“Heroes” – The impact of our own
The 2023/24 season of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation
After a so far extremely successful 2022/23 season with a consistently high
audience response, the Berliner Philharmoniker and their chief conductor Kirill
Petrenko also have ambitious plans for the 2023/24 season. The orchestra will
perform a total of 123 concerts and opera performances, 56 of which will be
under the baton of the chief conductor. Thirty concerts will take place on tour.
The title of the season is “Heroes”. The intention is to discover heroes and
heroines in music and at the same time to scrutinise them: what motivated them
to do what they did, and what impact does that have on us today?
Across two seasons, we are celebrating the works of Anton Bruckner (on the
200th anniversary of his birth) and Arnold Schoenberg (on the 150th
anniversary of his birth). Their works trace the change from late Romanticism to
Modernism; an invitation to our audience to draw interesting comparisons and
relive this momentous development in the music of the 20th century.
Over the seasons, chief conductor Kirill Petrenko has set focal points that
reflect both the further development of the repertoire and the continuation of the
great musical tradition of the Berliner Philharmoniker. In the coming season, the
focus will be on the German-Austrian musical tradition. The programmes are
complimented by unjustly rarely performed works and expanded to include new
and the latest music.
For fans in South Korea and Japan, a long wait is coming to an end: for the first
time, the orchestra and chief conductor will be touring Asia together, including a
five-day residency in Tokyo.
This season, outstanding artists will be closely associated with the Berliner
Philharmoniker: as Artist in Residence, violinist Lisa Batiashvili will perform
with the Berliner Philharmoniker at the Europakonzert in her home country of
Georgia, among other events. Jörg Widmann is the new Composer in
Residence and will also make his debut conducting the orchestra. Including
him, a total of six conductors will be at the helm of the Berliner Philharmoniker
for the first time.
A Schubert marathon with a wide selection of the composer’s chamber music
offers the opportunity to enjoy both well-known and many new members of the
orchestra in a range of ensembles in concentrated formations. Successful
formats such as Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic as well as the World Music series
developed last season World will continue. Other guests such as the Quatuor
Ébène enrich the concert series in the Chamber Music Hall as well as the
soprano Asmik Grigorian who makes her recital debut.
The numerous activities of the Education Programme in Berlin and on tour,
from visits to social institutions with the mobile Velo-Stage to family concerts
moderated by the chief conductor in the Philharmonie’s main auditorium, will –
thanks to the support of Deutsche Bank – continue to reach many people and
generate interest in music.
Several anniversaries are also coming up in the new season: Hans Scharoun’s
iconic Philharmonie Berlin, with its both then and now visionary vineyard
architecture, will be 60 years old in October 2023. And two of the Berliner
Philharmoniker’s major media outlets are also celebrating anniversaries: the
Digital Concert Hall is already 15 years old, and the orchestra’s own label
Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings has now been running for 10 years.
Main theme of the season: “Heroes”
Heroes and heroines from very different times and cultures will feature in the
concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker in the 2023/24 season. The need for men
and women with extraordinary powers has accompanied mankind since the
beginning of time. The more difficult the times, the more urgent the desire for
help to overcome formidable challenges. This season features music that deals
with the concept of heroism in mythology and reality in many forms. The
spectrum ranges from George Frideric Handel’s early heroes and heroines in the
Original Sound series to Beethoven’s “Eroica” with Herbert Blomstedt, and from
Richard Strauss’ Elektra with chief conductor Kirill Petrenko to Honegger’s
Jeanne d’Arc with Alan Gilbert and French Oscar winner Marion Cotillard as the
narrator. The failure of heroes and heroines is also addressed: neither Elektra
nor Tristan nor the twins Sieglinde and Siegmund succeed in their actions. In
works by Richard Strauss, on the other hand, heroism consists primarily in self-realisation – this holds true for the narcissistic Don Juan (with Andris Nelsons) as
well as for the protagonists in Ein Heldenleben (conducted by Kirill Petrenko) and
in Tod und Verklärung (with Daniele Gatti). The question that these works still
pose to us today, especially in the face of the many social challenges, is who do
we become through our actions?
