The Berliner Philharmoniker and Kirill Petrenko launch an international community project in Japan with Be Phil Orchestra

Community building begins in the community itself: the Berliner Philharmoniker are not only travelling to Asia for the first time together with their chief conductor Kirill Petrenko, but are also initiating a very special intergenerational education project in Japan as part of their tour.

The Be Phil Orchestra is a project close to the orchestra’s heart. A love of classical music unites the Berliner Philharmoniker with their worldwide fan community – the Be Phil Orchestra gives local people the opportunity to make direct musical and personal encounters with the members of the orchestra.

For many years, the Berliner Philharmoniker have believed in the unifying element of music – especially in times that are particularly challenging for society.

The rehearsal process and the concert as a common goal, in which each member of the Be Phil Orchestra is important and which can only succeed by working together, should represent a visible and constant networking with music lovers worldwide on tours in the coming years. Beginning in Japan, the orchestra’s residency at the famous Suntory Hall in Tokyo offers the unique opportunity to perform a concert together with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker and under the direction of Kirill Petrenko.

The Berliner Philharmoniker’s slogan for 2023 is “Be yourself – Be music – Be Phil” and the orchestra is calling on all interested amateur musicians from Japan to apply to join the Be Phil Orchestra at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Fuji Television, the local organiser, is supporting the orchestra in this endeavour.

A specially compiled suite from Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet will be performed under the baton of chief conductor Kirill Petrenko. The programme will also include Johannes Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, conducted by Raphael Haeger, percussionist with the Philharmoniker. The solo parts will be played by the Berliner Philharmoniker’s 1st concertmaster, Daishin Kashimoto, and the orchestra’s 1st principal cellist, Ludwig Quandt. Both works will be rehearsed by Raphael Haeger and other members of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

The goal is to find around 100 amateur musicians from Japan, who have to apply in advance by video. The videos can be uploaded on the Berliner Philharmoniker website from 12 July 2023. The application deadline is 16 August 2023, 1 pm Berlin time. All applicants must be residents of Japan and at least 18 years old. A jury of the Berliner Philharmoniker will select the members of the Be Phil Orchestra Japan from the applications. These will be announced from 15 September 2023.

The rehearsal phase with a final concert in Suntory Hall on 26 November 2023 will take place in Tokyo from 22-25 November 2023.

Further information on the application process can be found on our website:

Kirill Petrenko, chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker: “I call on all our Japanese music friends to apply for the Be Phil Orchestra Japan, I am very much looking forward to this special project and exchange!”

Daishin Kashimoto, 1st concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker: “I am particularly delighted that the first Be Phil Orchestra on tour is taking place in my native Japan. The connection between the orchestra and the Japanese audience is a particularly close one and has been growing for decades. I hope that many of our musical fans will apply to join us in performing two wonderful works of the Romantic period in our second home, Suntory Hall.”