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Current events

(Photo: Thomas Rosenthal)

Further events for all members

Further events for Supporters and Patrons

Former events


16 February 2020
“Real art is obstinate”

A Beethoven matinee
And another birthday that no one can ignore in 2020: 250 years ago saw the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, known as the “Titan” among composers. In fact, anyone can do something with the name Beethoven, even if he has no relationship to classical music at all. But for classical aficionados, Beethoven’s art is like the gate to Elysium. But how well do we really know Beethoven? At this both literary and musical Beethoven matinee, we will hear from contemporary witnesses who experienced Beethoven themselves and remember him - “a completely unrestrained personality” as Goethe called him. And we will hear works that you don’t encounter every day or that you might not even associate with Beethoven. How did the master himself formulate it? “Real art is obstinate ...”.



3 November 2019
70 years of “Friends of the Berliner Philharmoniker”

An Anniversary-Matinee
Hard to believe: the “Friends” are turning 70! – a reason to celebrate! The first matinee of the 2019/20 season is therefore all about our own history. Speaker Christina Stresemann, presiding judge at the Federal Court of Justice and deputy chairman of the “Friends” board of trustees, will shed light on the development of the association: it was founded on 5 October 1949 as a major citizens’ initiative to facilitate the construction of the new Philharmonie, but much remains to be done even after this goal was achieved. As the daughter of Wolfgang Stresemann, the long-time general manager of the Philharmonie, Christina Stresemann has much to tell. And, of course, the Philharmoniker will also be performing for our anniversary, with Johannes Brahms’ First Serenade in the Nonet version. Afterwards, we will all raise a toast to the anniversary.

23 June 2019
Travel around the world in 60 minutes

A Holiday-Matinee
The season comes to an end, the holiday season begins, and our minds fast forward to vacation mode and to much longed-for destinations near and far. The musicians of the Berliner Philharmoniker take you on an imaginary world tour through countries and continents; that’s how they introduce themselves and their homelands - by now, about half the orchestra consists of instrumentalists of non-German origin. Therefore, this “Holiday-Matinee” is also a tribute to the internationality of the Philharmoniker and reminds of the fundamental truth that music knows no borders.

3 March 2019
Lots of iridescent personalities

A Matinee about instruments, their merits and quirks
Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart, who most people today only know because of its namesake Franz Schubert who composed the music to the poem “Die Forelle” (the Trout), was a musical-literary all-round talent beyond compare, a contemporary of Haydn and Mozart. Hardly anyone in the 18th century (and since) could write about music in such an original, vivid and humorous fashion. His talent becomes particularly visible in his descriptions of the various instruments: In presenting their merits and quirks, he introduces them like character heads from the circle of friends or odd types of relatives. In this Matinee, Schubart's brilliant and amusing writings are presented, but of course the characterized instruments not only speak, but also sound - with a selected and unusual repertoire.

Further events

26 January 2019
“Let’s talk about music”

Unforgotten: To the Fifth Anniversary of Claudio Abbado's Death
Five years ago, on January 20, 2014, Claudio Abbado, who headed the Berliner Philharmoniker as Principal Conductor from 1990 to 2002, completely redefining the orchestra under the aegis of Herbert von Karajan, died. He remained close to the Philharmoniker with annual performances to the last - his death has torn a painful gap. In addition to the commemorative concert “In memoriam Claudio Abbado”, which will be organized by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under the direction of Robin Ticciati on 26 January in the evening, we would like to commemorate the great musician Abbado in the afternoon with a talk.

14 December 2019
“Let’s talk about music”

Rendezvous with Bruno Delepelaire
For the debut of our series Rendezvous with Philharmoniker soloists, we were able to introduce the concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley to you – now, for the second round, Bruno Delepelaire, first principal cellist of the Berliner Philharmoniker since 2013, awaits you. As a soloist, the French-born musician has demonstrated the enrichment he represents for the orchestra, for example in the 2018/19 season with Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D major. In the talk for our sponsors and patrons we will get to know him better – and can also look forward to a sample of his art.


25 February 2018
“I am I”

A Debussy Matinee on his centenary of death
2018 is a Debussy year. The French composer, who opened up new musical worlds with his impressionistic sounds, died exactly a century ago, on 25 March 1918. However, he often felt misunderstood in Germany. When in 1910 he was asked what he thought of a "week of French music” in Munich, Debussy replied:  “People will come out of politeness and they will applaud, perhaps, with that German courtesy that is so difficult to put up with. I am convinced that our art would not make a single conquest in Germany.” Our Matinee will show that Debussy has been proven wrong. On the program is not only the composer’s chamber music: as a polished author and a highly gifted polemicist, Debussy himself will also get the chance to speak.

