Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics in talks for Iran trip

Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics in talks for Iran trip


norman lebrecht

August 25, 2015

We reported six weeks ago that Chancellor Merkel was planning to take with Berlin Staatskapelle with Daniel Barenboim on her first trip to Teheran.

Now it appears the Iranians are negotiating dates with both philharmonic orchestras. The Vienna Phil is expected to accompany Austrian president Heinz Fischer on a state visit in the months ahead, while sentimentalists in Teheran have fond memories of visits by the Berlin Phil and Karajan before the 1979 revolution and are keen on their return.

The source of this leak to German media is Bahram Djamali, head of music at the Iranian ministry of culture.

vienna phil pose

The ministry probably won’t mind if the Vienna Phil appears one last time in its traditional all-male lineup.

UPDATE: Vienna won’t go.


  • Alexander Hall says:

    The all-male line-up has not been a visible feature of the Vienna Philharmonic for quite some time now: wake up at the back!

  • Max Grimm says:

    That “traditional all-male lineup” has seen the addition of two more women as full-fledged Wiener Philharmonikerinnen this year, Norman (I know…too little, too slow/late).
    Both, Karin Bonnelli-2nd Flute & Piccolo and Patricia Koll-2nd Violin passed their 3 year trial successfully this year (

  • hypocritesgalore says:

    Pathetic. Both Austria and Germany have plenty of people who complain about Israel, yet the liberties in Israel far outweigh those experienced in Iran. Shame on them for giving into cheap PR gimmicks.