Long-term lines – Chief conductor Kirill Petrenko’s programmatic focal
In addition to the seasonal theme of “Heroes”, Kirill Petrenko focuses on longterm lines in his programming, consciously drawing on traditions of the Berliner
Philharmoniker. One of these lines is the orchestra’s core repertoire from the
German-Austrian musical tradition. In this context, the chief conductor this
season presents Johannes Brahms’ Fourth Symphony and Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart’s Symphony No. 29, among other works.
For years, Kirill Petrenko has also been championing works that are unjustly
rarely heard. This season, for example, these include the Gesangsszene nach
Worten aus “Sodom und Gomorrha” by Karl Amadeus Hartmann with baritone
Christian Gerhaher, Max Reger’s Mozart Variations in the season-opening
concert, and Henri Dutilleux’s Symphony No. 1, which will be performed for the
first time by the Berliner Philharmoniker.
His commitment to new and the latest music continues at Musikfest Berlin,
where, in addition to the world premiere of Leg-szin-ter by the Hungarian
composer Márton Illés, he conducts the orchestral work Jonchaies by Iannis
Xenakis and György Kurtag’s magnum opus, Stele, composed in 1994 for the
Berliner Philharmoniker. The orchestra will also perform this programme in
Munich for the 50th anniversary of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation as
part of musica viva.
Kirill Petrenko’s newly introduced and extremely successful family concert
format, presented and conducted by himself, continues with Béla Bartók’s music
for the ballet “The Wooden Prince”. Tone poems feature both in the French
programme at the Waldbühne together with pianist Yuja Wang, and in a
performance of Bedřich Smetana’s Má vlast at the opening concert of the Prague
Spring Music Festival and beforehand in concerts in Berlin.
A Berliner Philharmoniker season with its chief conductor always includes great
operas – first as a new production in Baden-Baden and then in concert in Berlin.
The programme for the coming season includes Richard Strauss’ Elektra at
Easter, and Jonas Kaufmann sings Siegmund in the first act of Richard Wagner’s
Walküre at the New Year’s Eve concert.
Cross-seasonal anniversaries: Bruckner and Schoenberg
Two anniversaries will be celebrated across the next two seasons: Anton
Bruckner on the 200th anniversary of his birth, and Arnold Schoenberg on the
150th anniversary of his. Once Bruckner developed his personal style, he stuck
with it for his mighty symphonies, which he regarded as the fulfilment of a divine
mission. Schoenberg, on the other hand, followed the path from late
Romanticism to Modernism in his work, to the point of abandoning harmony in
his self-developed twelve-tone music.
In a complete cycle of all of Anton Bruckner’s symphonies spanning two
seasons, the coming season will feature Symphonies No. 3 (with François-Xavier
Roth), No. 4 (with Daniel Harding) and No. 6 (with Sir Simon Rattle) as well as
his “Nullte” and the “Study Symphony” (with Christian Thielemann). In the
programmes dedicated to Arnold Schoenberg, the Berliner Philharmoniker will
perform Die Jakobsleiter (with Kirill Petrenko) and Erwartung (with Eun Sun
Kim). There is also the fascinating opportunity to compare both two versions of
Verklärte Nacht (as a string sextet in the Philharmonic Chamber Music series
and in the orchestral version under Daniele Gatti) and also three versions of
Chamber Symphony No. 1. The Chamber Symphony is performed in the
orchestral version under Kirill Petrenko, and in two arrangements (by Anton
Webern and Stephan Koncz) in the chamber music series.
New discoveries – World premieres in Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation
In addition to the world premiere by Márton Illés conducted by Kirill Petrenko at
Musikfest Berlin, there will be six further premieres in Berliner Philharmoniker
Foundation concerts, including two by winners of the Claudio Abbado
Composition Prize: a work by the young composer Milica Djordjević will be
premiered under the baton of Zubin Mehta, and a work by the Slovenian Vito
Žuraj conducted by François-Xavier Roth.
