From 28th August to 20th September 2021

Musikfest Berlin

This year's Musikfest Berlin will take place from 28th August to 20th September 2021, organised by the Berliner Festspiele, in co-operation with the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation. 34 events in the Philharmonie’s Main Concert Hall and its Chamber Music Hall, in the Konzerthaus Berlin am Gendarmenmarkt and the rbb Broadcasting Hall, showcase music from five centuries, with more than 100 works by 52 composers, performed by 29 instrumental and vocal ensembles and 35 soloists from the international and Berlin music scene.

Go to website of Musikfest Berlin

 

In focus: Igor Stravinsky

He has been called the Picasso of composers. When Igor Stravinsky died 50 years ago at age 88, his life’s work was similar to that of the painter: filled with surprising changes, appropriations and transformations, masterfully giving time an unmistakable shape, not shying away from provocation and extravagance, admired and celebrated, buoyed by the unshakeable joy of musical creation (plaisir de la creation) as he commented in the Poetics of Music. “Stravinsky remains” (Stravinsky demeure) the young Pierre Boulez prognosticated in 1951. At that time, Stravinsky was in the process of reinventing himself artistically once again. His sense of discovery led him to historically more removed music of the Renaissance, the Early Baroque and the Middle Ages. He was particularly fascinated by the madrigals of the Italian count Don Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa. This was one area of focus. Another, the music of Anton Webern, who had died at the end of the war and his young, up and coming contemporaries: Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen interested him greatly. From the spheres of this dialogue spanning the ages, Stravinsky developed his late music style and the late works, composed in California where he had made his home since 1939. In his later years, the insular city of Venice was to become the centre of his creative and spiritual space of the imagination. He composed the cantata Canticum Sacrum for the city’s Basilica San Marco and his greatest sacred work for the ballroom of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, decorated with Tintoretto’s ceiling frescoes. His Requiem Canticles were performed during his funeral on Venice’s island of the dead, San Michele. After World War II, Igor Stravinsky became the icon of a European life that extended from pre-revolutionary Russia through the two World Wars to the Cold War era. He was a regular and celebrated guest at the Berlin Festival in the 1960s.

From Gesualdo to Goebbels and Neuwirth

The 50th anniversary of Stravinsky’s death and the 70th anniversary of the Berliner Festspiele this year will thus become an occasion for Musikfest Berlin 2021 to present his rarely performed late work. The festival’s programme follows the great composer’s roving ear through history and the present: it goes back in time to the music of the 16th and 17th centuries, to Bach, Handel, Gesualdo, Gabrieli and Palestrina, in historically informed performances by experts of these remote times. And the festival programme, in continuing with Stravinsky's interest, embraces the music of contemporary composers: new works by George Benjamin, Rebecca Saunders and Wolfgang Rihm to Clara Iannotta, Ondřej Adámek and Ann Cleare, including the European premiere of Olga Neuwirth’s musical calligrams Keyframes for a Hippogriff by the Berliner Philharmoniker.

The composer Karl Amadeus Hartmann with his wife Elisabeth Hartmann and Igor Stravinsky, 1950
(Photo: akg images)

International orchestras in Berlin

In addition to the Berlin-based orchestras, vocal and instrumental ensembles, this year’s Musikfest Berlin will feature guest performances by the Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam with Daniel Harding, the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir with John Eliot Gardiner, the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées and Collegium Vocale Gent with Philippe Herreweghe, the London Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle, the Orchestre Les Siècles with François-Xavier Roth, and many others. A series of events will break down the confines of the concert format: in the interactive project Night Shift – The Rehearsal, Cathy Milliken eliminates the divide between stage and audience in Shakespearean fashion. Johannes Kalitzke – on the occasion of the anniversary “200 years Konzerthaus Berlin” and reflecting the Beethoven Year 2020 – brings Max Neufeld’s famous silent film The Tales of Hoffmann from 1923 to new prominence with his Beethoven Variations for orchestra. And the Théâtre National du Luxembourg gives a guest performance in the rbb broadcasting Great Hall with Heiner Goebbels’ scenic concert Liberté d’action, which was created during the Covid-19 shutdown. The Musikfest Berlin will officially begin on 30th August in the Main Concert Hall of the Philharmonie with the world premiere of another new work by Heiner Goebbels: A House of Call. My imaginary Notebook.

