When outstanding Romantic symphonies are on the programme, the Konzerthausorchester is truly happy. High on our list of favourites – Gustav Mahler. He is a preferred composer of principal English horn player Iria Folgado, for example, who passed her probationary period last spring: “I am really happy to be able to perform his Second Symphony again soon, as it is so bombastic and moving. It happens to be one of the first significant orchestral works I ever played during my time in the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia. The symphony brings back some of my best memories of sharing music there with friends and colleagues.”
Julius Ockert, who passed his probationary period as principal clarinettist in June, also mentions the Mahler symphonies when asked about his highlights for the upcoming weeks: “As for Symphony No.2 with Christoph Eschenbach, I’m looking forward to hearing the concert because I won’t be playing. But I’ll be performing in Mahler’s Third with Iván Fischer in December – a nice occasion for me because I’ve never played it before. Then in January I’m eagerly anticipating Alexander Scriabin’s ‘Poème de l’extase’ with Hannu Lintu.” Incidentally, this will be the Finnish conductor’s first guest appearance with the Konzerthausorchester.
In the second half of November, the Konzerthaus Berlin is "Aus den Fugen" – during this festival, featuring visionary works that form bridges between epochs, artists’ reactions to a world thrown out of sync and formats that disrupt standard concert hall events.
Our IT staff member Udo Broszeit can relate to most styles of music, but “next to punk, electronic music, especially deep house, is my favourite. I think it’s great that we’ve invited the band MEUTE to perform in the Great Hall for the festival and that our concert hall in central Berlin is extending its reach so much. MEUTE plays techno and deep house, but in analogue fashion, as a brass band with percussion. The fact that they mix classic and electronic music is something I find interesting and contemporary.”
The festival workshop “The Orchestra Society” is something team assistant communications and marketing Ute Biefang wouldn’t miss for the world: “Every time I go to a concert, I find it remarkable how an orchestra with so many different personalities manages to become a harmonious unit. Understanding hidden things is fascinating – and the workshop will allow me to peek behind the scenes. Especially at a time when our society is often divided in so many ways, taking a closer look at orchestral interaction can help you discover new ways to live in greater harmony with your environment.”
Immanuel Klein started his job as a member of our programme and concert planning staff in the summer and also has a favourite from “Aus den Fugen”: “I think it’s great that we’re tackling Haas’ “limited approximations” for the festival. Logistically speaking, this is an extremely complex work, with six concert grand pianos in addition to the large orchestra. Accordingly, it is rarely performed. I am very curious to hear how the effects of his extraordinary score will come across in the Great Hall. The audience sits right up close, so they can hear everything very clearly. I’m also looking forward to the festive atmosphere of the New Year’s Eve concert – and to the fact that my first full year at the Konzerthaus Berlin will then get underway!”
Our scheduler and event manager Lydia Naumann’s recommendations already look ahead to the new year: “In January we are expecting the traditional English chamber orchestra Academy of St Martin in the Fields. They are a regular guest with us and always give first-rate, energetic concerts. I am very excited to see what they have in store this time. As a fan of early music, I always look forward to the concerts of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin – one of my favourite ensembles! They will be performing an all-Telemann programme in early February with the fantastic oboist Xenia Löffler. I am grateful to have been able to accompany this ensemble for the past few years and to indulge my passion for this type of music on the job as well."
Photos: Marco Borggreve (cover); Tobias Kruse/Ostkreuz (Iria Folgado, Julius Ockert); private