The invasion of Ukraine in February shook the world, stirring up great fears among many of us. At the same time, the Covid pandemic has burdened our daily lives for more than two years. Music can provide comfort and courage, especially in such difficult times.
Music lovers were once again able to enjoy most of the Berliner Philharmoniker's concerts in the previous season and I am confident that this will also be possible this season. Many others experience the performances in the Digital Concert Hall. This virtual concert hall was launched in 2009 with the support of Deutsche Bank and has since attracted many thousands of fans worldwide.
Music can, not least, give young people support and direction. The Berliner Philharmoniker's education program celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2022. The orchestra and Deutsche Bank launched this initiative to introduce young people to music, dance and song. In the beginning, the focus was on dance projects, followed later by the Vokalhelden - and today the family concerts with chief conductor Kirill Petrenko are the centre of attention. To name just one figure: more than 100,000 children and young people have already taken part in the education program.
The Werkstatt.Dialog.Musik series of events at the bank's PalaisPopulaire in Berlin also offers direct and concentrated access to classical music. In this chamber music format, musicians from the Berliner Philharmoniker present selected works and answer questions about their interpretation - in a direct exchange with the audience.
Music has helped us through the pandemic and will send sounds of peace and stability in times of geopolitical tension. In this spirit, I wish you and the orchestra an inspiring 2022/23 concert season.