International Focus: Berlin Philharmonic


It’s the beginning of March ~!  Starting this month, we will be leaning down our blog posts to a post every two weeks ~ but you can still continue to look forward to our various blog posts series like our Spotlight on Great Classical Composers, Local Focus, as well as International Focus pieces ! 

This week, we will be looking at Berlin Philharmonic, one of the few orchestras at the forefront of digitalisation.  Before its strong establishment of bringing music to audiences through its digital platforms, Berlin Philharmonic had long made its name since the 19th century, with its first major successes under conductors like Ludwig von Brenner, Ernst Rudorff and particularly Franz Wüllner.

Housing multiple chamber music groups such as the Varian Fry Quarttet, WuWei Trio, KlangArt Berlin and more, the orchestra has been under the baton of Kirill Petrenko since 2015 after he was elected to succeed Sir Simon Rattle. 

Before the pandemic, Berlin Philharmonic had been presenting its magnificent concerts LIVE from their very own The Philharmonie Berlin, which boasts an unusual tent-like shape and distinctive bright yellow colour, making it one of the city’s landmarks as well as the musical heart of Berlin since 1963.  Serving as a model for concert halls all over the world, this Berlin Philharmonic PAGE brings interested patrons on a virtual journey of the history of The Philharmonie Berlin through photos, personal recounts and an interactive timeline. 

From its online presence alone, it is clear Berlin Philharmonic holds not just the lead worldwide for LIVE classical music presentations, but also for the digital presentation and delivery of music and the arts.

Its thoroughly developed Digital Concert Hall allows audiences to bring music directly into their homes, through great quality video-streamed concerts in high definition and with excellent sound through the devices of their own choice.  Each season, around 40 concerts are broadcast LIVE and they can also be viewed at a later date in the concert archive.

The current archive already contains hundreds of recordings with great artists of classical music, along with other fascinating documentaries and bonus films.

Registration for the Digital Concert Hall is free of charge, and allows everyone to access numerous interviews, Berlin Philharmonic’s Education Programme films and a playlist featuring chief conductor Kirill Petrenko.  Members of the public who would like to access all LIVE broadcasts and videos can also choose to purchase a ticket or sign up for a subscription plan. 

Beyond their Digital Concert Hall, Berlin Philharmonic Recordings also provides a seamless experience for audience members interested in purchasing recordings – be it audio or video, as well as books and other gifts.  With a few simple clicks, patrons can have their CD or Blu-ray discs delivered to their doorsteps !

Finally, followers of Berlin Philharmonic are always kept in the loop with the latest news and information via their News page, which is constantly active and frequently updated.  Delivering all updates regarding the orchestra, its people and its activities, fans will never have to worry about losing sight of the Berlin Philharmonic even if physical LIVE concerts are not yet readily available. 

It is remarkable how the Berlin Philharmonic had the foresight to establish, maintain and constantly improve its digital platform since even before the pandemic struck.  In our current climate, it is important to be able to overcome physical distancing barriers and restrictions, to continue to maintain and expand our reach so that music and the arts is kept alive and available.

If you have the time, do drop by Berlin Philharmonic’s website ~ there is really so much to explore and take in there ~! 

We hope you’ll have a wonderful time with the Berlin Philharmonic, and we will be back with another International Focus piece very soon ~!