Vienna Philharmonic takes up residency in Berlin

Vienna Philharmonic takes up residency in Berlin


norman lebrecht

June 01, 2018

The Berlin Konzerthaus has invited the Viennese to play a ten-day concert series from 14 to 23 December this year, parking its tanks on the Berlin Philharmonic lawn.

The conductors will be Riccardo Muti and Franz Welser-Möst.

Should be interesting.

The time that people remember when the Vienna Phil played the Berlin Konzerthaus, the concert hall was in the German Democratic Republic and the conductor was Leonard Bernstein.



  • Christopher Clift says:

    Mr Lebrecht

    Why do you use such provocative phrases, like ‘parking its tanks’ ?
    Besides, the Berlin Konzerthaus is NOT the Berlin Philharmonic’s forecourt, the Philharmonie, which is some distance from the Konzerthaus.

    This kind of writing lowers the credibility of your otherwise very informative column

    Kind regards

  • Jakob Lehmann says:

    The last time the Vienna Phil played in Berlin Konzerthaus was in November 2014 with Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

    • norman lebrecht says:


      • BerlinMusic says:

        he last concert was in May 2015, Blomstedt conducted.
        As far as I understood, it will be a festival, presenting not only the orchestra itself but also philharmonic chamber music ensembles, etc, starting already in October with “360 Grad Wiener Philharmoniker”.
        Yes, should be interesting.

  • Olassus says:

    Lots of seats unsold for tonight’s Kirill Petrenko concert in London.

    • Irrelohe says:

      Yes but (with respect) does this have much relevance to the topic, other than the fact that Petrenko is the next chief conductor of the Berlin Phil? Tonight he is conducting the Bayerisches Staatsorchester – the Berlin Phil departed London last night and that was Rattle, who was guaranteed (rightly or wrongly) a capacity audience. (And arguably tonight’s programme – Mahler 7 on its own – is rather short measure).

      • Olassus says:

        KP’s “Mahler 7 on its own” was a hot ticket on Monday and Tuesday at home, but is not apparently on tour.

        • MacroV says:

          People don’t know what they’re missing; it should be (was?) awesome.

          • PaulD says:

            It certainly was awesome about a year and half ago in Los Angeles.

          • Philip Moores says:

            And the Barbican concert last night was extraordinary. Though they are not a natural Mahler orchestra.

          • Olassus says:

            Was the Kaim-Orchester a “natural Mahler orchestra”? What the hell are you trying to say?

  • phf655 says:

    Where does this information come from? The websites of the Wiener Philharmoniker and Berlin Konzerthaus each list only TWO concerts, one on December 18 (Muti) and one on December 21 (Welser-Most).The Orchestra’s own website lists concerts conducted by Muti in Munich (December 17) and Cologne (December 19).

    • Max Grimm says:

      Norman’s wording could have been more precise.
      The Wiener Philharmoniker will play only 2 concerts as you mentioned, on December 18th and 21st.
      Apart from that, chamber ensembles made up of members of the Wiener Philharmoniker have programs on
      – December 19th, brass ensemble phil Blech Wien with Bach, Saint-Saëns, Tschaikowsky et al.
      – December 20th, Wiener Ring-Ensemble with J. Strauß, Lanner & Suppé, arranged for string quintet, woodwinds and horn.
      – December 22nd & 23rd, Philharmonia Schrammeln Wien with “Viennese Specialties” for 2 violins, clarinet and 2 Knöpferlharmonika.

  • MacroV says:

    Maybe they could throw in a few Vienna-Berlin concerts? It’s not like they’re warring armies, after all. The Ottensammer brothers could play a joint concert (sadly, minus their recently-deceased father).

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    I believe the acoustics of the Konzerthaus are closer to what the VPO is used to in the Musikverein. My bet is that they sound really great in there. Then again, they sound great in Berkeley’s Zellerbach Auditorium, and that takes some REAL doing.

  • mr oakmountain says:

    A former VPO principal trumpet player told me years ago that the best they had ever played (in his opinion) was Mahler 1 under Maazel in Berlin – at which time Herbert von Karajan and the BPO were the industrial standard of orchestral excellence, and the VPO was fiercely determined to show off their powers. Nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition. Incidentally, the BPO is playing Bruckner in Vienna this month …

  • mr oakmountain says:

    Actually, the BPO is playing in Vienna today and tomorrow: