For classical musicians, Berlin holds many attractions

Posted on: October 4, 2013

In Tuesday’s (10/1) International Herald Tribune (subscription required), Rebecca Schmid writes that Berlin is becoming a new “hotbed” for classical music, with many artists, record labels, and music businesses relocating or opening offices there. “Berlin, with its low-priced real estate and openness to experimentation, is well-established as a hotbed of the visual arts…. The city has also developed into an important hub for the classical music world…. While austerity plagues much of Europe, the German government continues to support three full-time opera houses and seven orchestras in the capital…. Since the fall of the wall in 1989 … an influx of artists has gradually restored the city’s edge.… The Berlin-based mandolinist Avi Avital said [he and others] ‘don’t see the New York of Stern and Pearlman anymore, but the Berlin of Rattle and Barenboim.’ The American cellist Alisa Weilerstein and her husband, the Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare, have plans to make the city their European base soon…. Concerns loom as to how much longer it can remain a utopia for artists. Rent has risen by 16 percent over the past five years … [and unemployment] is still 5 percent higher than the national average of 12.4 percent.”

Posted October 4, 2013