‘We refuse to accept a fascist America.’ A recent celebration of electronic Mexican music was politically pointed. Published on The Cusp.
John Adams and Peter Sellars' biblical oratorio given a fine concert performance by the Berliner Philharmoniker under departing chief conductor, Sir Simon Rattle. Published on Bachtrack.
A firecracker performance by Vladimir Jurowski and the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin giving urgency to music composed at a time that echoes our own. Published on Bachtrack.
Gidon Kremer, long-time champion of Sofia Gubaidulina, joined the Berliner Philharmoniker and Christian Thielemann for a performance of In tempus praesens. Published on Bachtrack.
Scores, a recent exhibition in Berlin, exhibited new ‘scores’ by four visual artists as artworks in themselves, alongside a series of concerts featuring their musical realisation. Published on The Cusp.
Joseph Beuys, the German avant-garde artist and environmentalist, died 30 years ago this year. To mark his anniversary, Soloistenensemble Kaleidoskop mounted the premiere of a new surrealist theatrical work. Published on The Cusp.
Stasis, originally written for Ensemble musikFabrik, explores the boundary between sound and silence through a kind of symphony in space. Last weekend, the Ensemblekollektiv performed a new tailor-made version for the Akademie der Künste building in Berlin. Published on Bachtrack.
Round the corner from the Bundestag in Berlin, seat of the German parliament, the Akademie der Künste is mounting a new exhibition of works responding not only to migration, but also to exile, occupation, division and alienation. Published on The Cusp.
The Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin is roaming around its hometown this season with a series of chamber music concerts in unexpected places. In a former ballroom in the up-and-coming Neukölln district, the orchestra’s chamber ensemble presented an eccentric programme of music by oddballs and outcasts. Published on Bachtrack.
This former brewery in East Berlin was the home to a three-day celebration of weird and wonderful musical machines. The Wir sind die Roboter festival featured an array of instrumental contraptions from across the globe, with installations and exhibitions accompanied by three nights of musical performances. Published on The Cusp.
The idea of using smells in art isn’t new, but its history isn’t particularly illustrious. Smell-o-Vision was voted one of the hundred worst ideas of all time; Scratch’n’Sniff didn’t fare much better. Osmodrama, a two-month festival in Berlin, was not deterred. Published on The Cusp.
The Musikfest Berlin presented their own ‘Hommage’ to Boulez with his complete works for piano performed by Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich. Published on Bachtrack.
Berlin’s Konzerthaus Orchestra began its new season with works by two composers set against the artistic orthodoxies of their day. Published on Bachtrack.
Isabelle Faust’s performance of Luigi Nono’s La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura was an extraordinary time capsule back to the work’s première in 1988. Published on Bachtrack.
Nico and the Navigators are a Berlin-based theatrical ensemble describing themselves as ‘full body poets’, using music, dance and physical comedy in their evocative and often improvised avant-garde works. The hour that we knew too much of each other is the ensemble's bleakly humorous look at life and love in the time of over-communication and social media. Published on The Cusp.
Although a British composer by birth, Rebecca Saunders is most respected in Germany, where she has spent much of her working life. Her latest project was an immersive choreographed programme with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie based around her violin concerto still. Published on Bachtrack.
Dennis Russell Davies is a long-standing champion of American minimalism. For his guest appearance with the Berlin Konzerthausorchester last weekend, he was joined by violinist Chad Hoopes for performances of Philip Glass and John Adams alongside Bruckner’s First. Published on Bachtrack.
At a disused public transport depot in an unfashionable district of Berlin, Taiwanese choreographer Shang-Chi Sun and chamber group Ensemble KNM Berlin presented spur, a new dance-and-music work based on the music of Austrian composer, Beat Furrer. Published on The Cusp.
Michael Jarrell is a Swiss composer with a considerable reputation in mainland Europe – he was appointed Chevalier to the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2004. This week, he was the subject of a composer portrait given by the Ensemble United Berlin under their Artistic Advisor and long-time conductor Vladimir Jurowski. Published on Bachtrack.
Hidden in a small bunker under a quiet apartment block in Berlin, ausland has acted as an incubator for the city’s experimental and improvised music scene for over ten years. For this performance, local echzeitmusik (literally: real-time music) artists joined touring Portuguese musicians for a performance with their sonic installation project, the Phonopticon. Published on The Cusp.