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April with the Berliner Philharmoniker on Television and in the Digital Concert Hall
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was the most popular Russian composer in history. His work includes the "The Sleeping Beauty" and "The Nutcracker." His parents wanted him to become a civil servant though he began taking piano lesson at 5. At 21 he entered St. Petersburg Conservatory. Tsar Alexander III favored and honored him in 1884, awarding him a lifetime pension.

On Easter Sunday (April 4, 2021) the concert, which took place again for the first time in front of an audience on March 20 as part of the pilot project “Perspektive Kultur” in the Philharmonie Berlin, will be broadcast on television on Arte at 17:00 and in the Digital Concert Hall at 19:00. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony were performed under the baton of chief conductor Kirill Petrenko. The concert will be repeated in the Digital Concert Hall on April 5 at 13:00.

Another Easter highlight is the legendary performance of the St Matthew Passion by the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, and staged by American director Peter Sellars, which can be seen free of charge (after free registration) in the Digital Concert Hall up to and including April 5. The St Matthew Passion was performed in April 2010 with the vocal soloists Camilla Tilling, Magdalena Kožená, Mark Padmore, Christian Gerhaher, Topi Lehtipuu and Thomas Quasthoff, plus the Rundfunkchor Berlin and the boys of the Staats- und Domchor Berlin.

From April 11, there will be a wonderful addition to the Digital Concert Hall archive: a historic concert with the Philharmoniker’s honorary member Mariss Jansons. Jansons, one of the foremost interpreters of Shostakovich, conducted the Russian master’s 7th Symphony on June 12, 1992. The concert was only the second performance of this symphony by the Berliner Philharmoniker after the German premiere in 1946 under the direction of Sergiu Celibidache.

On April 17, the Berliner Philharmoniker will perform Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor under the baton of Zubin Mehta, who has been a regular guest at the Philharmonie and also on tour since his debut in 1961. Olivier Messiaen’s Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum for wind orchestra and metal percussion completes the programme, a rarely performed work composed in memory of the dead of the two world wars. The concert will be shown again on April 18 at 13:00 in the Digital Concert Hall.

The following week, on April 24, Finnish conductor Mikko Franck returns to the Berliner Philharmoniker. He will conduct Johannes Brahms’ 1st Piano Concerto in D minor op. 15. The soloist is pianist Yefim Bronfman. The second half of the programme features Jean Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony in E flat Major op. 92. This concert will also be repeated the following day, April 25, at 13:00 in the Digital Concert Hall.

Following the directive of the German federal and state governments of Jan. 5, both halls of the Philharmonie Berlin (the main auditorium and the chamber music hall) will remain closed to audiences up to and including April 30, 2021. The daily guided tours of the Philharmonie and the free lunch concerts will also not take place during this time.

Sunday, April 4, 2021, 17.00 on Arte and 19.00 in the Digital Concert Hall
Broadcast of the concert from March 20
Berliner Philharmoniker
Kirill Petrenko conductor

Peter Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy Overture after Shakespeare
Sergei Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 in E minor op. 27

Link to the concert on Arte

Saturday, April 17, 2021, 19:00, Philharmonie Berlin, main auditorium
Berliner Philharmoniker
Zubin Mehta conductor

Olivier Messiaen Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum for wind orchestra and metal percussion
Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 9 in D minor

Saturday, April 24, 2021, 19:00, Philharmonie Berlin, main auditorium
Berliner Philharmoniker
Mikko Franck conductor
Yefim Bronfman piano

Johannes Brahms Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor op. 15
Jean Sibelius Symphony No.5 in E-flat major op. 82

Also available free of charge up to and including April 5:
Recording from April 2010

Berliner Philharmoniker
Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Camilla Tilling soprano
Magdalena Kožená mezzo-soprano
Topi Lehtipuu tenor (Arias)
Mark Padmore tenor (Evangelist)
Christian Gerhaher bass (Christ)
Thomas Quasthoff bass (Arias)
Rundfunkchor Berlin
Simon Halsey chorus master
Knaben des Staats- und Domchors Berlin
Kai-Uwe Jirka chorus master
Peter Sellars staging

Johann Sebastian Bach St Matthew Passion BWV 244

Link to the Digital Concert Hall:

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