7 Berlin orchestras shout out for diversity

7 Berlin orchestras shout out for diversity


norman lebrecht

February 05, 2019

press release:

For the first time in their history, seven large Berlin orchestras join forces to give a concert for an open and diverse society. On 24 March at 4:00 pm, musicians from the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin will perform together at the Konzerthaus Berlin under the theme “Unisono für Vielfalt – Konzert für eine offene Gesellschaft” (In Unison for Diversity – Concert for an Open Society).

Marie Jacquot will conduct the concert; actor Matthias Brandt will serve as host.

The musical programme reflects the diversity of the orchestra members and of society, with compositions from Turkey, the Czech Republic, Argentina, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and other countries, with works ranging from Brahms’s Hungarian Dances to Dukas’s La Péri and Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango to Tōru Takemitsu’s Signals from Heaven and Ulvi Cemâl Erkin’s Köçekçe Suite.

In this way, the orchestras advocate respect, tolerance and diversity, not only within their own ranks, but in German society as a whole.


  • Doug says:

    A major French philosopher begs to differ. And before you condemn Benoist in a knee-jerk, sheep-like reaction, note that he is “…opposed to Christianity, the United States, free markets, neoliberalism, democracy, and egalitarianism.”


    • Emil says:

      Oh please. Alain de Benoît is a poor man’s reactionary and a poor reader of philosophy. His Schmitt reading is weak at best.

      And calling him a “major philosopher” is laughable – the guy self-publishes.

    • Emil says:

      Benoist- sorry, autocorrect.

    • John Rook says:

      A fascinating read, many thanks.

    • Klam says:

      Not a major philosopher, rather a minor far right politician

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        Your comment has zero credibility: the ‘far right’ these days is anybody who isn’t far Left. You and your social engineers are just terrifying people. It was the educated bien pensant of Germany who fell into lockstep behind Hitler. And the public service. We’ve seen this ugly utopianism before.

        • Eric says:

          Identity politics is hardly exclusive to the left, where at least there is an attempt to rectify historical injustices. Fascism, the Ku Klux Klan, the white domination of money and power in the US are also examples of identity politics.

        • Saxon Broken says:

          “At the extremes, they touch”

  • Georgius Langeslag says:

    They can make their orchestra and the compositions they play as diverse as they want, but using the event as an attempt to con the public into the expectation that forcing multiculturalism on society in general will result in anything other than no common culture at all is either naive or malignant.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      The latter, I think. But it’s good to read your comments. The dupes who still go for this stuff are too stupid to know it’s been resoundingly rejected by the ordinary people. And they still don’t get why the people voted for Trump; part of the same paradigm. And the Left has adopted a second religion; the Catastropharians for Climate Change – complete with acolytes and armies of worshippers.
      As Jordan Peterson says, “it’s the religion you can learn in a week”!!!!!

      • Alvaro says:

        Yet another snowflake soul who cant take change and reads the “chickem soop for the soul of the alt right – for dummies” author and pseudo-intellectual J. Petersen. If only for that all these comments should be taken at face value as what they are: the useless outcry of people too scared to realize their reality.

        Populists use this like they use sheep. It doesnt mean they are the makority. One sees legislation and policies in public and private organizations and the trend is absolutely clear. From Sheku to Dudamel to more and more women’s conductors, the change is already there. If anything this concert is redundant. The real change is inevitable and has already happened.

        Now put back your white hood, your torch and go cry somewhere 😉

      • Alvaro says:

        “chicken soup”…there should really be an edit button here…argh.

      • Alvaro says:

        And BTW – Jordan Petersen is the religion you can learn on your way to the KKK lodge by watching a 10 minute Youtube video. “enlightenment” for the alt-right.

  • Dennis says:

    “Diversity” has become the new pseudo-religious ideology of the Left. It’s already destroying academia (witness the rise of campus bureaucracies devoted not to academic excellence but to imposing “diversity” ideology, compete with commissars, re-education boot camps, Stasi-like mandates to spy on others and report “microaggressions” and other deviationism), and it will destroy the classical music world as well if ideological shibboleths like “diversity and inclusion,” with racial and sexual bean-counting, become more important than musical excellence.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Absolutely spot on. Identity Politics; an ideological movement developed to settle old scores. And, yes, the pun was intended.

      Hint: you’ll never win playing the identity politics game. It will always block back in your own face.

  • prof says:

    This seems a bizarre move. Are all these orchestras planning to actually demonstrate their love of diversity through programming? That would be the stronger gesture.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Phew; just cancelled my subscription to the Berliner Philharmoniker in time!!! Massive turn-off. Massive.

  • M McAlpine says:

    I must confess I am a heretic to this new ‘religion’ that is sweeping the liberal establishment, in that I am not at all interested in this diversity nonsense. I just want to listen to good music played by good musicians. And so do the vast majority of the population.

  • shaking my head says:

    Notably, the Berlin Phil has the third lowest ratio of women members in the world — around 15% the last time I checked. The New York Phil, BBC London, Zurich State Opera, and the National Orchestra of France are all close to 50%. Is it just a coincidence that the Berlin Phil is so low? What does that say about its “tolerance”?

    I fear Germany’s interest in open societies has more to do with its massive export industry rather than a sincere belief in a multi-cultural society. Still, I would like to give Germany the benefit of the doubt. Let’s hope for the best, and a different attitude than shown by that little soon to be marginalized has-been island on the edge of Europe known as Brexistan.

  • DrWayne says:

    The orchestras should instead hold a memorial service for all the folks murdered and raped by the “diverse” non-Europeans welcomed by Merkel and the EU Kommissars.

    • Bill says:

      They might do a few for the folks murdered by native Europeans as well. Remember that Austrian painter fellow with the mustache? Hardly the first in that line of work, of course.

  • Bruce says:

    Wow. They give a concert (not even an orchestra — musicians from several different orchestras) in support of diversity and it’s evidence of a plot of the Left-with-a-capital-L to force diversity down everyone’s throats? Gosh. Some people do seem awfully fragile and easily triggered.

    I don’t know if it’s even worth pointing out that nobody will be forced to attend (probably).

  • Tamino says:

    A symphony orchestra is a perfect example of a non-diverse, strictly hierachical, well organized and rule based entity. The hierarchy is based on merits and thus produces excellent results.
    A concert hall is a perfect example of a closed society. With rules of conduct and a hefty contribution to make in order to take part.
    And it wouldn’t work any other way.
    Oh the irony.

    • Albert says:

      I came here for the Nazi comments, Thanks for making it worthwhile

    • Alvaro says:

      In a site known for attracting nutjobs, this may in fact take the cake. Non diverse? Are they all playing the same instrument?

      Further, since it was based solely on merits – is that why Vienna Phil did not even allow women to audition until the political pressure became too strong?

      Last time I checked, Concert Halls are buildings meant for entertainment that present both artistic and commercial events. Unless you are talking about the kremlin or the palace of Kim Yong Ill last I checked the Musikverein, Carnegie, Concertgebouw, Wigmore, etc all present diverse forms of entertainment.

      Looks like you did not take your pill the other day…

  • John Wills says:

    Sabine Meyer will be pleased!