Freude, schöner Götterfunken…
Solemn farewell to the year 2019 with Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 under the direction of our principal guest conductor
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, op. 125 with final choral of Schiller’s “Ode to Joy”
Karina Canellakis - Conductor
Iwona Sobotka - Soprano
Virginie Verrez - Alto
Stefan Vinke - Tenor
Liang Li - Basso
Benjamin Goodson - Chorus Master
Bridges of sound to the cosmos
with starry sky projectors
Mon 30 December 2019 – 8 pm
This event is sold out.
Karina Canellakis - Conductor
Born in New York, Karina Canellakis took up the role of Principal Guest Conductor of the RSB at the beginning of the 2019/2020 season, also assuming a long-term collaboration with the orchestra alongside Vladimir Jurowski. Karina and the orchestra first performed together in September 2017 at the Mecklenberg-Vorpommern Festival and quickly built a strong rapport. Her successful first season astonished audiences, notably with the critically acclaimed performances of Beethoven’s ninth symphony at the RSB’s popular New Years’ Concerts.
As the Principal Guest Conductor, Karina Canellakis will establish her own thematic narrative throughout each season. Two concerts in the 2020/2021 season will focus on two key works of the classical music repertoire: The Symphony No. 10 by Dmitri Shostakovich and the Symphony No. 2 by Johannes Brahms. On 29 November 2020, Benjamin Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem will precede Shostakovich’s monumental work. