Boulez and Berio featured at musikfest

musikfest berlin 10, organized by the Berliner Festspiele in collaboration with the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker, will take place from September 2 to 21. This large-scale international orchestra festival opens the annual Berlin concert season. This year’s festival program features 24 concerts with more than 60 works by circa 25 different composers. Appearing will be 37 soloists of world rank, and 27 choirs, ensembles, and orchestras from the international music scene.

“The virginal, lively, beautiful today …” (Le vierge, le vivace, et bel aujourd’ hui …): this year’s musikfest berlin draws inspiration from these celebrated lines from the French poet Stéphane Mallarmé. Pierre Boulez set this sonnet in his extraordinary vocal composition Pli selon Pli.

In addition to Pli selon Pli, 16 other works by Pierre Boulez will be featured at musikfest berlin 10. Altogether 11 events make up a rich portrait of Boulez, with the participation of all the former and present directors of the Ensemble intercontemporain, founded in 1976 by Boulez, a roster consisting of Peter Eötvös, David Robertson, Jonathan Nott, and current director Susanna Mälkki.

Born in the same year (1925) as Pierre Boulez and joined to him in a long-term artistic friendship was composer Luciano Berio. His works form the second focus of this festival program. Performed in the framework of musikfest berlin 10 will be altogether 11 compositions by Luciano Berio, including key orchestral works such as Chemins I, Kol od – Chemins VI, Concerto, Sinfonia, Coro, Folk Songs, and Voci (Folksongs II), as well as Quatre dédicaces and Stanze in a German premiere performance.

Featured compositions by Pierre Boulez and Luciano Berio will be set into a stimulating dialogue with the works of Igor Stravinsky, Béla Bartók, Sergei Prokofiev, Witold Lutoslawski, Richard Strauss, Alban Berg, Anton Webern, Hector Berlioz, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Henri Pousseur, Peter Eötvös, and Beat Furrer. Johann Sebastian Bach’s Art of the Fugue will be performed by the Keller Quartett on September 2, the eve of the opening concert of musikfest berlin 10. Music from the 14th century will resound in a concert by the vocal ensemble graindelavoix from Belgium.

Appearing as guests in Berlin besides the Rundfunkchor Berlin, the RIAS Kammerchor, and the four prominent Berlin orchestras directed by their principal conductors will be the London Symphony Orchestra with Daniel Harding, the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Vladimir Jurowski, the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam with Mariss Jansons, the Bayerische Staatsorchester with Kent Nagano, and the Bamberger Symphoniker – Bayerische Staatsphilharmonie with Jonathan Nott.

Also performing will be Ensemble intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, and the ensemble musikFabrik, as well as the choirs Synergy Vocals, Schola Heidelberg, Cantus Domus, the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart, and the NDR Chor. Among the featured soloists will be Kelley O’Connor, Stella Doufexis, Ian Bostridge, Roman Trekel, and Dietrich Henschel. Also invited are pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, the piano duo Andreas Grau and Götz Schumacher, trumpet player Marco Blaauw, and violists Tabea Zimmermann, Megumi Kasakawa, Axel Porath, and Antoine Tamestit.

The main event location for musikfest berlin 10 is the Philharmonie Berlin. Additional venues are the Chamber Music Hall of the Philharmonie Berlin, the Parochialkirche, the Gethsemanekirche, and the Konzerthaus Berlin. Press office, April 15, 2010