Following in the footsteps of nine pianists, two violinists, a singer and the director Peter Sellars, the composer and conductor John Adams is this season’s resident artist with the Berliner Philharmoniker. To mark the occasion, the Berliner Philharmoniker archive is presenting the current composer in residence and guest artists of past seasons in a small exhibition in the south foyer entitled An artistic family. Using photographs, scores, letters, articles from programme booklets and press reports, the exhibition illustrates the joint work of the artists and the Berliner Philharmoniker.
In 1989, the general manager of the Berliner Philharmoniker at the time, Ulrich Eckhardt, and Wolf Lepenies, rector of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, initiated a joint project between the two institutions and invited Alfred Schnittke, who was a “Fellow” at the Wissenschaftskolleg from 1989 to 1990, to work together with the orchestra. He was succeeded as composer in Residence by Hans Werner Henze (1991/1992), György Kurtág (1993/1995) and Wolfgang Rihm (1997/1998).
After an interruption of several years, Sir Simon Rattle revived the idea of artist residences again in 2003: Outstanding pianists would perform during their residency as soloists with the orchestra. At the same time, the residence would also enable them to devote themselves to chamber music activities with more unusual programmes. Between 2003 and 2012, Lars Vogt, Yefim Bronfman, Emanuel Ax, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, András Schiff, Mitsuko Uchida, Lang Lang, Leif Ove Andsnes and Murray Perahia all held the position of pianist in residence for a season. From 2012, they were followed as artist in residence by the violinists Leonidas Kavakos (2012/2013) and Christian Tetzlaff (2014/2015), the singer Christian Gerhaher (2013/2014) and, last season, the director Peter Sellars.