Discover all the background stories, interviews, portraits, essays and backstage stories about the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Eun Sun Kim | Picture:Kim Tae-hwan

Paradox on the Podium

Conductor Eun Sun Kim makes her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

  • Portrait

Franz Schubert: Music like an Infinity Symbol

His music can suspend all sense of time, as if, while exploring the streets of a large city, you gradually lose yourself in the moment.

The sound of crime and retribution

It always be considered Richard Strauss’ most modern work. He set the most intense and most complex emotions to music - revenge, guilt, madness, painful memories and the struggle for what is just.

  • Introduction

Ludwig van Beethoven the pianist

Ludwig van Beethoven was a piano prodigy; he enjoyed the greatest successes of his early career as a pianist. However, as his hearing deteriorated, this changed.

Picture:Dominik Scythe

Gustav and Alma Mahler

Should she really accept his offer of marriage? At twenty-two, Alma was an extraordinarily beautiful and charismatic woman. Mahler was a social climber from the provinces.

  • History
Jonathan Kelly | Picture:Annette Hauschild/Ostkreuz

Jonathan Kelly: If I were not a musician ...

In this section, we introduce members of the Berliner Philharmoniker and their extramusical passions. Today: Jonathan Kelly has a green thumb.

  • If I were not a musician ...
Peter Tschaikowsky, probably 1888 | Picture:Atelier E. Bieber, Hamburg, probably by Leonard Berlin (1841–1931), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and the Berliner Philharmoniker

Art is sometimes a step ahead of politics. On 8 February 1888, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky stood at the podium of the Berliner Philharmoniker as the conductor of his own works.

  • History
The Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles

Arnold Schönberg in exile

In the 1940s, composers, writers, visual artists and other intellectuals who had fled the Nazis gathered in Los Angeles.

  • History
Illuminated window in the night

Brightening up sleepless nights

The mysteries of the “Goldberg Variations”

  • Introduction

Verdi’s Messa da Requiem

Fear of death and the end of the world in Italian. Verdi's Messa da Requiem is a showdown between art and the church.

  • Introduction
The "Watschenkonzert" of 1913 in an anonymous contemporary caricature | Picture:akg-images / brandstaetter images

Schoenberg’s Slap-in-the-Face Concert

A memorable Schoenberg performance in 1913

  • History
Pallas Athene, 1898 | Picture:Gustav Klimt (Künstler), Birgit und Peter Kainz (Fotograf*in), CC BY 4.0, Wien Museum

Between morbidity and life force

The fin de siècle

The storm in music

Especially with thunder and lightning, composers can impressively let their creativity and feeling for striking sound effects run free.

  • History
Matthew McDonald | Picture:Paula Winkler / Ostkreuz

If I were not a musician ...

Double bass player Matthew McDonald loves poetry – and not only in music.

  • If I were not a musician ...
Komponistin Marianna Martines | Picture:Anton von Maron, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The composer Marianna Martines

Composing child prodigy, harpsichord virtuoso and singer: in 17th century Vienna, her domestic academies were musical hotspots.

  • History
  • Portrait
Hans Scharoun with a cigarette in his mouth and a note pad and pencil in his hands.
Hans Scharoun | Picture:Archive Akademie der Künste, Berlin

In celebration of Hans Scharoun

A declaration of love to his most famous building: the Philharmonie Berlin.

  • History
  • Orchestra History

Mysterious symphonies

Mozart’s Symphonies Nos. 39 to 41 are regarded as the pinnacle of his instrumental oeuvre - and are at the same time shrouded in mystery.

Antonie Brentano | Picture:Josef Karl Stieler (1781–1858), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Who was Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved”?

Beethoven dedicated the first print of his Seventh Symphony to Antonie Brentano. Was she perhaps his “Immortal Beloved”? To this day, the mystery has not been completely resolved.

  • History
On the Brooklyn Bridge. Three people can be recognised.
New York, Brooklyn Bridge | Picture:Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde

Yearningly successful

His two-and-a-half-year stay in America was an ambivalent time for Antonín Dvořák – characterized by triumphs, enthusiasm about new impressions, but also yearning for his Bohemian homeland.

  • History
  • Portrait