Musikfest Berlin 2017’s Italian Echoes from 31 August to 18 September



Musikfest Berlin 2017: Italian Echoes

Orchestra Festival starts on 31 August 

RCO Amsterdam’s Europe Project 

The international orchestra festival starts on 31 August and, continuing until 18 September, presents 27 events with well over 80 pieces by 51 composers, organized by the Berliner Festspiele in cooperation with the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation. The recently published JOURNAL offers a more detailed look at the festival programme.

With the three Monteverdi operas performed by the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir with Sir John Eliot Gardiner as well as countless international soloists marking the 450th anniversary of the composer at the launch of the Musikfest Berlin 2017, the festival offers a glimpse into music and interpreters who are particularly connected to Italy. In addition to these opera performances there are further highlights including the performance by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam with Milan-born Daniele Gatti conducting and Wolfgang Rihm’s “IN-SCHRIFT”, a piece which was composed for San Marco – part of the orchestra’s Europe tour under the title RCO meets Europe, Mozart’s “Requiem” performed by Chorus and Orchestra MusicAeterna with Teodor Currentzis and the festival debut of the Filarmonica della Scala with Riccardo Chailly together with the Rundfunkchor Berlin and works by Giuseppe Verdi. Furthermore will be presented the “Il canto sospeso” by Luigi Nono sung by soprano Mojca Erdmann and others in the SWR Symphonieorchester concert, the RIAS Kammerchor concert with Monteverdi’s Vespers and its missa “In illo tempore”, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin evening with works by contemporary composers of Monteverdi’s and violinist Ilya Gringolts’ solo matinee with the “Capricci” by Nicolò Pagagini and Salvatore Sciarrino.


MONTEVERDI 450: Marking the occasion of Claudio Monteverdi’s 450 birthday, Musikfest Berlin 2017 will present his three operas L‘Orfeo (2 September), Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (3 September) and L’incoronazione di Poppea (5 September) as part of the Monteverdi 450 project’s Europe tour at der Philharmonie Berlin – as the only stop in Germany. Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts the world-class period ensembles he himself founded, the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir. The concert performances are directed by Gardiner and Elsa Rooke. Among the approximately 20 vocal soloists are Krystian Adam, Hana Blažíková, Gianluca Buratto, Yulia van Doren, Francisco Fernandez Rueda, Kangmin Justin Kim and Carlo Vistoli. Eleonore Büning, Volker Hagedorn, Matthias Hengelbrock and Michael Stegemann will discuss Claudio Monteverdi’s operas at the Critics’ Quartet on Sunday, 3 September at the Italian Cultural Institute, in particular the interpretation story of Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria. The RIAS Kammerchor, conducted by new chief conductor Justin Doyle, will present Monteverdi’s Vespers and the missa da capela In illo tempore in the Pierre Boulez Saal and at the St. Hedwigs Kathedrale on 15 and 16 September.

INTERNATIONAL GUEST ORCHESTRAS: Directed by Daniele Gatti, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam will present Bruckner’s 9th Symphony together with IN-SCHRIFT, an orchestral work which composer Wolfgang Rihm composed for San Marco in Venice.

Chorus and Orchestra MusicAeterna will perform Mozart’s Requiem with their chief conductor and founder Teodor Currentzis and singers Julia Lezhneva, Catriona Morison, Thomas Cooley and Tareq Nazmi. In the first part of the concert, music by Hildegard von Bingen and Henry Purcell will be played along with works from the Modern period by Igor Strawinsky, Sergej Tanejew, Alfred Schnittke and György Ligeti.

The Filarmonica della Scala with Riccardo Chailly is a guest at the festival for the first time – the orchestra first performed in Berlin in 2006 at the Komischen Oper, followed by the first concert at the Philharmonie in 2009. Most recently, the Filarmonica della Scala performed two concerts in 2012 with Daniel Barenboim conducting. Claudio Abbado founded the orchestra as an independent entity only 35 years ago, yet its ancestral opera house is the tradition-steeped “Scala” with its almost 250-year-old history, as world renowned as always. Together with the Rundfunkchor Berlin, the musicians from Milan bring Guiseppe Verdi’s Stabat Mater and Te Deum to the Philharmonie, as well as Verdi’s overture from Les Vêpres siciliennes and Brahms’ Violin Concert with violinist Leonidas Kavakos.

FURTHER CONCERTS with an Italy connection: In his solo matinee on 3 September, violinist Ilya Gringolts plays the highly virtuosic Capricci by Nicolò Paganini alternating with those of his contemporary, Sicily-born composer Salvatore Sciarrino. On 11 September at the SWR Symphonieorchester, the SWR vocal ensemble will sing madrigals by Luca Marenzio and Nicola Vicentino conducted by Peter Rundel. In addition, the ensemble sings the Il canto sospeso by Luigi Nono together with soprano Mojca Erdmann, Jenny Carlstedt und Robin Tritschler – a work for which Claudio Abbado started his own Nono project at schools in Europe.

Since Visconti’s film Death in Venice, the images of this city in the Adagietto of Gustav Mahler’s 5th Symphony are familiar. Iván Fischer brings them to life with his Konzerthausorchester. Prior to that, composer Gustav Mahler himself can be heard with its first movement on the piano – his playing was recorded on Welte Mignon piano rolls and can therefore be experienced by the audience as a prelude to the orchestra’s performance.

The overture to Mozart’s Don Giovanni kicks off the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin concert under Christoph Eschenbach. Also on the programme are Mozart’s “Ch’io mi scordi te?” with soprano Hanna-Elisabeth Müller and Rihm’s Piano Concert with Tzimon Barto as soloist as well as Mendelssohn’s “Italienische”. Ferruccio Busoni’s Dance Waltz for orchestra forms the prelude to the Berliner Phiharmoniker directed by Susanna Mälkki. In addition to Symphony Nr.2 by Sibelius, violinist Gil Shaham will be performing Bartók’s 2nd Violin Concerto.

The Philharmonie Berlin with its Kammermusiksaal serves as the main venue of the 2017 Musikfest Berlin. In addition, concerts and talks take place at the Italian Cultural Institute Berlin, the Academy of the Arts at Pariser Platz, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Pierre Boulez Saaland the St Hedwig Cathedral.

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