The Berliner Philharmoniker has announced its 2013-14 season, including 117 orchestral concerts and four opera performances of which chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle will conduct 57 concerts (27 in Berlin). The orchestra also marks the 50th anniversary of performing in Hans Scharoun’s iconic Philharmonie, which Karajan inaugurated with a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on October 15, 1963. The anniversary will be marked by three performances of Bach’s St Matthew Passion in the production directed by Peter Sellars, which garnered such outstanding reviews. Rattle will also conduct a new work by Wolfgang Rihm and a couple of performances of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder.
Conductors making their Berliner Philharmoniker debut are Reinhard Goebel, former principal clarinettist Karl-Heinz Steffens and Krzysztof Urbański.
The season opens with Rattle conducting the last three Mozart symphonies. The New York Philharmonic’s music director Alan Gilbert gives a trio of concerts in September that includes Lutosławski’s Fourth Symphony and Bartók’s The Wooden Prince. Antoni Wit conducts the St Luke Passion by his compatriot Krzysztof Penderecki and Daniel Harding directs Mahler’s Tenth Symphony in Deryck Cooke’s performing edition).
Following a Far Eastern tour under Rattle, the orchestra returns to Berlin for Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust under Nikolaus Harnoncourt. In December, Riccardo Chailly conducts them in Wagner’s Faust Overture and Liszt’s A Faust Symphony, and Gustavo Dudamel conducts music by Stravinsky, Schubert and Beethoven. Lang Lang joins Rattle and the BPO for three concerts leading up to New Year’s Day 2014. January will find Semyon Bychkov conducting Mozart and Shostakovich, and Zubin Mehta arrives for six concerts. January and February 2014 see a return by Alan Gilbert and appearances by Herbert Blomstedt. After a series under Rattle, Bernard Haitink comes to conduct Mozart and Bruckner, and March finds Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting Reinecke and Mahler (Symphony No 4), and a visit by Iván Fischer.
April 2014 finds the Berliner Philharmoniker returning to Baden-Baden for the Festival which will include Puccini’s Manon Lescaut conducted by Rattle with Eva-Maria Westbroek the title-role and concerts under Rattle and Mehta. Daniel Barenboim conducts the 2014 Europe Concert at a venue to be decided and then Myung-Whun Chung conducts Brahms. Claudio Abbado returns to Berlin for concerts of Strauss and Mozart (May). He’s followed Tugan Sokhiev, Lorin Maazel, Mariss Jansons (Harrison Birtwistle and Mahler) and, to close the season, Barenboim in Brahms, Bizet and Kodály.
During the 2013-14 season, 35 concerts, including two late-night events, will be broadcast direct in high definition in the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Digital Concert Hall. The next concert to be shown is Thursday April 25’s which contains the premiere of Brett Dean’s new work and Sir Michael Tippett’s A Child of our Time.