All concerts of the Musikfest Berlin 2021

Saturday,

28 Aug 2021,
17:00

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Sat, 28 Aug 2021, 17:00
Philharmonie

Bundesjugendchor

Anne Kohler chorus master

Works by Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Orlando di Lasso, Wolfgang Rihm, Jonathan Harvey, Hendrik Hofmeyr, Kathrin A. Denner and James MacMillan

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Monday,

30 Aug 2021,
20:00

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Mon, 30 Aug 2021, 20:00
Philharmonie

Ensemble Modern

Vimbayi Kaziboni conductor

Heiner Goebbels stage lighting

Norbert Ommer sound direction

Heiner Goebbels A House of Call. My Imaginary Notebook ‒commissioned by Ensemble Modern, Berliner Festspiele /Musikfest Berlin, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, musica viva/BR, Kölner Philharmonie, Wien Modern/Wiener Konzerthaus, beuys2021 and Casa da Música Porto

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Tuesday,

31 Aug 2021,
20:00

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Tue, 31 Aug 2021, 20:00
Philharmonie

Concertgebouworkest

Daniel Harding conductor

Renée Fleming soprano

Works by Igor Stravinsky, Olivier Messiaen and Claude Debussy

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Wednesday,

01 Sep 2021,
20:00

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Wed, 01 Sep 2021, 20:00
Philharmonie

Ensemble Modern

Catherine Larsen-Maguire conductor

Neuer Kammerchor Berlin

Adrian Emans chorus master

Helena Rasker Gesang und Schauspiel

Michael Schiefel Gesang und Schauspiel

Cathy Milliken composition, text and workshop

Patrick Hahn text and dramaturgy

Robert Lehmeier scenic realization

Cathy Milliken Night Shift - The Rehearsal, An evening for ensemble, soloists, choir and audience (premiere)

read more

Thursday,

02 Sep 2021,
20:00

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Thu, 02 Sep 2021, 20:00
Philharmonie

Mahler Chamber Orchestra

George Benjamin conductor

Tamara Stefanovich piano

Works by Oliver Knussen, Henry Purcell, Igor Stravinsky and George Benjamin

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Friday,

03 Sep 2021,
20:00

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Fri, 03 Sep 2021, 20:00
Philharmonie

Monteverdi Choir

English Baroque Soloists

John Eliot Gardiner conductor

Ann Hallenberg mezzo-soprano

Works by George Frideric Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach

read more

Saturday,

04 Sep 2021,
19:00

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Sat, 04 Sep 2021, 19:00
Philharmonie

Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin

Vladimir Jurowski conductor

Georg Nigl baritone

Tamara Stefanovich piano

Works by Igor Stravinsky and Paul Hindemith

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Saturday,

04 Sep 2021,
21:00

Chamber Music Hall

Musikfest Berlin

Sat, 04 Sep 2021, 21:00
Chamber Music Hall

Anna Prohaska soprano

Nicolas Altstaedt cello

Francesco Corti Orgel / Cembalo

Works by Sir John Tavener, Franz Tunder, Vincenzo Bonizzi, George Frideric Handel, Alexander Tscherepnin, Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer, Zoltán Kodály, Wolfgang Rihm, Marin Marais, Luciano Berio, Heinrich Scheidemann and Jörg Widmann

read more

Sunday,

05 Sep 2021,
11:30

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Sun, 05 Sep 2021, 11:30
Philharmonie

Ensemble Musikfabrik

Enno Poppe conductor

Works by Ann Cleare

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Sunday,

05 Sep 2021,
15:00

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Sun, 05 Sep 2021, 15:00
Philharmonie

Ensemble Musikfabrik

Enno Poppe conductor

Enno Poppe Prozession for large ensemble

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Sunday,

05 Sep 2021,
17:00

Haus des Rundfunks, Großer Sendesaal

Musikfest Berlin

Sun, 05 Sep 2021, 17:00
Haus des Rundfunks, Großer Sendesaal

David Bennent Performance

Hermann Kretzschmar piano

Ueli Wiget piano

Heiner Goebbels music, direction and stage design

Paul Jeukendrup sound direction

Marc Thein light

Florence von Gerkan costumes

Diego Ramos Rodriguez musical assistance and transcription

Lisa Schettel Assistenz

Sóley Sigurjónsdóttir trainee

Heiner Goebbels Liberté d'action, Scenic concert with texts by Henri Michaux

read more

Sunday,

05 Sep 2021,
18:00

Konzerthaus Berlin

Musikfest Berlin

Sun, 05 Sep 2021, 18:00
Konzerthaus Berlin

Konzerthausorchester Berlin orchestra

Johannes Kalitzke conductor

Works by Max Neufeld and Johannes Kalitzke

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Sunday,

05 Sep 2021,
21:00

Haus des Rundfunks, Großer Sendesaal

Musikfest Berlin

Sun, 05 Sep 2021, 21:00
Haus des Rundfunks, Großer Sendesaal

David Bennent Performance

Hermann Kretzschmar piano

Ueli Wiget piano

Heiner Goebbels music, direction and stage design

Paul Jeukendrup sound direction

Marc Thein light

Florence von Gerkan costumes

Diego Ramos Rodriguez musical assistance and transcription

Lisa Schettel Assistenz

Sóley Sigurjónsdóttir trainee

Heiner Goebbels Liberté d'action, Scenic concert with texts by Henri Michaux

read more

Sunday,

05 Sep 2021,
21:00

Konzerthaus Berlin

Musikfest Berlin

Sun, 05 Sep 2021, 21:00
Konzerthaus Berlin

Konzerthausorchester Berlin orchestra

Johannes Kalitzke conductor

Works by Max Neufeld and Johannes Kalitzke

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Monday,

06 Sep 2021,
20:00

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Mon, 06 Sep 2021, 20:00
Philharmonie

Orchestre des Champs-Élysées

Philippe Herreweghe conductor

Collegium Vocale Gent

Dorothee Mields soprano

Krešimir Stražanac bass-baritone

Works by Gabriel Fauré, Johannes Brahms and Igor Stravinsky

read more

Tuesday,

07 Sep 2021,
20:00

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Tue, 07 Sep 2021, 20:00
Philharmonie

London Symphony Orchestra

Sir Simon Rattle conductor

Magdalena Kožená soprano

Works by Ondřej Adámek and Ludwig van Beethoven

read more

Wednesday,

08 Sep 2021,
17:00

Chamber Music Hall

Musikfest Berlin

Wed, 08 Sep 2021, 17:00
Chamber Music Hall

Collegium Vocale Gent choir

Philippe Herreweghe conductor

Works by Don Carlo Gesualdo

read more

Wednesday,

08 Sep 2021,
20:00

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Wed, 08 Sep 2021, 20:00
Philharmonie

Staatskapelle Berlin

Daniel Barenboim conductor

Martha Argerich piano

Works by Robert Schumann

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Wednesday,

08 Sep 2021,
21:00

Chamber Music Hall

Musikfest Berlin

Wed, 08 Sep 2021, 21:00
Chamber Music Hall

Collegium Vocale Gent choir

Philippe Herreweghe conductor

Works by Don Carlo Gesualdo

read more

Thursday,

09 Sep 2021,
20:00

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Thu, 09 Sep 2021, 20:00
Philharmonie

Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra

Ilan Volkov conductor

Nicolas Hodges piano

Christian Dierstein percussion

Dirk Rothbrust percussion

Works by Anton Webern and Rebecca Saunders

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Friday,

10 Sep 2021,
20:00

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Fri, 10 Sep 2021, 20:00
Philharmonie

Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin

Donald Runnicles conductor

Flurina Stucki soprano

Matthew Newlin tenor

Markus Brück baritone

Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin

Children's Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin

Benjamin Britten War Requiem, op. 66

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Saturday,

11 Sep 2021,
17:00

Chamber Music Hall

Musikfest Berlin

Sat, 11 Sep 2021, 17:00
Chamber Music Hall

Pierre-Laurent Aimard piano

Works by Jan Peterson Sweelink, György Kurtág and Mark Andre

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Saturday,

11 Sep 2021,
19:00

Philharmonie

Serie: B

Sat, 11 Sep 2021, 19:00
Philharmonie

Berliner Philharmoniker

Jakub Hrůša conductor

Andrew Watts countertenor

Tölzer Knabenchor

Works by Olga Neuwirth and Anton Bruckner

read more watch online

Saturday,

11 Sep 2021,
21:00

Chamber Music Hall

Musikfest Berlin

Sat, 11 Sep 2021, 21:00
Chamber Music Hall

Pierre-Laurent Aimard piano

Frank Reinecke double bass

Works by Mark Andre

read more

Sunday,

12 Sep 2021,
11:00

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Sun, 12 Sep 2021, 11:00
Philharmonie

Ensemble Mini

Joolz Gale conductor

Christian Tetzlaff violin

Works by Igor Stravinsky and Béla Bartók

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Sunday,

12 Sep 2021,
20:00

Philharmonie

Serie: L

Sun, 12 Sep 2021, 20:00
Philharmonie

Berliner Philharmoniker

Jakub Hrůša conductor

Andrew Watts countertenor

Tölzer Knabenchor

Works by Olga Neuwirth and Anton Bruckner

read more

Monday,

13 Sep 2021,
20:00

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Mon, 13 Sep 2021, 20:00
Philharmonie

Les Siècles

François-Xavier Roth conductor

John Heuzenroeder tenor

Miljenko Turk baritone

Rundfunkchor Berlin

Isabelle Faust violin

Works by Igor Stravinsky

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Wednesday,

15 Sep 2021,
20:00

Philharmonie

Musikfest Berlin

Wed, 15 Sep 2021, 20:00
Philharmonie

RIAS Kammerchor Berlin

Soloists of the RIAS Kammerchor Berlin

Kammerakademie Potsdam

Justin Doyle conductor

Works by Giovanni Gabrieli, William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa and Igor Stravinsky

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Thursday,

16 Sep 2021,
17:00

Chamber Music Hall

Musikfest Berlin

Thu, 16 Sep 2021, 17:00
Chamber Music Hall

Isabelle Faust violin

Dominique Horwitz recitation

Lorenzo Coppola clarinet

Javier Zafra bassoon

Reinhold Friedrich trumpet

Raymond Curfs drums

Jörgen van Rijen trombone

Wies de Boevé double bass

Igor Stravinsky Histoire du soldat (The Soldier's Tale)

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Thursday,

16 Sep 2021,
20:00

Philharmonie

Series: W, G

Thu, 16 Sep 2021, 20:00
Philharmonie

Berliner Philharmoniker

Kirill Petrenko conductor

Patricia Kopatchinskaja violin

Works by Karl Amadeus Hartmann and Igor Stravinsky

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