Just in: Berlin Philharmonic climbs onto Google waggon

Just in: Berlin Philharmonic climbs onto Google waggon


norman lebrecht

December 01, 2015

Google, the global aggregator, just got a major boost from the Berlin Phil.

The orch will now be selling through the relaunched Google Cultural Institute.

Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin has also joined. And Carnegie Hall.

Here’s how it looks.


google natalya sats

Google is cleaning up, as usual. And no-one makes money from it, as usual.

Press release below. English version when available.


Berlin, 1. Dezember 2015 – Z​usammen mit ​weltweit renommierten Opern­, Konzert­ und Schauspielhäusern präsentiert das Google Cultural Institute ab sofort einzigartige interaktive Erlebnisse aus Musik, Oper, Tanz und Schauspiel. Teil dieses neuen Projektes mit dem Namen „Performing Arts“ sind 60 Institutionen aus 20 Ländern. Partner wie die Berliner Philharmoniker, das Fundação Theatro Municipal de São Paulo in Brasilien, die Opéra National de Paris (Palais Garnier) in Frankreich, die Royal Shakespeare Company in Großbritannien und die Carnegie Hall in den USA präsentieren sich hierbei unter g.co/performingarts Millionen von Menschen durch 360­Grad­Videos, interaktive Geschichten, Bildergalerien, Backstage­Eindrücke und Street­View­Touren.

Wer die Berliner Philharmonie​erkunden möchte, den laden Indoor­Street­View­Aufnahmen zu einem Rundgang durch die eindrucksvollen Konzertsäle sowie über die Bühnen des Konzerthauses ein. Für die Öffentlichkeit bisher verschlossene Räume wie beispielsweise das Tonstudio werden durch hochauflösende Panorama­Aufnahmen erstmalig einem breiten Publikum zugänglich gemacht. Zu den Highlights der Partnerschaft zwischen den Berliner Philharmonikern und dem Google Cultural Institute zählen außerdem aufwendige 360­Grad­Videos. Dank dieser können Nutzer einen Auszug aus Ludwig van Beethovens 9.

Sinfonie, dirigiert von Sir Simon Rattle, sowohl aus verschiedenen Positionen als auch immersiv aus der Perspektive des Orchesters erleben. Zusätzlich haben die Nutzer die Möglichkeit, bei einer Probe dabei zu sein, um so einen sonst verborgenen Teil der täglichen Arbeit der Philharmoniker mitzuerleben. Für diejenigen, die mehr über die Geschichte und ausgewählte Projekte der Berliner Philharmoniker erfahren möchten, hat die Philharmonie vertiefende digitale Ausstellungen kuratiert. Alle Inhalte sind unter goo.gl/uKfVyu​ab sofort abrufbar.

Auch die Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin i​st Teil der „Performing Arts“ und zählt mit ihrer über 270­jährigen Geschichte zu den traditionsreichsten Bühnen des Projektes. Von barocken Aufführungen bis hin zu zeitgenössischen Inszenierungen ‒unter goo.gl/1HTLf5​stehen Online­Besuchern einzigartige Aufnahmen der aufwendigen Produktionen sowie Indoor­Street­View­Aufnahmen des derzeit im Umbau befindlichen Opernhauses zur Verfügung.


Berlin, 1 December 2015 – Together with world-renowned opera houses, concert halls and theatres, the Google Cultural Institute will now present unique interactive experiences from the worlds of music, opera, dance and drama. 60 institutions from 20 countries form part of this new project entitled “Performing Arts”.

At g.co/performingarts, partners such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Fundação Theatro Municipal de São Paulo in Brazil, the Opéra National de Paris (Palais Garnier) in France, the Royal Shakespeare Company in Great Britain and Carnegie Hall in the USA can now present themselves to millions of people through 360 degree videos, interactive stories, photo galleries, backstage impressions and street view tours.

Indoor street view images invite anyone who would like to explore the Berlin Philharmonie on a tour through the impressive auditorium and the podium of the concert hall. For the public, areas which have been closed to the them so far – such as the sound studio – are now accessible to a wide audience for the first time through high-resolution panoramic shots. Highlights of the partnership between the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Google Cultural Institute also include elaborate 360-degree videos. Thanks to this, users can experience an excerpt from Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle from different positions, including from the perspective of the orchestra. In addition, users have the opportunity to ‘sit in’ at a rehearsal and be able to experience what is an otherwise hidden part of the daily work of the Philharmoniker. For those who want to learn more about the history and selected projects of the Berliner Philharmoniker, detailed digital exhibitions are curated by the Philharmonie. All content can now be viewed at goo.gl/uKfVyu.

The Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin is part of the “Performing Arts” and, with its over 270 year history, is one of the most venerable theatres involved in the project. From Baroque performances to contemporary productions – at goo.gl/1HTLf5 visitors can view online unique shots of spectacular productions and indoor street view images of the opera house which is currently being renovated.

Olaf Maninger, principal cellist and media board member of the Berliner Philharmoniker: “The  Berliner Philharmoniker has long used digital media – from our Digital Concert Hall to social networks. We use these to communicate with fans of the orchestra all over the world as well as with very young people who wish to discover classical music for themselves. We are delighted to be a part of the Google Cultural Institute and that thanks to the enormous reach of Google, even more music lovers can get to know our work.”

Amit Sood, director of the Google Cultural Institute: “We are delighted to be working with so many world- renowned opera houses, concert halls and theatres to be able to show the best of drama, dance, music and opera. We have  brought all this together in one virtual location for the first time. Our goal is to make the performing arts accessible to everyone, to arouse curiosity and to allow access to details that fans have never seen before.”



  • Emil says:

    Since you mention the “fact” that no one is making money out of it, perhaps you would care to post the financial details of the agreement?

    • V.Lind says:

      I agree, but you might also consider this worth something even if cash does not change hands:

      “…thanks to the enormous reach of Google, even more music lovers can get to know our work.” The companies are doing this anyway, and probably not as well. This multiplies their potential reach.

  • Alvaro says:

    Norman is just frustrated that the world did not just stop in the 60’s and 70’s where everybody was buying regurgitated music, the Proms presented challenging new music, and everybody had a recording contract without a deadline to record as much crap as they wanted.

    I wonder why would the industry crash and burn??

    Its almost touching to see. Meanwhile, the world keeps on moving and Google keeps on innovating much more than the sad institutions Norman wants to preserve.

    Oh, and BTW…the great majority of the innovators in Google 1) has no clue abt classical music and 2) don’t need it to continue to innovate.

  • Eric says:

    I think we should look at this from the other perspective. Berlin Phil, and the other 60 some odd partners who have added to this digital gallery platform, benefit from Google in incalculable ways. It’s an incredible trove of photos, videos, etc., and lots of fun to look through! https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/u/0/collections

  • Miles Golding says:

    “…. Our goal is to make the performing arts accessible to everyone, to arouse curiosity and to allow access to details that fans have never seen before.”

    … oh, and allow us to spy on their activities and access their personal details so that we can make loads of money out of them.

  • William Ford says:

    Is a “waggon” like a wagon?

  • laura says:

    I don’t see this as being so horrible – – it doesn’t say that they’re going to start broadcasting performances on this forum (google) with no compensation to artists. It just seems more of an informational type of collaboration, and probably a great way for people to have a “look backstage” and garner interest on a bigger global scale. I don’t see the problem…

  • Victoria says:

    Cheap populism!