24 June 2018
The fabulous Twelve

A cellist Matinee
They are probably the most famous ensemble amongst our orchestra: the 12 cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker who are praised worldwide for their incomparable sound culture, their temperament and their perfection. As crossover artists, the Twelve feel as much at home in the modernity as in the classical repertoire, which they present in always new arrangements. But as well film music, pop, jazz or tango have they taken into their hearts. In their Matinee for the “friends” there is something of everything and for everyone.

21 October 2018
“The Sky Over Paris”

A France Matinee with the Philharmonic Wind Quintet
On 1 May 2019, the Berliner Philharmoniker’s European Concert will take place in the magnificent Mausée d'Orsay in Paris. Once upon a time a railway station, the building was transformed into a cultural space in 1986 and since then accommodates famous paintings by Manet and Monet, Degas and Cézanne, van Gogh and Max Liebermann. The Friends Association significantly contributes to the realization of the Philharmoniker’s performance. 100 years after the end of World War I, we want to celebrate the Franco-German friendship and literally set the right tone for this occasion. With this Matinee we invite you to Paris to a concert of the Philharmonic Wind Quintet - an ensemble celebrating its 30th anniversary this season.


5 March 2017
A Brass Matinee

The brass ensemble of the Berliner Philharmoniker
It has almost become a tradition: over the last two seasons, we began to introduce various instrument groups of the Berliner Philharmoniker, first bass instruments, later the percussionists. The small series now goes into the third round and this time we will concentrate on the brass ensemble of the orchestra. Their repertoire ranges from Giovanni Gabrieli to Broadway – “Be in for a surprise!”

25 June 2017
The double String Quartet

A Matinee at Mendelssohn’s house
On Sunday mornings the banker Abraham Mendelssohn used to invite friends, acquaintances and important customer to exquisite house concerts at his mansion, featuring members of the Berliner Hofkapelle. His highly talented son Felix was able to introduce his first compositions at these events. You will experience such “Sunday music in Mendelssohn’s house” first-hand, presented by the Pro Quartett, for which the Friends association has assumed a sponsorship. The four young musicians are complemented by their teachers, the acclaimed Philharmonia Quartet: Together they will play an excerpt from young Mendelssohn’s String Octet. 

29 October 2017
How serious is the
“serious music
A Matinee with humor
We want to clean up with a persistent prejudice and prove to you that the so-called “serious music” is not so terribly serious but can rather be very pleasurable: for example when Hindemith makes fun of the musicians’ guild, Haydn misleads the listeners or Mozart thumbs his nose at the audience. No question: these composers didn’t want to write “serious music”, only the lawyers have put this label on them. Because it were experts on copyright who brought the term into the world to secure their clients higher royalties. And as generally known, the fun stops at money matters… 


21 February 2016
Drum, Hammer, Rattles

A Drum Matinee
They are the Universalists of the orchestra: The percussionists of the Berliner Philharmoniker have to master not only one instrument, but several dozen. Whether drums or cymbals, tam-tam, gong or triangle, wood block, hammer and whip, marimba or xylophone, cowbells, cymbals and rattles – there are more than enough. And when it comes to contemporary works, then the percussionist must sometimes become the inventor and create a whole new tone. This matinee introduces the musicians and their instruments with selected compositions.

26 June 2016
Berliner Philharmoniker

A “Female” Matinee
“Music is a woman,” Richard Wagner once claimed. But when it came to composing music or even performing, it was very hard for women. Until well into the 20th century many of the leading orchestra’s were exclusively male bastions, to say nothing of the restrictions with which composers or female conductors had to fight. Yet there are a number of works by composers including and especially from the romantic era that deserve recognition. We present some of them, played by the female members of the Berlin Philharmoniker giving their creators a chance to “speak”.

30 October 2016The superb Viola A precious viola for the Philharmoniker The Friends of the Berliner Philharmoniker e.V. have purchased a precious viola. The instrument was made in 1780 by the Venetian luthier Domenico Busan and was last in possession of the famous virtuoso Bruno Giuranna who played it at concerts of the Philharmoniker or joint performances with the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. We would like to introduce this superb viola in our Autumn Matinee: with musical examples and talks.


