Chamber Music Prism is the concert series of chamber music in all its forms, from solo recitals to chamber orchestra concerts, from “classic” ensembles to more unusual formations, and a platform for “hits” of the chamber music repertoire and for new and re-discovered, unknown and forgotten musical jewels alike. This season, the series is devoted exclusively to Philharmoniker musicians and ensembles and their guests.
Japanese grace and French esprit
The first concert is an audio-visual artwork: Holm Birkholz, who has been a member of the second violin section for 32 years, is not only a performer but also a creative artist and has already presented his works in the chamber music hall of the Philharmonie on several occasions. With its combination of spirituality and music, Japanese culture is his most important source of inspiration. His dance suite Blossom Dreams – Four Seasons for solo dancer, solo violin and bells in f and d, offers meditative contemplation and the dancing gracefulness of Emi Hariyama. The second concert is a young ensemble making its debut: the Berlin Piano Quartet. The Philharmoniker’s string players Christophe Horak, Misha Afkham and Bruno Delepelaire together with the French pianist Kim Barbier came together to devote themselves to the genre of the piano quartet which is relatively neglected in the concert world. With their programme, in which they perform works by Gabriel Fauré, Alfred Schnittke and Brahms, they showcase the musical diversity of the genre.
Focus on Brahms and Schumann
The Brahms Ensemble Berlin on the other hand, founded in 2010 by six of the Philharoniker's string players, has only works of its namesake in its programme: the Piano Trio in B major, which the composer wrote at the age of 21 after his first encounter with Schumann and his wife, and the Piano Quintet in F minor. Brahms conceived the work originally as a string quintet, later as a sonata for two pianos, then finally in his third attempt, he decided to use the version used nowadays for strings and piano. Guest artist of the evening is the pianist Martin Helmchen. The Scharoun Ensemble Berlin has invited its former colleague Brett Dean for its concert. The Australian was a viola player with the Berliner Philharmoniker for 14 years and a member of the ensemble, before he left the orchestra to be able to devote himself entirely to composing. This concert includes his piece Recollections which – like other works of the evening – refers to the music of Robert Schumann. Novel sound experiences Ludwig Quandt, principal cellist of the Berliner Philharmoniker, the orchestra's harpist Marie-Pierre Langlamet and the Canadian violinist Lara St. John invite you to an unusual concert of trios. They will perform famous works such as Johannes Brahms' Hungarian Dances, Franz Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata and Robert Schumann's Waldszenen in highly unusual arrangements for violin, cello and harp. Last but not least, chamber music lovers can look forward to the Philharmonic Stradivari Soloists. Playing on valuable and beautiful sounding Stradivarius instruments, they lead their audience through five centuries of music, from the Renaissance music of Thomas Tallis to Dmitri Shostakovich's Chamber Symphony.