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2010 Event Media Release - Berliner Philharmoniker

Media Release: Monday, 22 March 2010

Sydney Opera House presents
Sir Simon Rattle
First-ever Australian Tour November 2010

“Widely regarded as the best orchestra in the world.”  The Guardian
“Sir Simon Rattle is one of today’s greatest conductors.” Gramophone
“Cuts through to the grain of the music, leaving you dazzled by its force.” The Independent
“I’ve long thought this the greatest orchestra of them all.” Los Angeles Times

For the first time, the Berlin Philharmonic will visit Australia and Sydney in November. Chief Conductor, Sir Simon Rattle will conduct four concerts featuring works by Haydn, Brahms, Mahler, Rachmaninov and Berg.

These exclusive concerts by the Berlin Philharmonic will commence in Perth on 14 November before continuing to Sydney Opera House on the 16, 17, 19 and 20 November. 

In 1887, Berlin concert agent Hermann Wolff took over the management of an ensemble of young musicians known as the Bilse Kapelle. He changed the group’s name to the Berliner Philharmonisches Orchester, turned a renovated roller skating rink into a concert hall and sought out the best conductors of the day. These humble beginnings eventually gave birth to the Berliner Philharmoniker, now widely regarded as the best orchestra in the world.

Sir Simon Rattle was appointed Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic in 2002. He joins a stellar line-up of renowned conductors who have worked with the orchestra: Hans von Bülow, Wilhelm Furtwangler, Herbert von Karajan and Claudio Abbado. The Orchestra has a strong cultural mandate, stated by Sir Simon as, “Music is no mere luxury, but instead a fundamental need. Music must be a vital and essential element in the life of each individual.”

Bringing the Berlin Philharmonic to Sydney is testament to the success of the Opera House’s World Orchestra Program, which commenced with the first ever visit to Australia by the Vienna Philharmonic in 2006. Sydney Opera House CEO, Richard Evans, said, “These concerts represent a crucial investment in the creative and cultural offering of our city. We fulfil our goal of enriching the region’s cultural landscape and ensuring our audiences can see and hear some of the best international artists the world has to offer.”

NSW Minister for the Arts, Virginia Judge, said,  “Sir Simon Rattle adds a further level of musical royalty to the already majestic Berlin Philharmonic in a season Sydney will celebrate for years to come. This will be a formidable, resounding experience no lover of music should miss.” 

The Berlin Philharmonic will present two programs:

Program A
Haydn / symphony No 99 in E Flat Major
Berg / Three Pieces for Orchestra
Brahms / symphony No 2 in D Major

Program B
Rachmaninov / Symphonic Dances
Mahler / symphony No 1 in D Major

Sydney Opera House, 16 – 20 November 2010
Perth Concert Hall, 14 November 2010

Christopher Wynton / 02 9250 7836



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