Andrea Zietschmann

Welcome to the Musikfest Berlin 2022!

As by a small miracle, Musikfest Berlin managed to present an impressive programme in the past two years – through a pandemic and despite numerous constraints and adjustments.

This year, the festival will once again build musical bridges between medieval and Renaissance works and German premieres of recently created compositions. Moreover, several composers and their music will be especially acknowledged: Florence Price, Sofia Gubaidulina, Liza Lim, Gerald Barry and Wolfgang Rihm. Charles Mingus and Iannis Xenakis were both born 100 years ago, occasion enough for a special musical remembrance.

As cooperation partners of Musikfest Berlin / Berliner Festspiele, the Berliner Philharmoniker are delighted to welcome many international orchestras and ensembles to the Philharmonie – and to contribute two programmes to festival themselves.

Hope and freedom are the central topics of the opera “Il prigioniero”, a manifest against war and violence, which Luigi Dallapiccola began to compose in the midst of the Second World War in 1944 and which creates an oppressive resonance with our current situation. “You have to hope during every hour of the day. You have to live to be able to hope”, the jailer admonishes his prisoner. But the latter has no idea that there is a cruel knowledge behind these words – the only thing awaiting him is the stake. Kirill Petrenko will conduct the concertante performance of this impressive work. It will be combined with Iannis Xenakis’ “Empreintes”, which means “imprints” or “traces” in English, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s second version of his Symphony in One Movement from 1953. The words that Zimmermann sent to his fellow composer Karl Amadeus Hartmann about this work seem more topical than ever: He wrote that he was searching for an expression of “disunity” and a “reflection of the current situation in the history of thought, which none of us can escape”.

The second programme of Berliner Philharmoniker will be conducted by Thomas Adès who has previously worked with the orchestra as a composer and will now be standing at its conductor’s desk for the first time. As many as two works by Adès will be presented: his Concert for Violin and Orchestra op. 23 “Concentric Paths”, featuring Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto, and “The Exterminating Angel Symphony”. These works will be contrasted by Gerald Barry’s impelling “Cheveaux-de-frise” and what is probably Hector Berlioz’ first orchestral work, the overture to the unfinished opera “Les Francs-juges” (The Free Judges), a piece about the liberation of a political prisoner.

I hope that the tireless work and creativity of Winrich Hopp and his team will result in the success of all their plans and projects – and I wish inspiring concerts to all artists.

Dear audience, we hope that you will very much enjoy the Musikfest Berlin 2022.

Andrea Zietschmann
General Manager Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation