Musikfest Berlin

Jörg Widmann and Felix Mendelssohn

Jörg Widmann (photo: Stefan Höderath)

For composer, clarinettist and conductor Jörg Widmann, Felix Mendelssohn is one of music’s greats. He sees parallels to his own work through a shared “delight in tempo, in instrumental colours, in rapid and sudden changes of mood”. You can now hear this artistic affinity for yourself. Widmann conducts Mendelssohn's celebratory “Reformation Symphony” and introduces three of his own works: his overture Con brio, which plays with motifs from Beethoven, his virtuoso Fantasy for Clarinet, and the Second Violin Concerto with his sister Carolin Widmann as the soloist.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Jörg Widmann conductor and clarinet

Carolin Widmann violin

Jörg Widmann

Con brio, Concert Overture

Jörg Widmann

Violin Concerto No. 2

Carolin Widmann violin

Jörg Widmann

Fantasy for solo clarinet

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

Symphony No. 5 in D minor, op. 107 “Reformationˮ

In cooperation with Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin

Dates and Tickets


Jörg Widmann

“For me, the main impulse to compose always comes from emotion,” says Jörg Widmann – as composer, clarinettist and conductor, a universal musician in the true sense of the word. Widmann, who studied with Gerd Starke in Munich and Charles Neidich at the Juilliard School in New York, came to composition via the clarinet: “I always improvised and on the next day was annoyed that I couldn’t remember what I had done the day before.” As a composer, he is known particularly for his eagerness to experiment. In addition to works for the stage, he writes chamber music as well as ensemble and orchestral works with and without solo instruments, including works commissioned by the Berliner Philharmoniker, such as the piano concerto Trauermarsch (Funeral March), dedicated to Yefim Bronfman, and the orchestral work Tanz auf dem Vulkan (Dance on the Volcano). A passionate chamber musician, he performs regularly with such chamber music partners as Daniel Barenboim, Tabea Zimmermann and Sir András Schiff. He also appears as soloist and guest conductor with leading international orchestras and was principal conductor of the Irish Chamber Orchestra. Jörg Widmann served as professor of clarinet and composition at the University of Music in Freiburg until 2017, when he became professor of composition at the Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin. During the 2023/24 season he was Composer in Residence with the Berliner Philharmoniker, whom he conducts for the first time at these concerts.

Carolin Widmann

Carolin Widmann is regarded as an uncompromising violinist. She wanted to pursue a career in contemporary music, which she has done with brilliant success. With her innovative programming and authenticity she is the embodiment of modernism, but at the same time makes its roots in musical tradition audible and palpable: “One can only understand the old when one understands the new and the other way around.” She feels at home not only in the many works composed expressly for her, however, but also in the Classical and Romantic repertoire, and her tremendous versatility extends to leading ensembles from the violin, increasingly including period music ensembles as well. Carolin Widmann studied with Igor Ozim in Cologne, Michèle Auclair in Boston and David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and was introduced to contemporary music early on. The violinist, who made her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2018 performing Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Violin Concerto, has often collaborated with composers such as György Kurtág, George Benjamin and Salvatore Sciarrino. She is a frequent guest with leading orchestras throughout the world and also appears as a chamber musician in venues such as London’s Wigmore Hall, BOZAR in Brussels and Vienna’s Konzerthaus. Carolin Widmann was awarded the Bavarian Music Prize in 2017. She plays a Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin from 1782.

Carolin Widmann (photo: Lennard Ruehle)


Jörg Widmann as conductor and clarinetist

Composer in Residence

In Search of the Uncertain: Portrait of Jörg Widmann