Everyone has them: those days crammed with appointments, with one meeting after another, a phone that won’t stop ringing, lunch on the run, trying to squeeze some essential shopping into the break. That’s why taking a few moments away from the hectic daily routine at midday can do you good.
You could, for example, make a date for lunch. And where? In the foyer of the Philharmonie, where a new concert series has been running since October 2007: the Lunchkonzerte – Lunchtime Concerts, which are happening again this season at 1 pm every Tuesday between September and June. Chamber music of supreme quality with free admission and good food – that’s the idea behind these concerts, and it’s been exciting Berlin’s finest musicians. The 40-50 minute programmes feature not only members of the Berlin Philharmonic and scholars of its Karajan Academy, but also instrumentalists from the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and the Staatskapelle Berlin along with students at Berlin’s music conservatories.
The lunchtime concerts, in which the artists who play provide their services free of charge, are not only ideal for working people looking to relax during their midday break, but also for music-loving tourists seeking to recover from sightseeing, for seniors shying away from a late trip home after an evening concert, and indeed for anyone who’d like for once to experience these musicians in a relatively private and intimate setting, away from “official” musical events. Not only your ears, but also your palate will of course be indulged at the lunchtime concerts – an imaginatively planned catering will see to that. Unlike the music, that isn’t quite free but is most reasonably priced.
For security reasons, the number of visitors to the lunch concerts is limited to 1,500. Therefore, each visitor is given a chip at the entrance to the Philharmonie by a visitor services staff member. This chip is then handed back to enter the foyer where the concerts take place. It is not possible to reserve chips or to remove them from the Philharmonie for re-use. The bringing of folding chairs is not permitted for safety reasons. There are a limited number of seats available for visitors with disabilities.
And one more thing:
Visitors of all ages are welcome at the Lunch concerts as a rule. Please note, however, that – unlike the family and children's concerts of our education department – the concept of the Lunch concerts is not aimed explicitly at children. Out of consideration for the performing artists and the other concert guests, we would ask parents who wish to bring their children to consider before visiting a Lunch concert if their child is in a position to remain quietly seated for approx. 45 minutes.