For a good 62 years, the Alte Philharmonie on Bernburger Straße in Kreuzberg, Berlin was home to the Berliner Philharmoniker. The orchestra played in the former roller skating rink, which had over 2000 seats, from the summer of 1882. The venue was soon regarded as the cultural and intellectual heart of Berlin. It was also opened for conferences and festive balls and provided a stage for Thomas Mann, Albert Einstein and the Comedian Harmonists, among others.
On 30 January 1944, the Philharmonie was destroyed in a bombing raid. Six musicians from the Berliner Philharmoniker kept watch outside the building, but were powerless in the face of the rapidly spreading flames.
Following a decision by the borough assembly in 2018, a commemorative plaque has now been erected for the Alte Philharmonie. It was unveiled by Councillor for Culture Clara Herrmann and violinist and media and foundation representative Stanley Dodds.
Stanley Dodds: “Transience is as much a part of life as it is of music. This makes it all the more important to keep alive the memories of a place like the Alte Philharmonie, which once fuelled the cultural pulse of Berlin. May the fate of the Alte Philharmonie remind us what a precious asset the freedom and peace regained in Europe after the Second World War represents.”
The commemorative plaque is located at Bernburger Straße 22a/23, 10963 Berlin.