In addition to the traditional opening concert in the Philharmonie, the Berliner Philharmoniker, together with Deutsche Bank, are also welcoming the new season at the Kulturforum: On 27 August 2016, you are invited to a free, open-air event in front of the Philharmonie from 4 pm. Continuing its commitment to refugees, the Philharmoniker have also invited the Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of its conductor Mariano Domingo, who will open the concert as a musical symbol against the war and to promote of international understanding.
Music from Syria
Works will include Nicolas Ruegenberg’s composition UNISONO and Syrian symphonic music. The Exile Orchestra, which comes together for specific projects in a variety of formations, was founded in Bremen in 2015 by Raed Jazbeh – the ensemble is composed of Syrian musicians who have now found a new home in several European countries: Some came to Europe for a guest appearance and could not return, while others have long journeys as refugees behind them. Raed Jazbeh, who knows some of the keen orchestral musicians from Damascus, said, “We want to show people another side of Syria, a side that has nothing to do with violence and terror, but of music and life”. Born in Aleppo, the double bass player has lived in Germany since 2013, and regularly experienced that people in Germany know little about Syria and its diverse culture. This had to change: After Jazbeh had already founded a chamber ensemble with friends, he ultimately managed to contact so many musicians from his homeland through an appeal on Facebook that a whole orchestra came together. For the concert by the Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation is working together with the Verein KulturLeben Berlin – Schlüssel zur Kultur e.V, which is acting the orchestra’s sponsor.
A musical surprise, and electrifying Brahms and Dvořák
From 5 pm, the next item in the open air concert is an opportunity for the audience itself to participate in the evening’s music-making. We can’t say any more at the moment, but the keyword is “singing”. Then from 6 pm, the Berliner Philharmoniker under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle present Johannes Brahms’ Second Symphony, one of the Hamburg-born composer’s most accessible works. The same could be said of the following Slavonic Dances by Antonín Dvořák whose first publication for piano duet provoked a “literal run on the music stores” (as the then well-known music critic Louis Ehlert wrote to the composer). Considering this brilliant success, it is no surprise that the publisher Fritz Simrock urged Dvořák to compose further Slavonic dances and also asked for an orchestral version. Dvořák agreed and was very satisfied with the result: “[...] they will sound like the devil ...” The Berliner Philharmoniker and Deutsche Bank look forward to starting the new season with lots of music lovers from all around the world at the Kulturforum.