That was the 23/24 season

By Annette Zerpner June 28, 2024


Publikum bei der Night Session im Konzerthaus Berlin © Simon Pauly

Arrived - our first season with Joana Mallwitz

Great music, sold-out halls, enthusiastic audiences: our new chief conductor Joana Mallwitz has impressed right from the start!  She chose the symphonic premieres of Sergei Prokofiev, Kurt Weill and Gustav Mahler to kick off the season. Berliners and guests were also able to get to know our "new" conductor at the open house in September.

In addition to important core repertoire from the Classical and Romantic periods by Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms, the programme included a Weill focus with the "Seven Deadly Sins" and his 2nd Symphony, which Joana Mallwitz recorded with the Konzerthausorchester for Deutsche Grammophon in January. She also performed Igor Stravinsky's great modern classic "Le sacre du printemps" and Benjamin Britten's touching "War Requiem" on Good Friday.

At "Mostly Mallwitz" from November 22 to 26, our new chief conductor then presented herself in many facets, sometimes at the piano with KHO members for Schubert's "Trout Quintet", sometimes moderating and conducting at Wandel and family concerts, which were carried by dance rhythms.

Joana Mallwitz has added two more unusual series to the traditional variety of formats at the Konzerthaus Berlin: the three "Expedition Concerts", in which the conductor sets off individually into the interior of great works - first narrating at the piano, then with the Konzerthaus Orchestra for the entire piece.

Joana Mallwitz'  "Night Sessions", which begin at 9.30 p.m. on Friday evenings, were an absolute premiere: The moderated and conducted episodes presented the Konzerthausorchester in an unusual stage setting. Each focused on a theme with a guest contributing a surprising perspective from outside the classical music world: techno pioneer Monolake came to "Im.Puls", chef Sophia Rudolph to "Kreation".  We are already looking forward to the guests of the next season!

From Brahms to Bluegrass - Artist in residence Augustin Hadelich

Our Artist in Residence of the season, violinist Augustin Hadelich, was an enormous asset  this season: First at the Musikfest, where he thrilled the sold-out Philharmonie with the Konzerhaus Orchestra, Joana Mallwitz and the violin concerto by Irish composer Donacha Dennehy, which was dedicated to him. Then, in an intensive solo recital with works by Bach and Ysayë and a piano trio evening that thrived in the spirit of friendhship with cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker and pianist Martin Helmchen. 

Next came Antonín Dvořák's violin concerto under the baton of Iván Fischer. And with the Konzerthausorchester conducted by Joana Mallwitz, Augustin delightfed us with a beautiful interpretation of Brahms both in Berlin and on a sold-out KHO tour in Cologne, Graz, Nuremberg and Mannheim. Another thing is for sure as well: His stunning bluegrass encore will be remembered by audiences everywhere for a long time.

But our artist in residence has not only accompanied us through the season as a soloist and chamber musician: He was a guest for conversation and music on "Augustin Hadelich's Universe" as well as for his own episode on our twitch channel "Spielzeit". And at the end of May, he gave a masterclass for highly talented young violinists at our sponsor school, the Bach Gymnasium in Mitte, during which you could hear the proverbial pin drop. Many thanks, dear Augustin Hadelich - and we look forward to hearing your again soon!

Under the skin into the heart - a tribute to Elisabeth Leonskaja

Warmth, sincerity, approachability - these qualities characterize Elisabeth Leonskaja's piano playing as much as her person. From February 22 to March 3, 2024, the Konzerthaus Berlin celebrated the great pianist with a tribute. Elisabeth Leonskaja trusts in the inner power of sound: "Don't look for yourself in the music, but look for music in yourself," she says. This speaks of her reverence for the work and the legacy of the Russian piano school, whose great tradition is alive in her playing. A "sense of style" as well as "inner freedom" within it are among her "sacred rules".

In front of an enthusiastic audience, Elisabeth Leonskaja performed the Grieg concerto, Brahms' two piano concertos, Beethoven's last three piano sonatas, chamber music with members of the Konzerthausorchester and works from the Second Viennese School. The programme also included the premiere of the documentary commissioned by the Konzerthaus about the artist, "Mit der Musik sich selbst geben" (Directed by Dag Freyer), as well as a public master class. 

Versatile „Young Konzerthaus“

There was also a lot going on at the "Junges Konzerthaus" last season: family concerts, children's programs, fun at the open day at the beginning of the season and on Children's Day in March with the Konzerthausorchester, smaller concerts for different age groups from baby age upwards, a digital parcours and film music played by the Orchestra Academy.

The newly founded Youth Advisory Board curated a chamber concert, the participatory project "Create Together" was held for young people in grades 9-12 and our Jehmlich organ is now the focus of the interactive "Organ Playing" format.

Konzerthausorchester on tour

Tours are one of the highlights of an orchestra's everyday life. And a successful orchestra tour doesn't have to go halfway around the globe. With chief conductor Joana Mallwitz, artist in residence Augustin Hadelich, the Beethoven Symphonies 3 & 7 and Brahms' Violin Concerto, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin visited the Kölner Philharmonie, the Musikverein Graz, the Meistersingerhalle in Nuremberg and the Rosengarten in Mannheim in the first week of June. In a nut shell: Five sold-out concerts, excellent atmosphere, more here on our tour blog!

What also remains in our memory

A festive New Year's Eve concert, the special light in the Great Hall during the "Night Sessions", the atmosphere at the "Mostly Mallwitz-Wandelkonzert" on the last evening of our festival with its subsequent party, the exceptional artist Abel Selacoe and his performance with cello and voice at Klazzik ... and, time and again, those moments when we can clearly see right in the middle of a concert what music means to our orchestra members.

Our clip with impressions of the 2023/24 season


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