At the Easter Festival, the Berliner Philharmoniker will show the full range of its artistic abilities over just a few days: great symphonic and intimate chamber music, from works of the Renaissance and the Baroque plus the First Viennese School and Romanticism, to Modernism and the avant-garde. All this makes up the special mix of Philharmoniker concert events and gives the festival its own distinctive character.
Simon Rattle, Daniel Harding and Iván Fischer
The orchestra concerts of the festival are performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker with world-famous soloists and conductors: in addition to Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Harding, who performs Richard Strauss' Alpine Symphony, and Iván Fischer also conduct the orchestra. Among other things, the latter, together with Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang, performs Béla Bartók's First Violin Concerto written by the Hungarian composer for the unrequited love of his youth, the violinist Stefi Geyer. “In the lyrical and delicate first movement, which shows a very atypical side of Bartók, the concerto draws a clear and distinct portrait of a beautiful woman,” says Vilde Frang.
Elīna Garanča, Krystian Zimerman, Vilde Frang and Gerald Finley
Krystian Zimerman is the soloist in Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 The Age of Anxiety for piano and orchestra. This work, interspersed with jazz elements, holds a special position in the repertoire of Polish pianist – after all, he played the work under the direction of the composer in 1986. In Baden-Baden, Simon Rattle conducts two performances of The Age of Anxiety, along with Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. With Maurice Ravel’s Shéhérazade, mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča takes us to sensual, oriental dream worlds, while baritone Gerald Finley presents famous Schubert lieder including An die Musik, Erlkönig and Prometheus in rarely heard orchestra arrangements by Brahms and Reger. Part of the tradition of the Easter Festival is also the music festival on Maundy Thursday, which sees performances by the Berliner Barock Solisten, the Brass Ensemble of the Berliner Philharmoniker plus the National Youth Orchestra of Germany, whose patrons are the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Chamber music in all its variations
“Here, time becomes space” – This quote from Wagner’s Parsifal is reflected in the programming of the chamber music performances, the Master Concerts. With titles including The creation of the world, Zeitliche Distanzen, Mystische Erkenntnis and Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, the concerts give musical form to existential questions. They include works ranging from the Renaissance and the Baroque plus well-known chamber music works by Schubert and Schumann to modern and contemporary compositions. Philharmoniker ensembles such as the Brahms and Scharoun ensembles, Concerto Melante, Bolero Berlin and Klangart Berlin and individual members of the Berliner Philharmoniker all come together to realise a very special programme. The students of the Karajan Academy also appear in two concerts. Götz Teutsch invites you to the Philharmonic Salon, which this year takes the late works of Liszt and Richard Wagner as its theme.