Simon's coming soon to a movie house near you. Maybe

Simon's coming soon to a movie house near you. Maybe


norman lebrecht

August 19, 2010

The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is extending its brand. Its season opener will be relayed next week to several cinemas in Britain, copying the successful operacasts by the Met, Covent Garden, Glyndebourne and others. The difference is that in an opera there is lots to be seen. In a concert, it’s just men and women playing instruments.

Will it get an audience? No-one knows. This is a toe-dipping venture. If the reception is warm enough, expect the trend to spread.

Press release below:

NEWS EXTRA: The Philadeplhia Orchestra is working on a similar plan.






London, 19 August, 2010 –  The Berliner Philharmoniker’s opening concert of the 2010/2011 season, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, will be beamed live via satellite to the ODEON Covent Garden on Friday, August 27th at 5:45 pm.  For further information and tickets, please go to or call 0871 244 1891. Other participating UK cinemas outside of London include Haslemere Hall, a community cinema in Haslemere, Surrey.  Tel: 01428 642161.

Over 60 other cinemas across Europe will be part of this historic live cinema event, courtesy of Rising Alternative, a leading international distributor of special event entertainment into cinemas.  Full cinema listings can be found at:

The concert will be performed at the orchestra’s home venue, the Philharmonie in Berlin and will feature Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 in B flat major and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D major.  Not only does this concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle open the new season, it also marks the start of an ambitious artistic project: the performance of all of Gustav Mahler’s symphonies by the end of 2011. With this series, the orchestra and its conductor pay tribute to two Mahler anniversaries: 7 July 2010 is the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth and 18 May 2011 will be the centenary of his death.

Founded in 1882, the Berliner Philharmoniker is one of the world’s leading orchestras, renowned for important innovations such as the education project, Zukunft@Bphil,  through which the orchestra addresses a broad public – young people in particular.  For this commitment, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Simon Rattle were appointed international UNICEF Ambassadors in November 2007.  They are the first artistic ensemble to receive this honour. 

Sir Simon Rattle was born in Liverpool and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London.  He assumed the post of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker in September 2002.  Between 1980 and 1998, Rattle was Principal Conductor, Artistic Adviser and Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Mahler’s symphonic œuvre is of particular significance for the relationship between Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker. Not only was a Mahler symphony – the Sixth – performed at Rattle’s Berlin debut in November 1987 but also at his inaugural concert as the orchestra’s Principal Conductor in September 2002, when the Fifth was played.

For further details on the Berliner Philharmoniker opening concert, please go to:



  • Laurence Glavin says:

    Although the visual elements of the Met in HD Telecasts have been at least satisfactory, depending on staging and lighting of course, the SOUND has been disappointing, at least in the three theaters around Boston I’ve visited. The CD I own of Berlioz’ “Damnation of Faust” over my home sound system is superior to the sound I heard at the telecast.