11 October 2015
What was that again ...?

An Enigma Matinee
You've all seen it before: You're listening to the radio, a piece of music is playing, that you think you know – just what was it again? In our Autumn Matinee we invite you to a “blind tasting”: The Athanäum Quartett will play five different sets, music unrevealed. On stage two vying teams will compete to work out what music is being played – from easy to fiendishly difficult. Professionals against amateurs, two retired orchestra members against friends. 




4. March
The Instrumentalist as the singer 

Music by: Joseph Haydn, Antonio Lotti, Peter Tschaikowsky, Alexander Dargomoschsky, Michail Glinka, Johannes Brahms, Leonard Bernstein Performers: Stefan Schulz Trombone Christian Brückner Speaker Saori Tomidokoro Piano Jesper Busk Sørensen Trombone Iñaki Aguirre Trombone Filipe Alves Trombone

24. June
Philharmoniker in a musical discussion V –  New members of the Berliner Philharmoniker are presented in both words and music 

Music by Jean-Baptiste, Max Bruch, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Claude Debussy, Johan Halvorsen 
Performers: Dorian Xhoxhi, Violin, Amihai Grosz, Viola, Joaquin Riquelme Garcia, Viola, Rachel Helleur, Cello, Stephan Koncz, Cello, Matthew McDonald, Bass, Andrej Zjust, Horn, Simon Rössler, Marimba, Tomoko Takahashi, Piano

11. November 
The Queen of the Instruments – The Philharmoniker Organ with a new sound and a new polish! 

Music by Georg Friedrich Händel, Hugo Wolf, Petr Eben, Franz Liszt, Johann Sebastian Bach 
Performers: Christian Schmitt, Organ, Gabor Tarkövi, Trumpet, Katharina Hohlfeld, Soprano, Martin Schwarz, Organ Builder, Klaus Wallendorf, Moderation


27 Feb. Matinee
“Scenes from a Marriage” 
Composers Alma and Gustav Mahler 

Music by: Alma and Gustav Mahler 
Peformed by: Lioba Braun Mezzo-soprano, John Dawson Piano Speech by: Dr. Oliver Hilmes

24 March Dress Rehearsal of the Berliner Philharmoniker

26 June Annual General Meeting / Matinee 
“Beginning with a new light” 
How the Berliner Philharmoniker was created 

Music by: Johannes Brahms, Victor Hussla 
Performed by: Andreas Buschatz Violin, Stefan Dohr Horn, Markus Becker Piano

6.Nov. Matinee: "Hungarian Rhapsody" 
Franz Liszt and the music of the gypsies 

Music by: Franz Liszt, Erwin Schulhoff Performed by: Vladimir Stoupel
Piano Speech by: Dr. Gerhard Müller


13 Feb. Invitation to a dress rehearsal of the Berliner Philharmoniker

21 Feb. Matinee “Fire & Mystery”
The Ensemble Bolero Berlin from the Berliner Philharmoniker playing Latin American Rhythms
Music by: Astor Piazzolla, Oswaldo Farres, Consuelo Velasquez, Raphael Haeger, Duke Ellington, Django Reinhardt 
Performed by: Martin Stegner, Raphael Haeger, Manfred Preis, Esko Laine, Helmut Nieberl, Daniel “Topo” Gioia

27 June General Meeting / Matinee “With all Registers” 
The Philharmonic Organ 

Music by: Jean Guillou, Franz Liszt 
Performed by: Jean Guillou, Dr. Oliver Hilmes

7 Nov. Matinee “Esteemed, displaced, rediscovered” 
Robert Schumann works Music by Robert Schumann 

Performed by: Alexander Bader, Walter Küssner, Britta Schwarz, Gottfried Eberle, Dr. Michael Struck


1 Mar. Matinee “How Georg Friedrich Handel conquered Berlin” 
On the 250th anniversary of the death of the composer

Music by: W. A. Mozart, G. F. Händel Performed by : Madeleine Carruzzo 1st solo violin, Martin Menking Cello, Carolina Kurkowski Perez 1st violin, Ruslan Vilensky Cello, Simon Roturier 1st violin, Rudolf Watzel Bass, Aline Champion 2nd solo violin, Andreas Wittmann Solo oboe, Anna Babenko 2nd violin, Monica Carrasco-Wittmann Oboe, Zydrune Stonyte Viola, Ulrich Eckhardt Organ, Joost Keizer Viola, Henning Trog Cembalo

