Post-Brexit, the Berlin Fest puts 3 London orchestras centre stage

Post-Brexit, the Berlin Fest puts 3 London orchestras centre stage


norman lebrecht

December 10, 2018

The 2019 Musikfest Berlin will feature the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the London Symphony Orchestra with music director Sir Simon Rattle and the BBC Symphony Orchestra with chief conductor Sakari Orama.

31 August 2019, 19:00h
Philharmonie Berlin

Hector Berlioz “Benvenuto Cellini”
Opéra Comique, semi-staged performance
in French with German surtitles

Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique & Monteverdi Choir
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor
and Soloists

5 September 2019, 20:00h
Philharmonie Berlin

Modest Mussorgsky “Night on Bald Mountain”
Louis Andriessen “The Only One” for Voice and Orchestra, World Premiere
Olga Neuwirth “…miramondo multiplo…” for Solo Trumpet and Orchestra
Jean Sibelius Symphony Nr. 5 in E-flat Major, op. 82

Nora Fischer, Singing
Håkan Hardenberger, Trumpet
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Sakari Oramo, Conductor


11 September 2019, 20:00h
Philharmonie Berlin

Hans Abrahamsen “let me tell you”
Lied cycle for Soprano and Orchestra, based on texts by Paul Griffith
Olivier Messiaen “Èclairs sur l’Au-delà” for large Orchestra
Barbara Hannigan, Soprano
London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor



  • Andrew says:

    The Coote-Connolly Massive say this can’t happen. Wiser folk know that trade, including the music biz, will continue much as normal. It flourished before the EU and will continue long after its demise.

  • James F says:

    Sir Simon is looking rather … nice!

  • Brian says:

    They’re now imitating other festivals and concert halls in adopting the nice little strategy of giving music lovers just a glimpse at part of the programme a few months before it’s officially published. And I do fall for it sometimes, I confess…

    Much of the Musikfest’s programming could be considered semi-crazy. Just imagine an entire evening of Jörg Widmann’s music, played by a top US orchestra: a once-in-a-lifetime sort of really interesting evening, but definitely not for the faint-hearted (whose hearts faint at even the mention of Bartók, Schönberg or Stravinsky).

    This will be my 16th visit to Berlin in the 15 years of the festival’s existence (it had a different name before 2005). If I were to give two examples of happy Musikfest memories, it would be Sir Simon’s Porgy and Bess, and Yannick’s B. A. Zimmermann/Bruckner 4 with the Rotterdammers early this season, the latter played to a Philharmonie that was not even three quarters full.

    Long may it continue!