak peak behind the scenes right at the start of our tour, with some facts and figures.

Where exactly are we going?

We start our tour in Seoul, the impressive capital of South Korea. After two concerts at the Seoul Arts Center, we continue to Japan, more precisely to Takamatsu. From there we take the Shinkansen to Osaka, our starting point for the concerts in Nagoya and Himeji. Incidentally, this will be our first-ever trip to Himeji, and we are are already very excited about the beautiful, historic castle town.

At the end of our tour of Asia this year, we will spend another week in Tokyo - including a short detour to Kawasaki. The concerts in our second home, the Suntory Hall, will be complemented this year by a particularly exciting project: the “Be Phil Orchestra”. More on this soon!

On the music stands

In addition to some German-Austrian "classics", our musical tour baggage also includes lesser-known works such as Alban Berg's Three Orchestral Pieces. You can find out more about this work in our video introduction with Kirill Petrenko.

In Korea and Japan, we will alternate between two programmes:

  • Max Reger: Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart op. 132

  • Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben op. 40

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 in G major op. 58 with Seong-Jin Cho, piano (only on November 12 in Seoul).

Watch the programme with Strauss’ Heldenleben in the Digital Concert Hall (recording from the season opening concert on 25 August 2023)

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 29 in A major K. 201

  • Alban Berg: Three Orchestral Pieces op. 6 (revised version from 1929)

  • Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor op. 98

The luggage

Every tour brings complicated logistics. We checked with our orchestra managers and the music library to find out what - apart from 133 orchestra members - is absolutely essential:

  • 1 box just for sheet music: with two scores of each of the works performed and around 320 pieces of sheet music for the orchestra. For all those who want to count exactly, please note: the string players each share a music stand! 
  • A total of 150 dress coat and instrument boxes travel in trucks and on the plane 
  • That’s 112 cubic metres of luggage. 
  • By the way: the musicians themselves decide whether the smaller instruments go in their hand luggage.

You can find even more interesting facts and all the stories about our tour on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!