27 May Invitation to a dress rehearsal of the Berliner Philharmoniker 
Richard Wagner Excerpts from the “Götterdämmerung”

21 June General meeting / Matinee 
Philharmonic members in a musical discussion IV 

New members of the Berliner Philharmoniker introduce themselves and their music 
Music by: G. F. Händel, D. Swann, C. M. von Weber, G. Klein 
Performed by: Philipp Bohnen Violin, Mor Biron Bassoon, Micha Afkham Viola, Thomas Leyendecker Clarinet, Solène Kermarrec Cello, Alexander von Puttkamer Tuba, Tomoko Sawano Piano Speech by: Klaus Wallendorf

8 Nov. Matinee “Everything comes from within” 
The young Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Berlin 

Music by: F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy 
Performed by: Doerthe Maria Sandmann Soprano, Lydia Vierlinger Alto, Gottfried Eberle Piano, Thomas Timm Violin, Wolfgang Talirz Viola, Romano Tommasini Violin, Wilfried Strehle Viola, Carolina Kurkowski Perez Violin, Solène Kermarrec Cello, Christoph von der Nahmer Violin, Tatjana Vassiljewa Cello


2 Mar. Matinee “Magician of Sound” 
Herbert von Karajan on his 100th Birthday 

Music by: W. A. Mozart, A. Webern 
Performed by: D. Stabrawa, C. Stadelmann, N. Resa, J. Diesselhorst

29 May Invitation to a dress rehearsal of the Berliner Philharmoniker 
Hector Berlioz La Mort de Cléopâtre & Symphonie fantastique op. 14

15 June General Meeting / Matinee “The forces of the Bass“ 
400 Years of the Double Bass 

Music by: J. Wilbye, G. B. Pergolesi, I. Stravinky, J. Vitores, a. Pena u. a. 
Performed by: K. Stoll, R. Watzel, E. Ruiz, T. Takahashi, J. Vitores

14 Oct. Matinee “Poems, Harmony and Song” 
The Friendship between Carl Friedrich Zelter and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

Music by: C. F. Zelter, F. Hensel, F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy 
Performed by: U. Beckert, U. and M. Wildenhof, G. Eberle


1 Feb. Invitation to a dress rehearsal of the Berliner Philharmoniker 
Joseph Haydn: The Creation

18 Mar. Matinee “In memoriam Dr. Wolfgang Bühler” 
Music by: W. A. Mozart, R. Schumann 
Performed by: R. Watzel, G. Faust, S. Rohleder, H. Schultheis, V. Rohleder

17 June General meeting / Matinee “Music and words” 
Songs of love and deception

Music by: J. Brahms Performed by: T. Quasthoff, J. Zeyen 
Speech: K. D. Gräwe

14 Oct. General meeting / Matinee “Degenerate music – exile and homecoming” 
Music by: J. S. Bach, U. Mamlok, F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy 
Performed by: T. Timm, R. Tommasini, W. Talirz, C. Tacier Speech: G. Eberle, U. Mamlok


19 Feb. Matinee “Mozart zum Kugeln” 
Selected musical jokes from the Getreidegasse in Salzburg 

Music by: W. A. Mozart et al. 
Performed by: K. Wallendorf, A. Kowalewitz, M. Stegner, H. Trog

18 June Matinee “Young talents perform” 
Music by: F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy, E. Bozza, L. van Beethoven, G. F. Händel 
Performed by: Georg Faust and pupils of the Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach music school 
Speech: Elmar Weingarten

12 Sept. Invitation to a general rehearsal of the Berliner Philharmoniker
Richard Wagner: The Rhinegold

27 Nov. General meeting / Matinee “Chronicler of a dark age” - 100th anniversary of Dmitri Shostakovich 
Music by: D. Shostakovich 
Performed by: Members of the Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker Speech: G. Eberle, G. Müller


20 Feb. Matinee “In a bright stream” 
Schubert matinee upon introducting the new Bechstein grand piano 
Music by: Franz Schubert 
Performed by: C. Gartemann, J. Gartemann, G. Faust, P. Riegelbauer, M. Stockhausen-Riegelbauer, Speech: Dr. Gottfried Eberle

23 Feb. Invitation to a dress rehearsal of the Berliner Philharmoniker 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: 3 Symphonies

