Composers and their times are the focus of our film series A Life in Music. The first of three parts is devoted to the life and work of Felix Mendelssohn during his time in Berlin. Accompanied by stories from his childhood and youth, we hear here not only works by Mendelssohn himself, but also those that were of particular importance to him. Narrator Philipp Bohnen, violinist with the Philharmoniker, takes us back to Berlin in the 1820s.
Zubin Mehta made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 1961: no other conductor has been associated with the orchestra for such a long period of time. In 2019, he was made an honorary member. Particular highlights of this fruitful collaboration include unforgettable renditions of Bruckner symphonies and the performance of Verdi’s Otello. Here, Mehta and the Philharmoniker take a musical journey from the 18th to the 20th century with works by Mozart, Liszt and Prokofiev.
As in 2020, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Kirill Petrenko again gave their 2021 Europakonzert in the Philharmonie Berlin, due to the corona pandemic – this time in the foyer of the building. Its special architecture is an invitation to present the music spatially: Blacher’s festive Fanfare, Ives’s enigmatic Unanswered Question, Mozart’s serene Notturno and Penderecki’s spherical Emanations consciously rely on the effect of spatial sound. Also in the Europakonzert programme: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s charming Orchestral Suite No. 3 and John Adams’s witty piece Short Ride in a Fast Machine.
In 2006, Sunwook Kim won the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition – just 18 years old and the first Asian pianist to do so. With his colourful, virtuosic style of music-making, the South Korean soon found an international audience. Here he makes his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker with Unsuk Chin’s brilliant and rhythmically challenging Piano Concerto. Sakari Oramo also conducts Sibelius’s mystical and poetic Second Symphony.