Berlin goes weirdly Spanish for New Yearmain
An enigmatic piece of programming from Kirill Petrenko brings 2020 to an end at the locked-down Berlin Philharmonic. Typically, the conductor does not explain his choices. Y viva espana.
The Berliner Philharmoniker’s traditional New Year’s Eve concert will be streamed live from the Philharmonie Berlin in the Digital Concert Hall (18:00) and in a time-delayed live broadcast on arte (18:35). Radio station rbbKultur will present the concert live at 18:00. Under the baton of chief conductor Kirill Petrenko, the Spanish-themed programme features ballet music by Manuel de Falla and Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas as the soloist. Other works include Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas brasileiras No. 4 and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol. The evening opens with the Leonore Overture No. 3 in C major, op. 72, once again in the context of the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, although here too the action takes place in Spain.
Andrea Zietzschmann, general manager of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation: “We all look back on a challenging 2020, which has tested our resilience and has taken its toll on us. More than ever, we have become aware of how much culture is one of the foundations of our society and how important face-to- face encounters in the concert hall are. We are grateful that, despite the impact of the pandemic, we have maintained contact with our audiences in Berlin and around the world, with our friends and supporters, with the artists, and with our partners. They have constantly motivated us to fight for the visibility of culture in this crisis. So we are delighted to come to your home this year with our traditional and festive New Year’s Eve concert, and in doing so, giving culture a strong voice as the year draws to its close.”
Kirill Petrenko, chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker: ‘Our New Year’s Eve concert this year takes place at a time when we look with hope and trepidation at our society and the whole world. We are infinitely grateful to all those who are now fighting for us on the front line against the pandemic. In this concert, we would like to reflect on this time, offer some consolation and hope, and once again make it emphatically clear that art and music are indispensable, even – and especially – in such a situation.’