Anniversary Concert: 40 Years Scharoun Ensemble

Happy Birthday, Scharoun Ensemble!

Scharoun Ensemble (photo: Felix Bröde)

The Scharoun Ensemble Berlin owes its existence to Franz Schubert’s Octet: forty years ago, members of the Berliner Philharmoniker founded this formation to perform this work with its beguiling melodies and dance-like charm. So Schubert’s Octet could not be left out of this anniversary concert – nor could the other composers on the programme, with whom the ensemble has developed a close relationship. There is also a special anniversary serenade for the ensemble: the world premiere of Brett Dean’s Ich lausche und ich höre for octet and soprano. The singer is Sarah Aristidou.

Scharoun Ensemble Berlin

Wolfram Brandl violin

Christophe Horák violin

Rachel Schmidt violin

Micha Afkham viola

Claudio Bohórquez cello

Peter Riegelbauer double bass

Alexander Bader clarinet

Markus Weidmann bassoon

Stefan de Leval Jezierski french horn

Anniversary Concert: 40 Years Scharoun Ensemble

Hans Werner Henze

Quattro Fantasie (Octet Movements from Kammermusik 1958 and Adagio 1963)

David Philip Hefti

Des Zaubers Spuren, Octet for Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, String Quartet and Double Bass (German Premiere)

Brett Dean

Ich lausche und ich höre for soprano and octet (Première) commissioned by the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation

Franz Schubert

Octet in F major, D 803

Dates and Tickets


Sarah Aristidou

When she is not reading extensively in the five languages she speaks, Sarah Aristidou loves to slip into different roles and “play different characters, explore emotions, and test the limits,” she says. She is a singer for whom “no height is too high” (Der Tagesspiegel). She made her debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich as Hanako in Toshio Hosokawa's one-act opera Hanjo, where she was acclaimed as a "youthfully blossoming, somnambulistically confident soprano" (BR-Klassik). Sarah Aristidou studied musicology at the Sorbonne and voice at the Berlin University of the Arts and the Bavarian Theatre Academy August Everding. After her first engagement at the opera house in Nantes as Eurydice (Orpheus in the Underworld) – "a dream role because it is one of the only coloratura soprano roles in operetta that really soars" – the French-Cypriot singer launched her career as a member of the International Studio of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, with major roles such as Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Ismene (Mitridate, Re di Ponto) and Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos). Sarah Aristidou also enjoyed significant successes with her recent debuts at the Royal Opera in Copenhagen, the Malmö Music Theatre and the Dresden Semperoper. Her unique vocal abilities have inspired composers such as Aribert Reimann and Jörg Widmann to write new works for her.

Scharoun Ensemble

The Scharoun Ensemble of Berlin was founded in 1983 and has since then achieved high esteem in the international music capitals and at festivals. Comprising eight permanent members, except from Wolfram Brandl and Claudio Bohorquez all of them musicians of the Berliner Philharmoniker, the ensemble has since its inception augmented the classic octet formation to create larger forces.

Its association with the legacy of Hans Scharoun, the visionary architect of the Berlin Philharmonie, is an expression of its artistic commitment to the treasures of the past and the challenges of the present and future. Thus, along with its Classical and Romantic core repertoire, represented by the Schubert Octet and Beethoven Septet, the ensemble also places a distinctive emphasis on contemporary music, seeking collaboration with composers (for example, Hans Werner Henze, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Aribert Reimann and György Ligeti) and commissioning and giving the premieres of numerous works.

Sarah Aristidou (photo: Andrej Grilc)

The Courageous Ones

About the 40-year history of the Scharoun Ensemble