In the Karajan Academy concerts, conducting scholarship holder Oscar Jockel
will premiere a work of his own as part of his portrait concert. The Scharoun
Ensemble, founded 40 years ago with the aim of fostering new and cutting-edge
chamber music, will also celebrate its anniversary concert with one world
Fulfilment of a dream – Lisa Batiashvili as Artist in residence
The Georgian-born violinist Lisa Batiashvili is Artist in Residence for the 2023/24
season. “This is a dream come true for me! This residency is the continuation of
a long-standing friendship with the Berliner Philharmoniker,” says the violinist.
The highlights of her residency include the first joint performance with Kirill
Petrenko of Karol Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1 as well as the
Europakonzert, which will take place for the first time in Georgia on 1 May 2024.
With this concert, the soloist and the orchestra want to highlight that Georgia is
part of European culture. The residency also includes chamber music
performances with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Karajan
Academy as well as with our Composer in Residence of the 2023/24 season,
Composing from emotion – Jörg Widmann as Composer in Residence
Composer in Residence for the 2023/24 season, Jörg Widmann is one of the
leading contemporary composers. What makes him stand out in particular is the
range of his artistic activities. In addition to his work as a composer, he will
appear as a clarinettist and – making his debut – as a conductor with the Berliner
Philharmoniker. In an interview, he stated that the main drive for his composing
comes from emotion. “I believe very much in the Beethoven phrase: ‘From the
heart – may it return to the heart.’ That’s what I wish for as well.” A highlight of
his residency will be the premiere of his new horn concerto with soloist Stefan
Dohr under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle. Widmann will also curate a Late Night
concert featuring his own works and, in keeping with the season’s chamber
music focus, Franz Schubert’s Der Hirt auf dem Felsen.
New and old friendships – Debuts and reunions
In addition to Jörg Widmann, five more debuts by conductors with the Berliner
Philharmoniker are scheduled for the 2023/24 season: Eun Sun Kim, Fabio Luisi,
Riccardo Minasi, Robin Ticciati and Hannu Lintu will all conduct the orchestra for
the first time. The series of debuts is completed by pianist Beatrice Rana, her
colleague Alexandre Kantorow, violist Antoine Tamestit and soprano Tamara
In addition to the conductors already mentioned, Tugan Sokhiev, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Gustavo Dudamel will return to the Berliner Philharmoniker as longstanding friends and associates. Jakub Hrůša, who has only been a regular
guest of the orchestra for a few years, comes back with a program. Honorary
conductor Daniel Barenboim conducts two concerts with the Berliner
Philharmoniker. After his acclaimed performance in January 2023 with Martha
Argerich, who he has known since childhood, he will once again appear with the
pianist. He also conducts the Europakonzert with Lisa Batiashvili in Georgia in
Among the instrumental soloists, there are reunions with the violinists Carolin
Widmann, Vilde Frang and Baiba Skride, the pianist Evgeny Kissin and the
soprano Elsa Benoit. Soloists from the orchestra include principal horn Stefan
Dohr, 1st concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley and 1st principal of the 2nd violins,
Close up – The chamber music series of the Berliner Philharmoniker and
Following the great success of the 2020 Beethoven Marathon, the highlight of
the Philharmonic Chamber Music series will be a Schubert Marathon of chamber
music on 14 April 2024 with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Among the
works to be performed will be the “Trout Quintet”, the String Quintet in C major
and the string quartet “Death and the Maiden”.
The Philharmonic Salon, curated by former principal cellist Götz Teutsch, will
feature subjects such as the world of Mozart’s patron Gottfried von Swieten.
In the Organ series, there are four concerts in which members of the Berliner
Philharmoniker or the Karajan Academy perform together with the stars of the
organ scene at the Philharmonie.
Every Wednesday at 1 pm, the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation invites you to
the free lunch concerts in the foyer – a good opportunity for a first encounter with
the Philharmonie. The free Carte blanche concerts, in which the scholarship
holders of the Karajan Academy present programmes they have put together
themselves, also continue to take place.
On 26 May 2024, the Philharmonie will once again open its doors for one day
and offer a multifaceted programme for young and old. Detailed information will
be published on the website.
The Berliner Philharmoniker’s Easter Festival in Baden-Baden
At the heart of the 2024 Easter Festival will be Richard Strauss’ Expressionist
opera Elektra in a production by Philipp Stölzl under the baton of Kirill Petrenko.
