(photo: Martin Walz)


Family Concert – Christmas Concert

Ho, Ho, Horn!

Horn player Sarah Willis is the popular presenter of the annual traditional Family Christmas Concert of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Education Programme. This year, she showcases her own instrument, the French horn, and together with her colleagues from the Philharmoniker’s horn section, presents a varied programme full of beautiful, funny, surprising and, of course, seasonal music.

Berlin Philharmonic Horns

Franz Schindlbeck Percussion

Sarah Willis Presentation and Concept

Ho, Ho, Horn!

Recommended for kids aged 5 and above

Dates and Tickets

Sat, 03 Dec 2016, 15:00


Sun, 04 Dec 2016, 11:00



We all know the moment described by ETA Hoffmann in The Nutcracker and the Mouse King which countless children wait for: “A bright light brushed against the wall [...]. At that moment, a silvery bell rang “ting-a-ling, ting-a-ling”, the doors opened, and such a light shone from the great room that the children exclaimed loudly “Oh! - Oh!” as they stood as if frozen on the threshold.” The Berliner Philharmoniker education programme’s traditional family concert for Advent with Sarah Willis sets the musical mood for the festive period. As always, the orchestra’s horn player introduces a particular group of instruments which then plays a selection of beautiful, funny, surprising and, of course, Christmassy music. With a soft, warm and round sound that is deeper than the trumpet but higher than the trombone and tuba, it is Sarah’s own instrument that takes centre stage this year. The horn was used by composers of various eras to represent hunting, as a sonic signifier for forests and nature, and as a musical cipher for Romantic remoteness and isolation. With its brass-coloured, iridescent body, it has also added tonal splendour to sacred music. In this spirit, prepare yourself for what in every respect will be a dazzling concert – with Sarah Willis and colleagues, the horn players of the Berliner Philharmoniker, plus other Berlin musicians.

(photo: Martin Walz)

Family concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker

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