Although often referred to in Germany as the “bleierne Zeit” (leaden era), the years after the Second World War were an artistically fascinating period. Its experimental music, literature and architecture are featured in the Biennale of the Berliner Philharmoniker and various collaborating partners from 9 to 26 February 2023. The main focus is on the composer György Ligeti, the 100th anniversary of whose birth will be celebrated next year.

Together with chief conductor Kirill Petrenko and guests such as Sir Simon RattleAlan Gilbert, the pianist Bertrand Chamayou, the Quatuor Diotima, the chansonnier Tim Fischer and the actress Sophie Rois, as well as partners such as the RIAS Kammerchor, the Rundfunkchor Berlin, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, the Biennale of the Berliner Philharmoniker will focus on the 1950s and 1960s in general and the composer György Ligeti in particular. In addition to master classes, the Berlin State Institute for Music Research will host a two-day symposium that will take a scholarly survey of Ligeti’s artistic cosmos. Further insights into this will be provided by the 100th Anniversary of György Ligeti’s Birth exhibition, which will be displayed in the foyer of the Philharmonie.

The Biennale of the Berliner Philharmoniker is a multi-genre and art-form festival that holds events in addition to classical concerts to broadens its perspective. Tim Fischer, for example, will present Italian chansons of the post-war period. In a reading at the Staatsbibliothek, Sophie Rois presents works by Ingeborg Bachmann, Paul Celan, Uwe Johnson and Max Frisch. The architecture of the 1950s and 60s in Berlin also provides vivid insights, in particular the Philharmonie itself as an icon of post-war architecture. Special architectural tours of the building will be available. A multimedia bus tour on the theme of “The Economic Miracle and Reconstruction” offers a further perspective on an impressively creative era of renewal. The PalaisPopulaire of Deutsche Bank, partner of the Berliner Philharmoniker, will host a concert in the Werkstatt.Dialog.Musik series, which will also take an interdisciplinary approach to the 1950s and 1960s.

Detailed programme information and how to buy tickets and special Biennale packages can be found on our website.