Our concert highlights at the beginning of the season

Season opening concert with Kirill Petrenko

Kirill Petrenko
(Photo: Priska Ketterer)

A new start: on 28 August, Kirill Petrenko and the Berliner Philharmoniker will open the 2020/21 season, and we can finally welcome you, our audience, to concerts in the Philharmonie Berlin again – if under new conditions. In order to comply with the official regulations to contain the corona pandemic, we have adapted our programmes as well as our procedures and hygiene measures so that you can feel safe and enjoy your concert visit without any worries. You can find more information on ticket sales and the hygiene concept on our special page.

The chief conductor in charge

In the first few weeks of the new season, chief conductor Kirill Petrenko and the Berliner Philharmoniker will present four different programmes with a focus on the German-Austrian repertoire. For example, at the opening concert of the season they will present Johannes Brahms’s dark and melancholy Fourth Symphony plus Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht. Afterwards, with Daniil Trifonov as guest artist, we will hear Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, with its shifts between triumph and reverie. Kirill Petrenko then conducts Alban Berg’s touching Violin Concerto with which he created a musical memorial to Manon Gropius, the daughter of Alma Mahler who died at a young age. The soloist is Frank Peter Zimmermann. Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen, which the chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker presents at the end of October, is about mourning for a vanished cultural epoch. Other items on the programme of these concerts are works by Felix Mendelssohn, Antonín Dvořák, Dmitri Shostakovich and Andrew Norman.

Friends old and new

Our programmes may have changed, but not our guest artists. All conductors and almost all soloists will appear as planned: You can look forward to Daniel Harding, who will present Beethoven’s “Pastoral”, to the debuts of the Israeli conductor Lahav Shani and the Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi, to Marc Minkowski with Beethoven’s heroic ballet Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus and Daniel Barenboim, who will conduct Smetana’s tone poem Má vlast, inspired by Bohemian dance music. Our first concert master Noah Bendix-Balgley and Marek Janowski commemorate the 100th anniversary of Max Bruch’s death with the composer’s Violin Concerto No. 1, a work as full of yearning as virtuosity. Under the baton of François-Xavier Roth, artist in residence Tabea Zimmermann plays Paul Hindemith’s viola concerto DerSchwanendreher, which is based on German folk songs.

The fine art of chamber music

For her debut as artist in residence for the 2020/21 season, Tabea Zimmermann appears together with the baritone Christian Gerhaher in works by Wolfgang Rihm. The chamber concert programmes in September and October will focus primarily on female composers: the Karajan Academy and Enno Poppe will present works by Rebecca Saunders and Milica Djordjević, winner of the Claudio Abbado Composition Prize. Frauensache is the title of a themed weekend in October when the Scharoun Ensemble and Martina Gedeck, the Arditti Quartet and KlangArt introduce us to leading female composers of our time such as Betsy Jolas, Kaija Saariaho, Sofia Gubaidulina and Unsuk Chin. Other highlights include a lieder recital with the French soprano Sabine Devieilhe, an appearance by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Sir Simon Rattle, and the first concert of the Beethoven cycle by Frank Peter Zimmermann and Martin Helmchen, which features the composer’s first four violin sonatas. Last but not least, there is the Philharmonic Salon, the subject of which is “Beethoven and the Bohemian Princes”.

Our guest artists

Daniil Trifonov
(Photo: Dario Acosta)
Daniel Harding
(Photo: Julian Hargraeves)
Frank Peter Zimmermann
(Photo: Harald Hoffmann)
Tabea Zimmermann
(Photo: Marco Borggreve)
Daniel Barenboim
(Photo: Peter Adamik)
Arditti Quartet
(Photo: Astrid Karger)
Scharoun Ensemble
(Photo: Felix Broede)