An insight into the biggest festival for orchestral music in Berlin

September 09th, 2022
Emily Ball, News from Berlin

Drawing guests and features from London, Amsterdam, Israel, Seoul and America, the Berlin Music Festival comprises 65 pieces from 25 composers, performed by more than 20 orchestras and countless soloists.

Within the distinctive Philharmonie Berlin, the festival evolved from the former Berlin Festival Week to a 3 weeklong event, between the 27th August and the 20th September 2022.

The Musikfest commenced with the impressive Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam, conducted by Klaus Mäkelä. This was followed by the London Symphony Orchestra, as led by Sir Simon Rattle, and their production of variations from Berlios, Ravel, Sibelius, Bartók and Kidane. Israeli composer Lahav Shani is subsequently featured alongside the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and their renditions of Mahler, Ligeti and Pijper.

The diverse programme then moves to the Rias Chamber Choir and the Ensemble Promena, performing various Psalm scores. The Court Music Orchestra and Dance Theatre of the National Gugak Centre in Seoul present the dynamic Jongmyojeryeak - a traditional Korean ancestral ceremony consisting of instrumental music, song, dance and costumes. Berlin’s own Symphony Orchestra is, of course, not forgotten, and can be heard, conducted by Robin Ticciati, with works from Feldman, Strawinsky and Sibelius.

The manifold line-up shifts once again to feature the Big-Band of the German Opera House, in dedication to the jazz musician Charles Mingues, in celebration of his 100th birthday.

Through the unifying and cross-cultural nature of music, such an art form arguably represents diplomacy itself, through both the varied range of nations brought together to perform, but equally the enjoyment of such by the guests. Regardless of nationality, language, culture and politics, music can be enjoyed by all, particularly in such a beautiful context as the Berlin Philharmonie.


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