Traditionally non-traditional

World premieres of the 2021/22 season

Olga Neuwirth (Foto: Harald Hoffmann)

Paradoxical as it may sound, an important tradition of the Berliner Philharmoniker is their work with non-traditional – that is, new – works. In the 2021/22 season, three world premieres and one German premiere provide a fresh look at what is musically possible.

Starting off in September 2021 is Keyframes for a Hippogriff by Olga Neuwirth – an unusually scored work for countertenor, children’s choir and orchestra. According to the composer, it is about striving “to remain a free soul in a world full of despair and pain”.

Other premieres of the season feature musicians of the Berliner Philharmoniker as soloists. In May 2022, for example, Emmanuel Pahud presents a flute concerto by the Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür, who began his career as a rock musician: a background of experience that shines through again and again in the composer’s atmospheric, energetic music.

This is followed shortly afterwards by the world premiere of a double bass concerto by Gerald Barry, with Matthew McDonald as the soloist. The work, says Barry, resembles a dreamlike scene with actors whose language seems both familiar and strange at the same time.

A new piano concerto with soloist Kirill Gerstein will also be given its German premiere at the beginning of December. The composer is Austrian-born Thomas Larcher, whose music was once called “a wonderland of dizzying and extraordinary sounds,” by the London Times.