With a benefit concert on 20 December, the Berliner Philharmoniker and guests call for the release of all Israeli hostages, and for the protection of the Palestinian and Israeli civilian population.

The human suffering in the Middle East continues unabated. In the aftermath of the murderous attack by Hamas on Israel on 7 October, and amidst a humanitarian crisis of devastating proportions in Gaza, more than a hundred hostages kidnapped from Israel are still held captive. Their lives, as well as those of civilians in Gaza and in Israel, are in danger. With a benefit concert, the Berliner Philharmoniker, chief conductor Kirill Petrenko, and musical guests seek to set an example by calling for the release of all hostages and for the protection of all civilians.

The benefit concert will take place on 20 December 2023 at 16:00 in the main auditorium of the Philharmonie Berlin. Tickets can be purchased now for the standard price of €25 (plus optional additional donation) on the website of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation, by telephone on 030-254 89 999 or in person at the box office of the Philharmonie Berlin.

Under the banner “Together for Humanity”, renowned musicians from all over the world, including pianists Martha Argerich and Kirill Gerstein, baritone Thomas Hampson, cellist Steven Isserlis, soprano Anna Prohaska and violinist Christian Tetzlaff, will come together. Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli artists, including pianist Iddo Bar-Shai, oud player Taiseer Elias and singers Noa and Mira Awad, will also be taking part. Members of the Berliner Philharmoniker will perform chamber music and solo works. The programme ends with Max Bruchʼs orchestral work Kol Nidrei, played by the Berliner Philharmoniker under the direction of Kirill Petrenko; the soloist is Amihai Grosz, principal violist of the orchestra.

Proceeds from the concert will benefit three important projects: Israel’s “Abducted and Missing Families Forum” (which is behind the “Bring Them Home Now” campaign), and two peace organisations in Israel and Palestine, “Women Wage Peace” and “Women of the Sun”, which work together for lasting peace between the two peoples.

Appeal by the artists

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