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The Berliner Philharmoniker, Gustavo Dudamel to Play for Olympics in Tokyo in June 2020
Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker

At a press conference in Tokyo last Friday, the plans for this particular project were presented. At the end of June 2020, the Berliner Philharmoniker will travel to Tokyo together with Gustavo Dudamel to perform in four concerts at the “Tokyo 2020 Nippon Festival”, the cultural programme of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, for which the orchestra will return to the Bunka Kaikan concert hall in Tokyo for the first time in 16 years for three concerts. To celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic games, and as a sign of peace and understanding, the musicians will perform works including Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection Symphony” with the soloists Anett Fritsch and Alisa Kolosova and the Tokyo Opera Singers, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with its final chorus of Schiller’s “Ode to Joy”. The Berliner Philharmoniker will also give a concert with a special Olympic programme designed for the occasion with works from all over the world.

Free open-air concert in Shinjuku Gyoen park

Under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel, the orchestra will give a free open-air concert in Japan for the first time. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony will be presented in one of Tokyo’s most popular parks, Shinjuku Gyoen’s English Park. It will feature a total of 400 musicians, including an ensemble of international soloists (Slávka Zámečníková, soprano; Josy Santos, mezzo-soprano; Jinxu Xiahou, tenor, and Dashon Burton, bass-baritone) plus a project choir, the Tokyo 2020 One World Chorus, with members from all continents. More than 10,000 spectators are expected to attend.

Andrea Zietzschmann, general manager of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation, said: “Participating in the official cultural programme of Tokyo 2020 is a great honour for us, and a highlight in the long and friendly relationship between Japan and the Berliner Philharmoniker. More than almost any other work, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony stands for the global values of freedom, brotherhood and peace. Music, like sport, can develop a tremendous power of understanding among peoples. And so it is especially important to us that the open-air concert brings together many nations on one stage and enables participation for many people.”

Olaf Maninger, principal cellist and member of the board of trustees of the Berliner Philharmoniker, added: “Our orchestra has members from 28 nations, and when on tour, we form a small Olympic Village. We very much look forward to the concerts in the run-up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Together with Gustavo Dudamel, who has been a friend of ours for many years, we hope that this programme will reach the hearts of the audience and contribute our part to the brotherhood of all humankind.”

Conductor Gustavo Dudamel sent the following message: “I’ve had so many wonderful visits to Japan over the years, but it is an indescribably special opportunity to perform with my dear brothers and sisters of the Berliner Philharmoniker on the occasion of the greatest spectacle in sport: the Olympic and
Berlin, 25 November 2019 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. In these divided times, it is never more important to remember our shared history and our shared humanity, and I truly believe that music and sports both help to unify us in the spirit of friendship, solidarity, and excellence. I am humbled and honoured to represent these values and to lead these four performances in Tokyo.”

More information can be found at: https://tokyo2020.org/en/special/festival/cohosted/


Wednesday 24 June 2020, 19:00
Tōkyō Bunka Kaikan, main hall
Berliner Philharmoniker
Gustavo Dudamel conductor
Ludwig van Beethoven Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus op. 43: Overture
Fumio Hayasaka Rashomon (excerpts)
Igor Stravinsky L'oiseau de feu (The Fire Bird), Suite (excerpts)
John Williams Summon the Heroes
Dmitri Shostakovich The Golden Age op. 22
Arturo Márquez Danzón No. 8
Maurice Ravel Boléro

Thursday 25 June 2020, 19:00
Tokyō Bunka Kaikan, main hall
Berliner Philharmoniker
Gustavo Dudamel conductor
Anett Fritsch soprano
Alisa Kolosova mezzo-soprano
Tokyo Opera Singers chorus
Matthias Brauer chorus master
Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 2 C minor “Resurrection Symphony”

Friday 26 June 2020, 19:00
Tōkyō Bunka Kaikan, main hall
Berliner Philharmoniker
Gustavo Dudamel conductor
Slávka Zámečníková soprano
Josy Santos mezzo-soprano
Jinxu Xiahou tenor
Dashon Burton bass-baritone
Tokyo Opera Singers chorus
Matthias Brauer chorus master
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 9 D Minor op. 125 with final chorus of Schiller’s “Ode to Joy”

Saturday June 27, 2020, 14:00
Shinjuku Gyoen, English Park
Berliner Philharmoniker
Gustavo Dudamel conductor
Slávka Zámečníková soprano
Josy Santos mezzo-soprano
Jinxu Xiahou tenor
Dashon Burton bass-baritone
2020 One World Choir chorus
Simon Halsey chorus master
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 9 D Minor op. 125 with final chorus of Schiller’s “Ode to Joy”



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