Orchestra Series

Berliner Philharmoniker

Kirill Petrenko, chief conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin

Berliner Philharmoniker
Kirill Petrenko, chief conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin
Friday, November 15, 2024 / 7:00 p.m.
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

“Under Petrenko’s baton, these superhuman musicians embraced … a humanity that was naked, gutsy, complicated, and completely sublime.” — Chicago Tribune

The Berliner Philharmoniker is one of the world’s most acclaimed and well-respected orchestras. Founded in 1882, the virtuoso ensemble makes Washington Performing Arts its first stop of their 2024 United States tour under the baton of conductor Kirill Petrenko. Hear Sergei Rachmaninoff’s haunting Isle of the Dead, depicting the transition of souls to the afterlife and inspired by a black-and-white reproduction of Arnold Böcklin’s painting of the same name. Experience Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, op. 70, flowing from sonorous and expressive climax to ebbing pastoral expressions of horn and oboe. Washington Performing Arts frequent collaborator and friend Hilary Hahn joins the orchestra as they perform Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s romantically cinematic Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major, op. 35. Berlin’s first visit with Washington Performing Arts in 21 years, this is a rare and extraordinary opportunity to be part of an evening of unforgettable artistic excellence.

This performance is an external rental presented in coordination with the Kennedy Center Campus Rentals Office and is not produced by the Kennedy Center.

Program Details

Sergei Rachmaninoff – Isle of the Dead, Symphonic Poem, op. 29
Erich Wolfgang Korngold – Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 35
Antonín Dvořák — Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, op. 70

More about the Artists

Berliner Philharmoniker

The Berliner Philharmoniker, founded in 1882 as a self-governing orchestra, has long been one of the world’s leading orchestras.

In the first decades, Hans von Bülow, Arthur Nikisch and Wilhelm Furtwängler were the defining chief conductors, followed by Herbert von Karajan from 1955. He developed a unique sound aesthetic and playing culture with the Berliner Philharmoniker that made the orchestra famous worldwide. In 1967, Herbert von Karajan founded the Berliner Philharmoniker Easter Festival in Salzburg. Since 2013, it has been held in Baden-Baden. From 1989 to 2002, Claudio Abbado as chief conductor created a new approach to programming, particularly with regard to contemporary compositions. Sir Simon Rattle continued to broaden the repertoire and established innovative concert formats from 2002 to 2018.

2009 saw the launch of the video streaming platform the Digital Concert Hall, which broadcasts the concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker live and offers them as recordings in the video archive. In 2014, the Berliner Philharmoniker founded their own label: Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings.

Kirill Petrenko has been chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker since 2019. The programmatic focal points of his tenure are the Classical and Romantic repertoire, Russian music and unjustly forgotten compositions. Another key concern for Kirill Petrenko is the orchestra’s education programme, which is aimed at new target groups. Since 2021, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Kirill Petrenko have been ambassadors of UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe, the German partner of the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).

The Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation is supported by the State of Berlin and the German federal government, as well as by the generous participation of Deutsche Bank as its principal sponsor.

Kirill Petrenko

Kirill Petrenko has been chief conductor and artistic director of the Berliner Philharmoniker since the 2019/20 season. Born in Omsk in Siberia, he received his training first in his home town and later in Austria. He established his conducting career in opera with positions at the Staatstheater Meiningen and the Komische Oper Berlin. From 2013 to 2020, Kirill Petrenko was general music director of Bayerische Staatsoper. He has also made guest appearances at the world’s leading opera houses, including Wiener Staatsoper, Covent Garden in London, the Opéra national in Paris, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and at the Bayreuth Festival. Moreover, he has conducted the major international symphony orchestras – in Vienna, Munich, Dresden, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Rome, Chicago, Cleveland and Israel. Since his debut in 2006, a variety of programmatic themes have emerged in his work together with the Berliner Philharmoniker. These include work on the orchestra’s core Classical-Romantic repertoire, most notably with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony when he took up his post. Unjustly forgotten composers such as Josef Suk and Karl Amadeus Hartmann. In opera performances with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Richard Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten and Elektra have recently attracted attention.

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