Beethoven, Big Names and Welcome Guests
This season, Sir Simon Rattle is focusing on Beethoven. In October, he will conduct several concerts in the Beethoven cycle, including the much-loved 9th symphony on October 10th. The Indian conductor Zubin Mehta will also make several guest appearances, the first with his own orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, on September 6th. Renowned for his flamboyant and dynamic interpretations of symphonic music, Mehta will also conduct the Berliner Philharmoniker on April 6th in a concert with works by Brahms.
Two other exciting guest this season are the Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman and the German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. Hailed as one of the greatest living pianists, Krystian Zimerman is best known for his interpretations of Romantic composers such as Chopin, Brahms and Grieg. He will perform works by the composer Franz Schubert on November 6th and will return again for several concerts in June. Classical music lovers can happily ring in the New Year with a concert featuring the much-loved Anne-Sophie Mutter. The violinist will perform works by French composers at three concerts from December 29th to the 31st. She will also return for several concerts in the spring of 2016.
Another special guest is this year’s Artist in Residence, the American theater director Peter Sellars. A professor at UCLA, Peter Sellars is famous for his innovative and provocative interpretations of classical and modern opera. He will provide the staging for several concerts throughout the season as well as direct a semi-staged performance of Debussy’s opera Pelléas et Mélisande in December. The Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená, wife of Sir Simon Rattle, will sing the role of Mélisande.
One of the leading mezzo-sopranos of her generation, Magdalena Kožená will also return for two solo performances in the season. On February 9th she will perform works by French, German, Russian and Czech composers, accompanied by her husband on piano. Kožená returns in the summer to perform pieces by the jazz composer Cole Porter on June 24th.
Education and Lunch Time Concerts
For the next generation of music lovers, the Berliner Philharmoniker also offers many projects, concerts and workshops. On September 27th, they will present the family concert of the season, Journey Around the World. Each of the family concerts involves a narrator and theme as well as several performers. Although family concerts are recommended for children between six and twelve, free childcare is also available for younger children. In December, the Berliner Philharmoniker will also give several Children’s Concerts for the little ones. These informal concerts last 45 minutes and encourage children aged two to five to sing along to the music or simply sit and listen quietly.
Every Tuesday the Berliner Philharmoniker also offers a lunchtime concert. These one-hour concerts feature solo performers or small ensembles performing many different styles of music. The first of the season will be on Tuesday September 8th and will feature works by Mozart, Scriabin and Debussy performed on violin and piano. Although the concerts start at one o’clock, it is important to come early as the concerts are very popular and admission is limited. Doors open at noon and entry is free.
If you are unable to make it down in person to see a live performance, it is now possible to watch live streams and archived recordings from the comfort of your own home. Across a range of digital devices, a subscription to the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Digital Concert Hall gives viewers access to past concerts, behind the scenes footage and exclusive interviews with the soloists.
By Rebeccah Dean