Chamber Music

Philharmonic Salon with the Philharmonia Quartet

Probably few people associate the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius with Berlin. And yet he spent several inspiring months in the German city between the fall of 1889 and the summer of 1890. The second Philharmonic Salon in this season, entitled “Sibelius in Berlin”, addresses this time period that was so exciting for the aspiring composer. The Philharmonia Quartet will provide music by Sibelius and texts by Aleksis Kivi, Juhani Aho, Erik Tawaststjerna and others will be read.

Heikko Deutschmann Speaker

Philharmonia Quartett:

Daniel Stabrawa Violin

Christian Stadelmann Violin

Neithard Resa Viola

Dietmar Schwalke Cello

Ludwig Quandt Cello

Cordelia Höfer Piano

Götz Teutsch Programme Supervision

Music by Jean Sibelius and Johann Sebastian Bach/Ferruccio Busoni

Texts from the Kalevala as well as by Aleksis Kivi, August Strindberg, Erik Tawaststjerna, Volker Tarnow, Tomi Mäkelä, Adolf Paul and other authors

Dates and Tickets


Jean Sibelius came to Berlin at the age of 23 in late September 1889 to train under Albert Becker (an experienced pedagogue in the environs of Franz Xaver Scharwenka’s Conservatory). Disagreements soon arose, however, between the young radical and the old-style academic, when Becker found fault with a false relation – a tritone sounded across two voices – that Sibelius had consciously deployed as a “sound effect”.

The rich musical life in Berlin was just as important for Sibelius as the exercises in strict counterpoint: on his very first evening he heard Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Francesco d’Andrade in the title role at the Kroll Oper. He later attended performances of Wagner operas, experienced the Berlin premiere of Richard Strauss’s tone poem Don Juan conducted by Hans von Bülow on 31 January 1890 and was impressed by the Beethoven and Schubert concerts played by the Joachim Quartet. A performance of Robert Kajanus’s Aino Symphony inspired him to study the Finnish national epic Kalevala. Because the composer, who grew up speaking Swedish, first had to learn Finnish to do this (Finland had been part of Sweden until 1809), this was not a matter of discovering one’s own regional roots, but rather of tapping into exotic and foreign literature …

In the second Philharmonic Salon in this season, Götz Teutsch will take on Sibelius in Berlin. The Philharmonia Quartett will provide the musical framework with works by Sibelius and texts by Aleksis Kivi, Juhani Aho, Erik Tawaststjerna and others will be read.