The nineteen-twenties were a time of contradictions and contrasts, of hopes and missed opportunities, of
optimism and fear. At the same time, extremes were being pushed to the limit in literature, art and music.
In the midst of this world in upheaval lay Berlin – a metropolis of contrasts, and epicentre of Modernism
in the arts. Housing shortages and abject poverty, bold dreams of modernity, pleasure-seeking, nostalgia
and violence all collided. Together with chief conductor Kirill Petrenko and guests such as Donald
Runnicles, Christian Thielemann and [pictured] Dagmar Manzel, the Berliner Philharmoniker will bring the
1920s to life in an online festival in the Digital Concert Hall from 13 – 27 February. The music of Kurt
Weill, whose works have shaped the sound of the metropolis of Berlin well beyond its borders, is a
particular focus of attention.


The focus starts with an orchestra concert under the direction of chief conductor Kirill Petrenko on
13 February with Igor Stravinsky’s Oedipus rex and Kurt Weill’s First Symphony, also known as the
“Berliner Sinfonie”. The Berliner Philharmoniker will perform together with the men of the Rundfunkchor
Berlin (chorusmaster: Gijs Leenars) and an international ensemble of soloists.


On 20 February, Donald Runnicles will be the orchestra’s guest conductor. In addition to works by
Eugen d’Albert and Franz Schreker, he will conduct Alban Berg’s Three Fragments from the opera
Wozzeck and the suite from Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.

The concert on 27 February will be conducted by Christian Thielemann. It includes works by Johann
and Richard Strauss, Paul Hindemith and Ferruccio Busoni, with soprano Diana Damrau as the
soloist and the men of the Rundfunkchor Berlin.

On 16 February, under the direction of Marie Jacquot, the Karajan Academy of the Berliner
Philharmoniker will perform Hanns Eisler’s Suite for Orchestra No. 3 “Kuhle Wampe”, Kurt Weill’s
Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra op. 12 with soloist Kolja Blacher, and Kurt Weill’s Symphony
No. 2.

The concert on 23 February is a special chamber music event: members of the Berliner
Philharmoniker under the direction of Michael Hasel invite us to the legendary coffee house “Moka Efti”
with dance music of the 1920s, including foxtrots and shimmies, tangos, marches and blues ballads. Kurt
Weill is represented with three works, among them the Kleine Dreigroschenmusik. Stefan Wolpe’s Suite
from the Twenties evokes the jazz craze of the time, while Mátyás Seiber’s exuberant and
unconventional Two Jazzolettes seem to literally trip over their own feet. Between the individual works,
Dagmar Manzel reads autobiographical texts by Trude Hesterberg, Lotte Lenya and Josephine Baker.

The third concert of the Workshop.Dialog.Music. chamber music series in cooperation with Deutsche
Bank at the PalaisPopulaire on 18 February is also dedicated to the 1920s. Cornelia Gartemann, Julia
Gartemann and Solène Kermarrec play works by Paul Hindemith, Hanns Eisler and Jean Cras. The
concert will be streamed live on the page of the Foundation Berliner Philharmoniker.

On 5 February, the third and final part of Eric Schulz’s film series The Philharmoniker – Our story, which
deals with the late years of the Karajan era, will be released in the Digital Concert Hall. Tours to China,
Japan and Russia proved to be great successes, but conflicts between the chief conductor and the
orchestra also intensified during this period. The year 1989 saw not only the departure of Karajan and his
death, but also the fall of the Berlin Wall. Historical recordings and memories of former orchestra members
show how moving and unforgettable the first concert was for the East German fellow citizens.

Following the directive of the German federal and state governments of 5 January, both halls of the
Philharmonie Berlin (the main auditorium and the chamber music hall) will remain closed up to and
including 31 March 2021. The daily guided tours of the Philharmonie and the free lunch concerts will also
not take place during this time.


Online festival: “The Golden Twenties”

13 February 2021, 19:00, Philharmonie Berlin, main auditorium
Berliner Philharmoniker
Kirill Petrenko conductor
Ekaterina Semenchuk mezzo-soprano (Jocasta)
Derek Welton bass (Creon and Messenger)
Andrea Mastroni bass (Tiresias)
Krystian Adam tenor (Shepherd)
Bibiana Beglau speaker
Rundfunkchor Berlin
Kurt Weill Symphony No. 1 “Berliner Sinfonie”
Igor Stravinsky Oedipus rex


16 February 2021, 20:00, Philharmonie Berlin, main auditorium
Karajan Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker
Marie Jacquot conductor
Kolja Blacher violin
Hanns Eisler Suite für Orchester Nr. 3 op. 26 “Kuhle Wampe”
Kurt Weill Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra, op. 12
Kurt Weill Symphony No. 2

18 February 2021, 19:00, PalaisPopulaire
The Golden Twenties
Cornelia Gartemann violin
Julia Gartemann viola
Solène Kermarrec cello
Paul Hindemith String Trio, op. 34, Movements 1-3
Hanns Eisler Scherzo for String Trio
Jean Cras String Trio, Movements 1,2 and 4

20 February 2021, 19:00, Philharmonie Berlin, main auditorium
Berliner Philharmoniker
Donald Runnicles conductor
Irene Roberts soprano
Eugen d’Albert Tiefland: Symphonic Prelude, op. 34
Franz Schreker Der Schatzgräber: Symphonic Interlude
Alban Berg Three Fragments from Wozzeck (reduced version)
Kurt Weill The Rise and fall of the City of Mahagonny: Suite (arr. Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg]


23 February 2021, 20:00, Philharmonie Berlin, main auditorium
Members of the Berliner Philharmoniker
Michael Hasel conductor
“An Evening in Moka Efti”
Kurt Weill Berlin im Licht
Kurt Weill Kleine Dreigroschenmusik
Kurt Weill Suite panaméenne
Stefan Wolpe Suite from the Twenties
Mátyás Seiber Two Jazzolettes

27 February 2021, 19:00, Philharmonie Berlin, main auditorium
Berliner Philharmoniker
Christian Thielemann conductor
Diana Damrau soprano
Rundfunkchor Berlin
Paul Hindemith Neues vom Tage, Overture from the Opera with Concert Ending
Ferruccio Busoni Tanz-Walzer for orchestra op. 53
Johann Strauss II Künstlerleben, Waltz op. 316
Richard Strauss Das Rosenband op. 36 No. 1 (version for voice and orchestra)
Richard Strauss Ständchen op. 17 No. 2 (version for voice and orchestra)
Richard Strauss Freundliche Vision op. 48 No. 1 (version for voice and orchestra)
Richard Strauss Wiegenlied op. 41 No. 1 (version for voice and orchestra)
Richard Strauss Allerseelen op. 10 No. 8 (version for voice and orchestra)
Richard Strauss Zuneigung op. 10 No. 1 (version for voice and orchestra)
Richard Strauss Morgen op. 27 No. 4 (Version for Singing Voice and Orchestra)
Richard Strauss Die Tageszeiten, song cycle for male choir and orchestra op. 76