Pierre Boulez celebrated at musikfest berlin 10

The annual international “summit” of top-flight orchestras which launches Berlin 's concert season is coming to a close. musikfest berlin 10, organized by the Berliner Festspielen in collaboration with the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker, took place this year from September 2nd to 21st. In addition to the Rundfunkchor Berlin, the RIAS Kammerchor, and Berlin 's five principal orchestras, altogether 20 guest orchestras, ensembles, and choirs – joined by 37 soloists – contributed to the ambitious festival program. The center of attention at this year's festival was shared by the compositional achievements of Pierre Boulez and Luciano Berio, complemented in provocative and illuminating ways by works by Igor Stravinsky and many other 20th and 21st century composers. This wide-ranging homage to two central figures of postwar music history was greeted with pronounced enthusiasm and followed with intense interest by members of the public and specialists alike. More than 35,000 people attended the 24 concerts which took place in the framework of musikfest berlin 10 in the Main Auditorium and Chamber Music Hall of Berlin Philharmonie, in the Parochialkirche, the Gethsemanekirche, and the Konzerthaus.

This ambitious tribute to Pierre Boulez, encompassing 11 concerts in all, began on opening weekend with striking performances of his large-scale vocal compositions Le Soleil des eaux and Le Visage nuptial by the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden under the direction of Susanna Mälkki. At the concerts given by the Berliner Philharmoniker, Pierre Boulez received standing ovations as composer and conductor. Other contributors to our Boulez portrait were the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin , the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Bamberger Symphoniker, and the Ensemble intercontemporain. This tribute to Boulez was concluded by a lecture-concert presented by Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin – a thrilling finale for musikfest berlin 10 at which the composer, also in attendance, was greeted by repeated shouts of “bravo.”

Other highpoints of musikfest berlin 10 included appearances by the London Symphony Orchestra with Daniel Harding, the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam with Mariss Jansons, and the Bayerisches Staatsorchester with Kent Nagano, each of which presented key orchestral works by Luciano Berio in conjunction with compositions by Hector Berlioz, Béla Bartók, Richard Strauss, and Igor Stravinsky – each receiving tumultuous storms of applause. Other highlights of the Berio tribute presented in the framework of musikfest berlin 10 included a concert by musikFabrik with Peter Eötvös devoted to Berio, and a performance of Berio’s immense composition Coro by the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

musikfest berlin 2011 will take place between September 1st and 19th. Detailed information on the program and on advanced ticket sales will be announced in spring of 2011.

Press Office,

September 21, 2010