Programme Guide

The 12 Cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker are a prominent institution on the international music scene – and have been for 40 years! In this concert, the ensemble celebrates its birthday with a tour through its successful history with works by Julius Klengel, Gabriel Fauré, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Astor Piazzolla and Ennio Morricone.

In 1972, resourceful radio producers in Salzburg invited the cello section of the Berliner Philharmoniker to play the forgotten Hymnus für 12 Violoncelli by cello virtuoso, teacher and composer Julius Klengel. Together with eleven of his students, Klengel dedicated this serenade to the then chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Arthur Nikisch, on the occasion of his 65th birthday in 1920.

The response to the Salzburg performance by the Berlin musicians was so positive that they decided to continue this project, the only one of its kind in the world. Since then, the 12 Cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker have gone from success to success, performing original compositions and arrangements, including jazz, tango and the avant-garde. No matter what genre the musicians turn their hands to, their performances are a unique chamber music collaboration by twelve soloists, who through years of practice together are well-attuned to each other – on 48 strings, from low C to harmonics high above the stave. In their birthday concert, they are joined by the Berlin soprano Annette Dasch, whose sparkling top register has brought her international recognition, amongst others, for her performances of Mozart. Plus, a surprise guest joins the musicians at the end of the evening: the trumpeter Till Brönner.

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