BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER. EUROPAKONZERT
Liepāja City Council
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia
Since 1991, the Berliner Philharmoniker have celebrated the anniversary of their founding on May 1 with their Europakonzert in a city that is historically significant and relevant to European culture. This year, they were planning to celebrate their 140th anniversary in Odesa, however, due to military action in Ukraine, were forced to look for another location, and it was swiftly and symbolically decided to organize the concert at the Great Amber in Latvia.
This concert will be a confirmation of the spirit of collaboration and unity between the European Union and Ukraine. ‘This Europakonzert is a show of solidarity with Odesa and Ukraine. For musicians of the Berliner Philharmoniker and Kirill Petrenko, Europe signifies common values and a common culture that unites us beyond any national border, and it is mostly clearly evident in music. This year especially, these European values are more important than ever,’ reveals violinist and member of the media board of the Berliner Philharmoniker Stanley Dodds when speaking of the key message of this concert.
A special program was created for Liepāja that focuses on composers whose musical message is about freedom and self-determination. The concert will present emotional pieces active Latvian patriot Pēteris Vasks, Ukrainian living legend Valentin Silvestrov, and the symbol of Finnish national independence, Jean Sibelius. The program also features Czech composer Leoš Janáček’s symphonic story of the brave Cossack Ataman Taras Bulba, as well as a vital and colorful cycle of world folk songs by Italian intellectual Luciano Berio, with internationally acclaimed Latvian singer Elīna Garanča singing solo.
The Berliner Philharmoniker perform in Liepāja under their principal conductor Kirill Petrenko. The maestro is known as an eccentric creator of unique concert programs.
The Europakonzert tradition was started after the reuniting of East and West Germany. These concerts are organized as a celebration of the unifying spirit of Europe to honor the common heritage and culture of the continent. Each Europakonzert takes place in a different city at historically significant and unusual locations and concert halls representing outstanding achievements in culture. In previous years, the Europakonzert has been hosted by such prominent locations as the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, the Palace of Versailles, Teatro Real in Madrid, Vasa Museum in Stockholm, among others. These concerts celebrate the local genius of their cities and countries – composers, world-famous solo performers and ensembles.
The Berliner Philharmoniker is one of the leading orchestras in the world. Since its founding in 1882, the orchestra has broadened its horizon to reach beyond Germany and Europe. The principal conductors in the first decades were Hans von Bülow, Arthur Nikisch, and Wilhelm Furtwängler, followed by Wilhelm Furtwängler in 1956. Together with the Berliner Philharmoniker, he developed a unique sound aesthetic and performance culture, which made the orchestra world-famous. In 1967, he founded the Easter Festival of the Berliner Philharmoniker, which has been taking place in Baden-Baden since 2013. From 1989 to 2002, principal conductor Claudio Abbado developed new directions for concert programs with emphasis on contemporary music. From 2002 to 2018, Sir Simon Rattle continued expanding the repertoire and establishing innovative concert formats. In 2009, the orchestra opened their own concert platform Digital Concert Hall, where concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker are streamed live and available in a video archive. In 2019, Kirill Petrenko was appointed principal conductor of the orchestra.
conductor, artistic director Kirill Petrenko
Elīna Garanča, mezzo-soprano
The program features:
Video can be viewed only in Latvia.