A musical conclusion to an unusual year: the programme of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s traditional New Year’s Eve concert, which took place on 31 December 2020 under the baton of chief conductor Kirill Petrenko in an empty Philharmonie Berlin, reflected the various facets of the past year. As a reminder of the production of Fidelio which was cancelled due to the corona pandemic, the concert opened with the Leonore Overture No. 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven. The Philharmoniker struck a reflective and melancholy note in Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas brasileiras No. 4, while celebrating the joyful music of the Iberian Peninsula in Manuel de Falla’s Introduction and “Ritual Fire Dance” from El amor brujo, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol. Together with star guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, the orchestra took an evocative tour of the gardens of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez in Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.
An audience of millions followed the Berliner Philharmoniker’s New Year’s Eve concert on Arte, in the Digital Concert Hall and on the radio station Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg. A recording of the concert is available in the Arte media library until 30 January and in the Digital Concert Hall archive from the end of January.