What music lover would not love to look behind the scenes at the Philharmonie in Berlin? To see where the orchestral musicians and conductors prepare themselves for their performances – and to explore all the many corners of the massive building that are otherwise unseen? On the “Open House” day in May 2012 this – and much more – was possible. That day, there was music and special events to be found everywhere from both the Berliner Philharmoniker and some famous guests. You can now relive that special day in a film, free of charge.

Above all, the Berliner Philharmoniker showed surprising sides of themselves that day: in unusual chamber music ensembles, master classes, and witty encores. Horn player Sarah Willis and star organist Cameron Carpenter went on an extraordinary expedition, exploring the organ of the Philharmonie from top to bottom. Chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle was also there of course, conducting an orchestra of ambitious – and excellent! – amateur musicians and a dance project from the Education Programme, choreographed by Sasha Waltz. Honorary guest of the day was Alfred Brendel: pianist and friend of the Berliner Philharmoniker for many years. At the Philharmonie, he read his own poems and officiated at the highlight of the day: the auction of the concert grand piano which he himself had played when performing with the Berliner Philharmoniker since 1992 and which now has found a new owner, with proceeds going to UNICEF’s emergency relief in East Africa.

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