29 June General meeting / Matinee “Magic of the pre-classical period” 
Featuring the wind quintet of the Orchestra Academy 
Music by: Franz Danzi, Anton Reicha 
Performed by: M.-Ch. Zupancic, V. Aviat, B. Taiger, B. Obernhuber, M. Biron

8 Sept. Invitation to a dress rehearsal of the Berliner Philharmoniker 
Leoš Janáček: Jenufa (concert performance)

16 Oct. Matinee “Musicians of Sound and Hypnotists” 
Commemorating the 150th anniversary of Arthur Nikisch 
Music by: Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms 
Performed by: J. Gartemann, N. Sugiyama Speech: K. D. Gräwe


22 Feb. Matinee Sounds from Moravia 
Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death of Antonin Dvořák 
Music by: Antonin Dvořák 
Performed by: Ch. v. d. Nahmer, N. Römisch, M. Stockhausen-Riegelbauer, G. Fink, H. E. Sußmann Speech and reading: Dr. G. Müller

2 June Invitation to a general rehearsal of the Berliner Philharmoniker 
Frank Martin: Six Monologues from “Jedermann” 
Gustav Mahler: Symphonie No. 6 in A minor

29 June General meeting / Matinée 
Philharmonic members in a musical discussion III
New members of the Berliner Philharmoniker introduce themselves and their music 
Music by: W. A. Mozart, F. Schubert, B. Martinu, D. Schnyder, J. Brahms 
Performed by: S. Bernardini, C. Gartemann, J. Gartemann, Chr. Horak, S. Schulz, I. Carnevali, T. Sawano, M. Schneider, J. Sulzberger

26 Sept. Matinee 
Commemorating Dr. Wolfgang Stresemann’s 100th birthday 
Music by: J. Haydn, F. Schubert
Performed by: T. Timm, P. Brem, W. Strehle, M. Menking, A. Dasch, U. Naudé


23 Mar. Matinee 
Trip to a foreign homeland 

Sergei Prokofiev’s Soviet Diary 1927 
Music by: Sergei Prokofiev 
Performed by: G. Braunstein, U. Knörzer, P. Riegelbauer, A. Mayer, K.-H. Steffens Speech and reading: Dr. G. Eberle, G. Schoß

29 June General Meeting / Matinee 
Zukunft@BPhil The educational programme of the Berliner Philharmoniker 
Music by: Astor Piazzolla 
Performed by: L. Dinca, B. Schäfer, M. Carruzzo, S. Krunnies, R. Duven, R. Watzel D. Mellion, V. Eisenach, Faster-Than-Light-Dance-Company

12 Sept. Invitation to a dress rehearsal of the Berliner Philharmoniker 
Idomeneo by W. A. Mozart

9 Nov. Matinee “The leaves fall, as from afar” 
Autumn in song and word
Music by: F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy, R. Schumann, J. Brahms, R. Strauss 
Performed by: B. Schwarz, Dr. G. Eberle, G. Schoß


17 Feb. Matinee Philharmonic Escapades of the Berlin Harmonists
(Classical music cabaret) 
Music by: H. Birkholz, P. Hindemith, J. Haydn, C.-M. von Weber, L. van Beethoven, W. A. Mozart
Performers: H. Birkholz, C. Trompler, H. Ortleb, T. Rößeler

15 May Formal Ceremony 
Ceremony celebrating the return of the Singing Academy of Berlin’s musical archive from Ukraine to Germany

23 June General meeting / Matinee Philharmonic members in a musical discussion II 
New members of the Berliner Philharmoniker introduce themselves and their music 
Music by: J. S. Bach, W. A. Mozart, F. Bridge, A. Khachaturian, 
Performers: A. Champion, L. Riva, R. Schettmann, K.-H. Steffens N. Shimizu, S. Willis, J. Gartemann, M. Friedländer, P. Riegelbauer

22 Sept. First encounter with Sir Simon Rattle 
Prof. Franz Xaver Ohnesorg in an interview with Sir Simon Rattle 
Music by: J. Haydn, O. Messiaen 
Performers: as above and the Timm Quartett, G. Faust

15 Oct. In memory of Eugen Jochu
On the 100-year jubilee of the great conductor’s birth Commemorative event in the Chamber Music Hall 
Music by: W. A. Mozart, A. Bruckner 
Performers: Philharmonia Quartet, U. Knörzer, U. Wolff, V. Jochum v. Moltke