2018/2019 concert season

Looking forward to a new beginning

The 2018/2019 season marks a very special phase in the history of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Following on from the end of the Simon Rattle era, it is characterised by looking forward to a new beginning when Kirill Petrenko takes up office as chief conductor. Although this is not due until the summer of 2019, exciting joint concerts are on the horizon – starting with the season opening concert which is dedicated to the core repertoire of the Berliner Philharmoniker, with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony and two symphonic poems by Richard Strauss.

This is followed in the spring of 2019, when there is a Philharmoniker concert featuring Arnold Schoenberg’s Violin Concerto (soloist: Patricia Kopatchinskaja) and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. Kirill Petrenko also appears at the helm of the National Youth Orchestra of Germany. On top of all that, there are also appearances by the Philharmoniker away from home in Salzburg, Lucerne, London and at the Easter Festival in Baden-Baden.

An array of guest conductors

This transitional season in particular offers the Berliner Philharmoniker ample opportunity to work together with famous guest conductors: Gustavo Dudamel – with works by Mahler, Bernstein and Shostakovich – appears several times, plus there is Daniel Harding and Andris Nelsons, whose concerts include Mahler’s Second Symphony. The European concert in Paris conducted by Daniel Harding, with which the Berliner Philharmoniker aim to promote Franco-German friendship and European unification, marks yet another highlight of the season. This year’s New Year’s Eve concert will be conducted by Daniel Barenboim, and the opera staged at the Easter Festival and in concert in the Philharmonie, will be Verdi’s Otello, conducted by Zubin Mehta.

Valery Gergiev returns after a long absence, and there are concerts with friends of particular long standing, such as Herbert Blomstedt, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons and Zubin Mehta. Another highlight is the return on two occasions of Sir Simon Rattle: among other things, he will conduct Peter Sellars’ acclaimed staging of Bach’s St. John Passion. New artistic connections will also be forged when Constantinos Carydis, Jakub Hrůša and Michael Sanderling make their debuts conducting the Philharmoniker.

Virtuoso guests

Among the top-class guest soloists is the pianist Daniil Trifonov, the Berliner Philharmoniker’s 2018/2019 artist in residence. We can also look forward to hearing the violinists Lisa Batiashvili, Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Frank Peter Zimmermann, the cellist Alban Gerhardt, the pianists Yefim Bronfman, Yevgeny Kissin, Paul Lewis, Radu Lupu, and Katia & Mariele Labèque plus the percussionist Martin Grubinger.

We extend a warm invitation to you to join the Berliner Philharmoniker as they deepen existing artistic partnerships in the new season and, at the same time, prepare themselves for a new chapter in their history.


Kirill Petrenko
(Photo: Stephan Rabold)
Sir Simon Rattle
(Photo: Monika Rittershaus)
Daniel Harding
(Photo: Monika Rittershaus)


Daniil Trifonov
(Photo: Dario Acosta)
Lisa Batiashvili
(Photo: Sammy Hart)
Katia und Marielle Labèque
(Photo: Mila)