6+ Major Orchestras, 3 world class Opera companies…that will give you a taste for Berlin’s increadible classical music scene. Berlin is as vibrant as ever and no matter what time of the year you find yourself in this city, you are bound to find a handful of classical concerts, events and shows of your liking. To help guide you through some of the cities best venue options, we came up with this list of our favorite ones. Check out the interactive map after the text and have a great time! “CLASSICAL MUSIC IN BERLIN. PHILHARMONIC AND BEYOND.” is your one-stop source of basic information on Berlin’s Classical music venues and orchestras. Enjoy!
*Check each venue/orchestra’s website as some of the Ensembles take a break during the summer months.
CLASSICAL MUSIC IN BERLIN. PHILHARMONIC AND BEYOND
Consistently ranked as one of the top 3 orchestras in the world, no trip to Berlin should leave out the opportunity to enjoy the amazing Philharmonie. Make sure to reserve in advance as tickets sell out faster than a Rihanna concert. Explore the intriguing tent-like modernist architecture. It is totally worth it. From Herbert von Karajan to Sir Simon Rattle, the conductors are among the best in the world. The orchestra makes a summer pause, so watch out for schedules. If you are curious about the space and do not want to pay full price, try visiting the orchestra on Tuesdays at lunch time for a free classical sample.
That’s right, Berlin also has a Sumphony Orchestra. And an top notch one. Famous conductors deliver a high quality program. Since 1997 Lior Shambadal is the chief conductor. Although, most of the time, they will use the Philharmonic Orchestra space, they do perform in different venues around town and abroad. So, make sure to check their upcoming concerts online.
The Konzerthausorchester is based in a glorious concert hall in one of berlin’s most beautiful squares: Gendarmenmarkt. It showcases a healthy mixture of the classic, the new and the rediscovered. The Rundfunk- Sinfonieorchester Berlin and Staatskapelle Berlin also perform in this stunning venue. The building used to be called the Schauspielhaus am Gendarmenmarkt, an 1821 architectural gem by Schinkel. It was completely destroyed in the war and beautifully restored since then. Konzerthaus was reopened in 1984 with three main spaces for concerts. The organ recitals in the large concert hall are specially a treat as they are played on the massive Jehmlich organ.
That’s right…the German Symphonic is not to be mixed up with the Berlin Symphonic. And they both call this exciting classical music mecca home. And like the Philharmonie and the Berlin Symphonic, they also play at the Philharmonic concert hall. The new conductor is the exciting 32-year-old Robin Ticciati, which brings a breath of fresh air to this important orchestra. They also offer casual concerts with a young, communicative tone, where soloists and conductor get to interact directly with the public. These concerts are offered at popular price points.
The Haus des Rundfunks is one of Europe’s first buildings dedicated to music and sound broadcasting, designed by the architect Hans Poelzig. The construction of the building complex is soundproof the studios are located inside a triangular building. The impressive façade is 150 metres long and set with black bricks and red-brown ceramic tiles. The studios are also used for concerts and radio recordings. The Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (and others) plays regularly in the Grosse Sendesaal.
The Staatskapelle Berlin is one of the oldest orchestras in the world. Music lovers get particularly excited about its rich, warm sounds. They are responsible for turning the opera and ballet performances at Berlin’s state opera house into magical moments. The Staatskapelle presents major symphonic works ranging from classical, romantic and classical modern to contemporary music. The orchestra has been under the direction of the mythical Daniel Barenboim since 1992. In 2000 the orchestra awarded him the title of “conductor for life”. One of the highlights in the orchestra’s concert calendar is the Easter festival at the State Opera House.