Whit Monday: sunny weather and summer-like temperatures – an ideal day to go out into the countryside. But lots of people had other plans. More than 10,000 visitors came to the Philharmonie, the Chamber Music Hall and the Musical Instrument Museum for the Open Day. Those who approached the Philharmonie from Potsdamer Platz were greeted by an LED screen which broadcast the events in the two halls. Even those who were not physically there could still enjoy the fun: almost 6,000 spectators followed the event live in the Digital Concert Hall, and almost 200,000 watched it on Facebook.
17 hours of music
From the concert in the square at the entrance with which the brass of the Karajan Academy welcomed the first visitors, to the finale in the main auditorium where the Berliner Philharmoniker performed Antonín Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances op. 72 under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle, a total of 45 events took place, large and small, providing 17 hours of music. Ensembles of the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Karajan Academy plus guests performed in the main auditorium of the Philharmonie, the Chamber Music Hall, in the foyers and in otherwise inaccessible public spaces such as the room backstage for the string players. The foyer of the chamber music hall focused on the education programme and its creative offerings. Among the highlights were the appearance of the BE PHIL Orchestra, in which around 100 music lovers from 30 countries performed Johannes Brahms’ First Symphony under the direction of Simon Rattle, a surprise concert by the 12 Cellists, and a sing-along concert with the vocal heroes. Among the attractions in the musical instrument museum were the “Mighty Wurlitzer” cinema organs and a contribution by the Stradivari Soloists Berlin. Almost all styles of music were represented: classical, jazz, pop and world music. And of course, the visitors were able to participate actively in projects with such exciting titles as “Giant Orchestra”, “Dance in the Rainforest” and “beatboxing”. Guided tours also gave an insight into the building which visitors do not get during a normal concert.
For a good cause
In collaboration with the Karajan Academy and the WWF, the Insect Concerto was premiered under the baton of composer Gregor Mayrhofer to raise awareness of the dying out of insects. There was also a raffle with prizes for the lucky winners. The proceeds of the ticket sales went to the UNICEF emergency relief for Yemen, for which a total of € 8,400 was raised. General manager Andrea Zietzschmann: “The Open Day was characterised by a great atmosphere, the desire to discover new things and, of course, a wide range of wonderful music. We are particularly delighted that so many people came who are otherwise not among our regular visitors. All in all, the overwhelming response and the performance of the BE PHIL Orchestra in particular, impressively demonstrated how classical music can bring people together and inspire them.”