Musikfest Berlin 2020 will approach the beginning of the concert season with caution. Its new programme will follow the rules that protective measures from the COVID-19 pandemic have placed on public concerts. Many of the projects that have been prepared across Germany to mark this Beethoven year have fallen victim to the coronavirus crisis and have been postponed until next year.
We are all the more pleased that within Musikfest Berlin 2020 we can hold on to the core of the original programme in order to make the Philharmonie a place where the music of Ludwig van Beethoven encounters works by composers of our own time: with a comprehensive portrait consisting of 16 works and five world premieres by the composer Rebecca Saunders, with world premieres by Georges Aperghis, Wolfgang Rihm, Milica Djordjević and Christian Jost as well as compositions by George Benjamin and Enno Poppe. For the music of our time we have invited leading ensembles and prestigious performers on the international musical scene: the Ensemble Modern, the Ensemble Musikfabrik, Klangforum Wien and the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Marco Blaauw, Christian Gerhaher, Juliet Fraser, Tamara Stefanovich, Christian Tetzlaff, Jörg Widmann, Tabea Zimmermann and many more.
The pianist Igor Levit will tackle the pinnacles of writing for the piano: Ludwig van Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas in eight concerts. Berlin’s leading orchestras will contribute Beethoven’s Fourth (Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin), Fifth (Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin), Sixth (Berliner Philharmoniker) and Eighth symphonies (Konzerthausorchester Berlin), combined with music by Joseph Haydn and 20th century works by Béla Bartók, Alban Berg, Anton Webern and Alfred Schnittke. The first orchestral concert as part of Musikfest Berlin 2020 will be given by Daniel Barenboim with the Staatskapelle Berlin performing the final three symphonies of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
In cooperation with the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation