Critics’ Quartet

of the German Record Critics’ Award

Past Dates

Critics and artists are by no means natural enemies, even if there are some who enjoy making that claim. There have even been occasions on which they played piano duets together, for example Hanslick and Brahms. Nowadays in many papers and periodicals, the ubiquitous business of public relations (portraits, home stories, interviews) has managed to relegate critical discourse on works and their interpretation (reviews) to a postage-stamp format. A critical “institution” like the “Best Recording” lists published quarterly by the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics’ Award) has thus become more important than ever.

More than 30 years ago, a handful of music critics came together to establish this prize. Their aim was to install a reliable quality control in the PR-deluged record market, to make clear recommendations, and to foster the art of interpretation. Of late, the jurors of this prize have also been making public appearances as guests of the big music festivals. Four of them sit down together periodically in a “Critics’ Quartet” to discuss a particular work being featured in the festival, which is performed live directly following the conversation.

At this year’s musikfest berlin the subject is the symphonic poem Kullervo by Jean Sibelius – a composer long and conspicuously ignored and under-appreciated by German music critics. Why that was the case will also be explored.

Eleonore Büning


Eleonore Büning (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)
Wolfram Goertz (Rheinische Post)
Hans-Klaus Jungheinrich (Frankfurter Rundschau)
Michael Stegemann (freelance journalist, TU Dortmund)

Talking about:

Jean Sibelius Kullervo
Symphonic poem for mezzo-soprano, bass, male chorus and orchestra op. 7

A presentation of musikfest berlin | Berliner Festspiele in collaboration with German Record Critics’ Award e.V.