Berlin Phil to give London series in 2011

The Barbican Centre and Southbank Centre have announced a partnership which will see Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker perform at the two venues in a series of four concerts in February 2011.

The London Concerts will showcase the Berliner Philharmoniker’s members in different formations and repertoire, from chamber to symphonic music. Sir Simon Rattle, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker since September 2002, comments: “I am particularly pleased that our visit opens with a chamber music concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, spotlighting individual talents from the Orchestra.”

The series will open at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Sunday 20 February, with Schubert’s Quartettsatz, Schoenberg’s String Quartet No.2 and Chamber Symphony No.1 (conducted by Simon Rattle), and Mahler’s Piano Quartet movement in A minor. The first Barbican concert, on 21 February, will feature Stravinsky’s Apollon Musagète and Mahler’s Symphony No 4 (with German soprano Christine Schäfer).

Robert van Leer, Head of Music and Arts Projects at the Barbican is ‘particularly excited about the new commission that will have its UK premiere at the Barbican as part of our Great Performers season’. Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa’s Horn concerto, co-commissioned by the Berliner Philharmoniker, The ZaterdagMatinee and the Barbican will be performed on 22 February, alongside Haydn’s Symphony No.99 and Schubert’s Symphony No.9.

The series’ finale will be at the Royal Festival Hall, the Orchestra’s first visit to the venue since its refurbishment. They will perform, together with French contralto Nathalie Stutzmann, Wolf’s Elfenlied, Brahms’ Es tönt ein voller Harfenklang and Mahler’s Symphony No.3.