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Senate Department for Culture and Europe

Klaus Lederer
(Photo: Lena Ganssmann)

Dear concert guests of the Berliner Philharmoniker,

For far too long, we all had to forgo far too much – the pandemic forced many a burden, many a restriction and many a sacrifice upon us. And it is still doing so. But with vaccinations and caution, we can get back to the full auditoriums, culture and the magic of music that we have been longing for. It thrills me to see how much verve and how many ideas the Berliner Philharmoniker are bringing to this new season, full of the desire to hopefully and finally once again delight their audiences in Berlin and on their (belated) tours around the world with their customary excellence. I would like to draw your attention to two focal points: firstly, the continuation of a now short series, a new festival dedicated this season to the Modernism of the 1950s and 1960s, and in particular to the music of György Ligeti, who had a strong connection with Berlin. Often described as “stuffy”, we can see here how innovative these post-war years were, at least in the field of music. Additional background is provided by an evening of popular music from the 1950s with Tim Fischer.

Secondly, the Berliner Philharmoniker are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their education programme which introduces classical music to children and young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Both events underline the importance of the Philharmoniker for the lively, innovative city of Berlin: they are not only an excellent orchestra in the centre of the city with the Philharmonie and its unique acoustics – their identity as a cultural institution with social responsibility takes them out of the concert hall to the social hotspots of our city.

Wishing us all many unforgettable concert experiences.

Best regards

Dr. Klaus Lederer
Senator for Culture and Europe

Minister of State for Culture and Media

Claudia Roth
(Photo: Kristian Schuller)

Dear friends of the Berliner Philharmoniker,

Together with the Berliner Philharmoniker, we want to start the new concert season full of optimism. We hope that the Philharmonie will once again fill up with enthusiastic audiences without any restrictions, and that the Philharmoniker will once again be able to travel to the world’s major music centres for guest performances. But the terrible war in Ukraine has changed many things; rifts have opened up that we thought we had overcome. In addition to helping the people on the ground and refugees and displaced persons, it will now be important to strengthen cultural cooperation and artistic exchange with democratic forces in all countries. Anyone who makes music knows: we must and we can listen to each other. Music shows us how it can be done.

The Philharmoniker’s focus on “identities” in the new season is, figuratively speaking, very apt. It deals with the self-image and self-knowledge of artists, it is about world views, reflections and visions of society. In this sense, we can expect a wide-ranging programme that will allow us not only to hear established works again, but also to encounter rare compositions or those that have never been heard here before.

I also very much welcome the fact that the house is opening up to the music of other cultures in its own short series. The virtuosity of Kurdish singing, the ineffable passion of Fado, the timbres and vocal power of a South African cellist or the meeting of Indian and European instruments – this wealth of music belongs in Berlin and belongs on this stage, because it builds bridges in our diverse society. In this spirit, the continuation of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s education programme, which has been exemplary in introducing young people in particular to music and to singing and making music for 20 years now, must also be acknowledged.

I hope you have many exciting musical experiences and an exhilarating concert season. Stay healthy!

Yours

Claudia Roth MdB
Minister of State for Culture and Media