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| The Musikfest Berlin 2006
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Musikfest Berlin

1 to 17 September 2006

The Musikfest Berlin was presented for the first time last year by the Berliner Festspiele in cooperation with the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker and met with great acclaim. The great success of last year’s festival encourages us to carry on in the same vein. As well as staging great symphonic works and traditional orchestral music, the second Musikfest Berlin also sets out to again showcase lesser known and new works and to provide a forum for innovative artistic work by important orchestras and ensembles, with directors and soloists from the international music world.
For Musikfest Berlin 2006, we are looking forward to welcoming many guests, including the Cleveland Orchestra and its music director Franz Welser-Möst, The Philadelphia Orchestra with Christoph Eschenbach, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam with Mariss Jansons, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Sakari Oramo, the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra with Zoltán Kocsis and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra with Jonathan Nott, among many others.
Six events are dedicated to the oeuvre of the great Hungarian composer György Kurtág, who celebrated his 80th birthday this year. Our profile of his work includes subtle and varied references to Bartók, Haydn, Schumann, Heinrch Schütz, Anton Webern, Mozart and Brahms.
Four concerts present works by important English composers – Edward Elgar, Benjamin Britten, Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Jonathan Harvey.

The programme also includes three special events. The Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, will stage a concert performance of Igor Stravinsky’s melodrama “Perséphone”, which will be read by the magnificent French actress Isabelle Huppert. The musikFabrik and the vocal ensemble Singer Pur will premiere a new work by Wolfgang Rihm, entitled “Vigilia”. This impressively spatial composition was commissioned jointly by the Berliner Festspiele, the Festival d’Automne, the Venice Biennale, the musikFabrik and North-Rhine Westphalia’s Foundation for the Arts. The Staatskapelle Berlin with its chief conductor Daniel Barenboim will present the European premiere of “Notation VIII” by Pierre Boulez.
As well as other world and German premieres, with works by Pierre Boulez, Henri Dutilleux, Hans Werner Henze, Magnus Lindberg, Peter van Onna, Matthias Pintscher and Kaija Saariaho, the Musikfest Berlin will also include historical milestones in symphonic music. Last year, we presented Gustav Mahler’s Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, and this time we will be staging his First Symphony (Concertgebouw Orchestra, Jansons) and his Second (Berliner Philharmoniker, Rattle), as well as “Das Lied von der Erde” (Philadelphia, Eschenbach), and works by Brahms, Anton Bruckner, Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Mozart and Richard Strauss.
I hope you truly enjoy listening to and discovering all this magnificent music.
Joachim Sartorius, Director of the Berliner Festspiele

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