It goes without saying that, in addition to orchestral music, the Berliner Philharmoniker are also passionately devoted to chamber music. Nearly every member of the orchestra performs in one or several chamber music ensembles. After working together for many years, the musicians have developed a distinctive style of playing, and many of these ensembles are internationally renowned, appearing throughout the world. Naturally, the Philharmoniker will also present chamber music concerts during the 2018/2019 season, for the most part with colleagues from the orchestra.
From solo recitals to chamber orchestra concerts
The most important forum for these concerts is the series Philharmonic Chamber Music. Programmes are presented in various formats, from solo recitals to chamber orchestra concerts, from “traditional” ensembles to groups with highly unusual combinations of instruments. The series is both a platform for the “greatest hits” of the chamber music literature and an opportunity to discover or rediscover new or unfamiliar musical treasures. Solo timpanist Wieland Welzel and his colleagues open the series with a percussion concert in which they will demonstrate the versatility of their instruments.
The ensemble Bolero Berlin has been a byword for Latin American music with a Philharmonic sound for ten years. During their anniversary concert the musicians will make a foray into the world of opera, playing well-known opera arias in unusual arrangements. Two other anniversaries will be celebrated this season: the Philharmonic Wind Quintet will turn 30 and invites listeners to its birthday concert, at which it will perform compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Carl Nielsen, Pavel Haas and György Ligeti. The concert programme of the Scharoun Ensemble Berlin, which was established 35 years ago, will focus on octets by contemporary composers.
From Early music to contemporary compositions
In addition to the Philharmonic chamber ensembles, individual orchestra members regularly join forces for exciting chamber music projects. Principal flutist Emmanuel Pahud, principal clarinettist Wenzel Fuchs and harpist Marie-Pierre Langlamet will present a concert with works by Maurice Ravel for various ensembles together with string players from the orchestra. A programme consisting primarily of French chamber music, performed by principal flutist Mathieu Dufour, hornist Sarah Willis and colleagues from the string sections, rounds off the concert series. Orchestra musicians and ensembles will also be heard in other series. For example, members of the Philharmoniker will appear in a concert with Daniil Trifonov, Artist in Residence for the 2018/2019 season, in which the pianist will not only play the piano part in Brahms’s celebrated Piano Quintet but will also introduce a work of his own in this genre.
As part of the early music series Original Sounds, Concerto Melante, an ensemble in which orchestra musicians play on historical instruments, will devote itself to the Baroque composer Antonio Cesti to mark the 350th anniversary of the composer’s death in 2019. In the series Quartet, string quartets from two different generations will be heard: the Philharmonia Quartet, which has been in existence for more than 30 years, and the Varian Fry Quartet, launched only five years ago. Members of the Berliner Philharmoniker will also perform at the Philharmonic Salon, organised by Götz Teutsch, which combines music with literature and will open its doors three times during this season.