Igor Stravinsky

Season focus 2021/22

Igor Stravinsky (Photo: Paul Sacher Stiftung, George Hoyningen-Huené)

On 8 December 1924, a pianist made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of Wilhelm Furtwängler: Igor Stravinsky. He was the soloist in his new piano concerto. He had become one of the most innovative and interesting composers of his time as a result of his spectacular music for the ballets of the Parisian impresario Sergei Diaghilev. Nevertheless, his style was not without controversy: he was a “fanatical apostle of the ugly”, as one critic disparagingly said after the concert. By the time Stravinsky appeared again 40 years later to conduct the Berliner Philharmoniker, he was universally acclaimed as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.

His works have been part of the orchestra’s repertoire since 1918. We are taking the occasion of the 140th anniversary of Stravinsky’s birth and the 50th anniversary of his death to perform his three most famous ballet scores: The Firebird, Le Sacre du printemps and Petrushka. Those who, on the other hand, want to discover new aspects of the composer, can let Simon Rattle whisk them away on a Stravinsky Journey.


Percussionist Raphael Haeger is particularly looking forward to Stravinsky's “The Firebird”"