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London in Berlin: Musikfest Berlin 2009

img  Tobias

Contrasting with the core Shostakovich symphonies will be compositions by Iannis Xenakis and Joseph Haydn, along with works by Bartók, Janácek, Poulenc, Rachmaninov, and many others. Karlheinz Stockhausen’s electronic composition Hymnen will be presented on September 3, the evening before the opening concert. All of this points towards one of the core ideas of the Musikfest Berlin: That ideas and themes are not restricted to certain eras, but continue through time.

Musikfest Berlin 09 is organized by the Berliner Festspiele in cooperation with the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker, opening at the Philharmonic on September 4. Principal guest conductor David Robertson will lead the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a concert featuring the works of Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Rachmaninov, and Iannis Xenakis. The performance will also showcase baritone Leigh Melrose and percussionist Colin Currie (see our interview with him by clicking here).

Two days later on September 6, Kurt Masur will direct the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony, with another English performance featured on September 13 by the Philharmonia Orchestra of London. This concert will be conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy, who will direct the performance of the Eighth Symphony of Shostakovich and symphonic songs by Alexander Zemlinsky. Ashkenazy was acquainted at the Moscow Music Conservatory with Shostakovich, and he includes several of the Russian master's works in his repertoire.

Anchored by the Rundfunkchor Berlin and the city's four prominent orchestras, Musikfest Berlin 09 will also feature the Chicago Symphony Orchestra directed by Bernard Haitink, the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam with Mariss Jansons, and all four renowned orchestras of London -- the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra London, and the London Symphony Orchestra. Other performances will showcase ensembles from Freiburg, Birmingham, Bamberg and Vienna.

Though the main concert venue is the Berlin Philharmonic, other performances will be held at the Konzerthaus at Gendarmenmarkt, which this year marks its 25-Year Jubilee.

Homepage: Musikfest Berlin / Berliner Festspiele

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