Musikfest Berlin: Standing Ovations for Stravinsky and World Premieres

Musikfest Berlin

Press release from 21 September 2021

Yesterday was the last concert of the Musikfest Berlin, organised this year from 28 August to 20 September by the Berliner Festspiele in cooperation with the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker. The 34 concerts with international guest ensembles and the Berlin orchestras in the Philharmonie Berlin, its Chamber Music Hall, the Great Broadcasting Hall of the rbb and the Konzerthaus Berlin were attended by 28,000 visitors – in some cases with reduced seating capacity. The digital offer with live broadcasts in the Digital Concert Hall of the Berliner Philharmoniker and subsequent access on Berliner Festspiele on Demand was visited more than 27,000 times.

To conclude the Musikfest Berlin 2021, the Berliner Philharmoniker with Kirill Petrenko and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester with Robin Ticciati dedicated themselves to the festival focus Igor Stravinsky. The performance of his late works in particular was central to this year’s festival programme and was enthusiastically received by the audience. In addition to the aforementioned Berlin orchestras and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the international guests, the Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam with Daniel Harding, the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées with the Collegium Vocale Gent and Philippe Herrweghe, and finally Les Siècles from Paris with François-Xavier Roth and Isabelle Faust as soloist, provided special interpretations, some of which were celebrated with standing ovations. There was also thunderous applause for the performances of the London Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle, for the concert of the English Baroque Soloists with John Eliot Gardiner and for the premiere of the new piece “A House of Call” by Heiner Goebbels at the festival opening, performed by the Ensemble Modern Orchestra.

Winrich Hopp (Artistic Director Musikfest Berlin): “Musical life is reawakening and people are gradually returning to the concert halls. The interest in the programmes and confidence in the venues that this expresses fills both us as organisers and the participating artists and ensembles with joy and gratitude.”

A total of seven world premieres and three German premieres could be experienced at the festival – new works by Mark Andre, George Benjamin, Ann Cleare, Heiner Goebbels, Kathrin Denner, Johannes Kalitzke, György Kurtág, Cathy Milliken, Olga Neuwirth, Rebecca Saunders and Lisa Streich, whose work “HIMMEL” was performed on the last day of the festival, Monday 20 September, together with compositions by Clara Iannotta, Matthias Pintscher and Arnold Schönberg in a concert by the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. The premieres of the works by Wolfgang Rihm and Jörg Widmann had to be postponed due to illness. The new date will be announced as soon as possible.

Some of the concert broadcasts on radio can still be heard. Some of the concerts that were streamed live in the Digital Concert Hall of the Berliner Philharmoniker are still available on Berliner Festspiele on Demand.

The Musikfest Berlin 2022 is scheduled to take place from 27 August to 20 September 2022.

The Musikfest Berlin is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and the Neustart Kultur programme. The festival's sponsors and project partners are also Aventis Foundation, BTHVN 2020, Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, Hauptstadtkulturfonds and others; media partners: Deutschlandfunk Kultur, rbb Kultur, Exberliner, Monopol, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Dussmann, Wall and Yorck Kinogruppe.
The concerts with contemporary works are also part of the contemporary music month of the initiative field notes.

Press Contact
Patricia Hofmann and Anna Lina Hinz

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