The auditorium of the Philharmonie Berlin is world-famous for its unique architecture and acoustics. Less well known is that the special design of the foyer also makes it a delightful venue for musical performances. As the Berliner Philharmoniker and its chief conductor Kirill Petrenko cannot travel to Barcelona as planned for their traditional European Concert on 1 May due to the ongoing pandemic situation, the Berliner Philharmoniker and its chief conductor Kirill Petrenko will remain in their home venue as they did in 2020 and will use the foyer as their performance space this year. With its asymmetrical surfaces, its wide staircases and floating galleries, it has inspired the orchestra and its chief conductor to create a programme that reflects the unique architecture, plays with echo effects, proximity and distance.
The space becomes sound
“After it was determined that this year’s European Concert would take place here in Berlin in the foyer of the Philharmonie”, explains Kirill Petrenko, “it was immediately clear to me that we had to adapt the programme to this unique setting. Boris Blacher’s Fanfare for the Opening of the Philharmonie speaks for itself. In addition, there are works which create a musical dialogue through very different approaches with spatial distance: from Mozart’s Notturno for four orchestras to Charles Ives’s famous The Unanswered Question to Krzysztof Penderecki’s early masterpiece Emanations, which has never been played here before. Continuing our Russian focus this season, we will also perform Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Orchestral Suite No. 3, which, in my opinion, is heard far too rarely.”
“During this European Concert, we want to show a different side of our wonderful home in the Philharmonie for a change. The programme will offer many different visual perspectives, and as a result of the division into several groups listeners will be able to experience our orchestra in a new light. Thus, spectacular images will be produced for our partners from EuroArts, Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting and the Digital Concert Hall,” adds Stanley Dodds, who is responsible for the European Concert as orchestra media chairman.
The European Concert will be broadcast live at 11:00 on 1 May 2021 by Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting on Das Erste, the first German public television channel, and rbbKultur radio station, by EuroArts in more than 80 countries and worldwide in the Digital Concert Hall.