With a benefit concert on 20 December, the Berliner Philharmoniker and their guests call for the release of all hostages kidnapped from Israel into Gaza, and for the protection of the Palestinian and Israeli civilian population.
The human suffering in the Middle East continues unabated. In the aftermath of the murderous attack by Hamas on Israel on 7 October, and amidst a humanitarian crisis of devastating proportions in Gaza, more than a hundred hostages kidnapped from Israel are still held captive. Their lives, as well as those of civilians in Gaza and in Israel are in danger. With a benefit concert, the Berliner Philharmoniker, chief conductor Kirill Petrenko and musical guests seek to set an example by calling for the release of all hostages and for the protection of all civilians.
The benefit concert will take place on 20 December 2023 at 4 pm in the Philharmonie Berlin; all tickets cost 25 euros (plus additional donation option). Renowned musicians from all over the world will come together under the banner “Together for Humanity”, including pianists Martha Argerich and Kirill Gerstein, baritone Thomas Hampson, cellist Steven Isserlis, soprano Christiane Karg and violinist Christian Tetzlaff.
Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli artists, including pianist Iddo Bar-Shai, oud player Taiseer Elias and singers Noa and Mira Awad, will also take part. Members of the Berliner Philharmoniker will perform chamber music and solo works. Actress Martina Gedeck will recite a poem. The programme ends with Max Bruch’s orchestral work Kol Nidrei, played by the Berliner Philharmoniker under the direction of Kirill Petrenko; the soloist is Amihai Grosz, principal violist of the orchestra.
For all those who have not been able to get tickets or cannot be in Berlin, the concert will be broadcast live and free of charge:
- in the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Digital Concert Hall
- on the websites of our media partners rbbKultur (www.rbbkultur.de) and rbb’s radioeins (www.radioeins.de)
- on the radio station rbbKultur, hosted by Shelly Kupferberg
Proceeds from the concert will benefit three important projects: Israel’s “Abducted and Missing Families Forum” (which is behind the “Bring Them Home Now” campaign), and two peace organisations in Israel and Palestine, “Women Wage Peace” and “Women of the Sun”, which work together for lasting peace between the two peoples.
An appeal by the musicians involved states: “We call for the immediate release of all hostages, and for the aid and protection of all civilians on both sides, including for the expansion of humanitarian aid for Gazan civilians. We call for the intervention and aid of the international community in promoting, expediting, and securing a diplomatic solution that will end the violence and facilitate a shared existence. As an artistic community, we refuse to lose hope in such a future.”