Following on from the great success of Die Frau ohne Schatten, this
performance also promises a feast of singers: alongside Nina Stemme in the title
role are Elza van den Heever (Chrysothemis), Michaela Schuster
(Klytaemnestra) and Johan Reuter (Orest).
Other highlights of the Easter Festival include the concert performance of the
first act of Die Walküre, Sibelius’ Violin Concerto with Lisa Batiashvili, and a
program conducted by Tugan Sokhiev with pianist Jan Lisiecki.
New Shores – The Berliner Philharmoniker on tour
Touring has always been a central part of every season of the Berliner
Philharmoniker. As ambassadors for Berlin and Germany, they make music with
their chief conductor Kirill Petrenko and guest conductors in concert halls all over
the world and in this way can directly reach their international fans. The tour
season traditionally begins with the festival tour to Salzburg and Lucerne, and
this year also to Paris and Luxembourg. In November, Kirill Petrenko and the
orchestra will travel to Asia together for the first time, stopping in South Korea
and Japan, including a major residency at Suntory Hall in Tokyo with five
concerts and a concert in the historic city of Himeji. A guest tour to Vienna,
Budapest and Hamburg together with Lisa Batiashvili will follow in early 2024. All
information on the tours can be found in the enclosed calendar and on our
Baroque splendour – A series and an intensive weekend
“Splendour and Decadence of the Italian Baroque” is the headline for the
Baroque Weekend in February 2024 at the Philharmonie Berlin. Outstanding
musicians such as the Academy of Ancient Music and violinist Amandine Beyer
with the ensemble Gli Incogniti will present glittering music from a cradle of
For fans of Baroque music and those who want to be, there is also the
opportunity to discover the best specialist ensembles for this music throughout
the season as part of the Original Sound series. In an additional concert, there is
a reunion with mandolin player Avi Avital and Il Giardino Armonico.
Musikfest Berlin, jointly organised by the Berliner Festspiele and the Berliner
Philharmoniker Foundation from 26 August to 18 September 2023, brings
together over 20 outstanding orchestras, choirs and ensembles to form a highprofile start to the 2023/24 season immediately following the Berliner
Philharmoniker’s season-opening concert. Highlights of the multifaceted
programme include a concert performance of Hector Berlioz’ Les Troyens
conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.
Keys, strings and singing – Chamber music series with guests
In the Quartet series, two exciting young string quartets, the Leonkoro Quartet
and the Schumann Quartet, make their debuts. The series is rounded off with
established colleagues from Quatuor Ébène and the Hagen Quartet. The
programmes of three of the concerts begin with works by Joseph Haydn, the
“father” of the genre.
Pianist Alexandre Kantorow will also make his debut in the Piano series, which
will also feature Lucas & Arthur Jussen for the first time. Other piano recitals will
feature Piotr Anderszewski and Yuja Wang, two stars of the scene. The
programmes range from Johann Sebastian Bach to Jörg Widmann.
The Vocal series is dominated by higher voices this season: countertenors Jakub
Józef Orliński and Philippe Jaroussky, and soprano Sabine Devieilhe have
already delighted audiences in previous seasons. The sopranos Mary Bevan and
Asmik Grigorian make debuts with their recitals.
Guest young musicians and chamber orchestras
In the International Chamber Orchestra series, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra,
including an extraordinary programme with the Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto,
and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, with the young Italian pianist Beatrice
Rana and the Polish pianist Jan Lisiecki, are each invited for two concerts. Both
orchestras were founded by the former chief conductor of the Philharmoniker,
Claudio Abbado, and are important and much admired guests in the Berliner
Philharmoniker Foundation’s calendar.
The National Youth Orchestra of Germany, whose patrons are the Berliner
Philharmoniker, will perform Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 under the
direction of Markus Poschner, and the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie will present
a colourful programme ranging from Sibelius to Pintscher with conductor John
Storgårds and violinist Leila Josefowicz.
The Berliner Philharmoniker’s education programme
The education programme, which has been made possible by Deutsche Bank
since its inception in 2002, continues the successful, newly-established
subscription series with family concerts and participatory concerts. The Young
Star Festival at the end of the season, which gives Berlin schoolchildren the
opportunity to perform at the Philharmonie Berlin, has also become something of
a tradition. Details can be found on our website.
