The Berliner Philharmoniker’s Karajan Academy and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) are raising awareness of the dramatic disappearance of insects. Conceived by the Berlin agency Scholz & Friends, classical musicians and real insects will perform together on a stage. The world premiere of the Insect Concerto will take place in the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie as part of the Open Day on 21 May 2018. The composer is Gregor A. Mayrhofer, a conducting student of the Karajan Academy. When he and other musicians of the Karajan Academy present the piece live in the Chamber Music Hall for the first time, the insects will be present in a special terrarium. The concert starts at 3.30 pm.
Commissioned by the WWF, Gregor Mayrhofer composed a ten-minute concerto from grasshopper, cicada and cricket song with strings, brass, harp and percussion instruments. “The soloists in this piece are the insects. We musicians wanted to find a way to combine the sounds of classical music with their special songs and rhythms,” says Mayrhofer. The result is a composition that artistically stages a musical dialogue between man and nature. The work features classical instruments being played in an unusual way: scratching, scraping, chirping, and even the flapping of wings of mosquitoes and columns of ants are heard.
The composition is also available on the website www.insect-concerto.com and can be downloaded now for a donation of any amount you choose. All proceeds go to WWF projects to preserve insect diversity and promote sustainable agriculture – a prerequisite for insect survival.