Germany’s Konzerthaus Berlin attracting new audiences with experimental concert series

Posted on: May 29, 2015

In Wednesday’s (5/27) New York Times, Rebecca Schmid  writes about the “Mittendrin” concert series, one of “several experimental formats the Konzerthaus Berlin has introduced since Ivan Fischer’s arrival as music director in 2012. Mozart Marathons, Espresso Concerts and performances on location in different neighborhoods have cut a new, more lively profile for the former East Berlin house, with attendance rising 10 percent over the past two seasons…. The current intendant, Sebastian Nordmann, has rolled a red carpet down the Konzerthaus’s main steps since arriving in 2009, invited passers-by to sit and glimpse into the main hall and started a social media campaign including up-close videos with Mr. Fischer.… The rebirth of the Konzerthaus speaks to a wider trend in Germany…. According to the German Orchestra Association, there was a 94 percent increase in educational activities last season among German orchestras, compared with a decade ago….  ‘The question is how to establish the first contact to orchestras,’ said Gerald Mertens, the German Orchestra Association’s executive director.” Says Fischer, “The issue is a deep, moral responsibility to serve the community. It’s not about selling tickets. It’s about providing music to people and, through music, making them better human beings.’ ” The Konzerthaus’s orchestra was founded as the Berliner Sinfonie-Orchester in 1984.

Posted May 29, 2015