The five concerts of the Karajan Academy in the Chamber Music Hall offer the
scholarship holders and, of course, their audience, the opportunity to discover a
broad spectrum of music from the Baroque to world premieres. They will be led
by the Philharmoniker’s chief conductor Kirill Petrenko in Felix Mendelssohn’s
Italian Symphony, the Baroque specialist Reinhard Goebel, the Artist in
Residence Lisa Batiashvili and Marc Minkowski, among others.
Other perspectives – Jazz, world, and discourse
In its eleventh year, the popular Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic series continues its
evenings of themed concerts. Curated by Siggi Loch, the focus will include the
perspective of percussionists in jazz, there will be an evening with the title Jazz
meets Classic, the rescheduled celebration of the 100th anniversary of Charlie
Parker’s birth which had to be cancelled in 2020, and a Shakespeare evening
entitled Jazz & Poetry in which Birgit Minichmayr will make a guest appearance
as a singer.
After a successful start last season, the World series will again present four
concerts featuring the great variety of world music, from artists from Morocco
and Mali to Portuguese fado and the music of the co-founder of the bossa nova
Antônio Carlos Jobim from Brazil.
As a format for current cultural-political and social discussion, the Philharmonic
Discourse continues, with the first edition focusing on the season’s theme of
“Heroes”. The programme for each edition will be announced on the website.
Donating protection together – UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe
Since September 2021, the Berliner Philharmoniker and their chief conductor
Kirill Petrenko have been musical ambassadors for UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe, and
have been actively involved in the organisation’s fundraising campaign,
especially for Ukraine, but also for other projects. UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe has been
the German partner of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) for over 40
years. There is more information on our website under the heading “Donating
Without the support of partners, the wide-ranging musical and social activities of
the Berliner Philharmoniker would not be possible.
Our first thanks go to the State of Berlin and the German Federal
Government, whose grants continue to lay the foundation for financing the
Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation.
The long-standing and successful partnership with Deutsche Bank, which has
stood by the side of the Berliner Philharmoniker for more than 30 years, is
another constant. Since 2002, Deutsche Bank has focused in particular on the
education programme and outreach activities.
Providing private support for more than 50 years, the Friends of the Berliner
Philharmoniker make possible things such as the purchase of high-quality
instruments, and also time and again support important special projects such as
this year’s Europakonzert in the Sagrada Família in Barcelona.
The Berliner Philharmoniker’s media partners, who they have worked
successfully with for many years, continue to be Rundfunk Berlin
Brandenburg, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and Deutschlandfunk, arte and
Other long-standing partners are Mercedes Benz AG as mobility partner and the
Grand Hyatt Berlin as exclusive hotel partner.
Ticket prices and subscriptions
For the first time in seven years, the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation has
been forced to moderately increase the prices of single tickets and subscriptions.
Due to general price increases, especially in the area of energy supply, we have
had to make changes to our price structure.
Advance booking dates for the 2023/24 season
08 May 2023 for all subscriptions (Interactive concerts and Family concerts can
only be booked by telephone and in writing)
18 Jun 2023 for concerts in August until the end of November and flex packages
15 Oct 2023 for concerts from December until March
18 Feb 2024 for concerts from April until the end of the season
General Information on the 2023/24 Season
The Berliner Philharmoniker will present 116 symphony concerts, 5 opera
performances and 2 family concerts during the 2023/24 season, including:
82 concerts in the Philharmonie with 29 different programmes
2 concert opera performances in the Philharmonie
1 concert in the Waldbühne
28 concerts on tours
5 concerts in the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden
3 opera performances in the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden
Chief conductor Kirill Petrenko will conduct 49 concerts, 3 opera
performances and 2 concert opera performances as well as 2 family
concerts with the Berliner Philharmoniker, including 26 concerts on tour, 3 opera
performances and 3 concerts in the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.
There are 6 world premieres on the programmes of the Berliner Philharmoniker
Foundation during the 2023/24 season.
The concert calendar for the 2023/24 season, the concert series and much more
information can be found on our website.