Biennale of the Berliner Philharmoniker
Philharmonic Salon: György Ligeti

Ulrich Matthes (photo: Mathias Bothor)

Unwavering, curious and humorous, György Ligeti pursued his artistic path and in doing so became one of the foremost composers in the second half of the 20th century. His career began for the Hungarian, the 100th anniversary of whose birth is in 2023, after he had emigrated to the West. But his personal and artistic roots lie in Transylvania, where he was born and grew up as the son of Jewish parents. Actor Ulrich Matthes and members of the Berliner Philharmoniker look back on the composer’s early years with texts and music.

Ulrich Matthes speaker

Members of the Berliner Philharmoniker

Götz Teutsch programme supervision

Cordelia Höfer piano

György Ligeti and his roots in 20th Century Transylvania

Biennale packages

Put together your own individual Biennale package with three (10% discount) or five events (15% discount). You can choose from a total of twelve concert programmes of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation. The Biennale packages are available exclusively online.

3 concerts / 10 % discount

5 concerts / 15 % discount

Dates and Tickets


Ulrich Matthes

Ulrich Matthes is one of Germany’s most recognisable actors. Since 2004, Ulrich Matthes has been part of the ensemble of the Deutsches Theater Berlin, where he plays in both classical and modern plays. He can also be seen in films and on television. His portrayals of Joseph Goebbels in Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Downfall, Abbé Kremer in Volker Schlöndorff’s The Ninth Day and literature professor Robert in Novemberkind were outstanding. Numerous radio plays and audio book productions also demonstrate the actor’s versatility. Born in Berlin, Ulrich Matthes first studied German and English before taking acting lessons under the renowned teacher Else Bongers. This was followed by engagements in Krefeld, Dusseldorf and Munich (Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel, Kammerspiele); Ulrich Matthes returned to Berlin in 1992 with an engagement at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz. He has received numerous awards, including the Gertrud Eysoldt Ring for his portrayal of George in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. In 2015, he was awarded the Grimme Prize and a Goldene Kamera (Best Actor Nationally) for his role in the episode Im Schmerz geboren of the German crime series Tatort. Ulrich Matthes is a member of the Akademie der Künste Berlin as well as the German and European Film Academies.

Götz Teutsch

Götz Teutsch comes from Sibiu in Transylvania, Romania. He was first trained on the cello by Radu Aldulescu in Bucharest and continued his studies under Enrico Mainardi and Karl Richter after leaving Romania in 1968. He also studied early music performance practice and viola da gamba. Götz Teutsch was a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker from 1970 to 2006, two decades of which as principal cellist under chief conductors Herbert von Karajan and Claudio Abbado. As a concert soloist with the orchestra, he performed works such as Dmitri Shostakovich’s Second Cello Concerto. Götz Teutsch was one of the founding members of the 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic. In November 2000, the literature enthusiast created the first Philharmonic Salon – an idea that quickly developed into a highly successful series.

Focus: Ligeti

A portrait of a humorous and curious composer


The Arts in Germany in the 1950s and 1960s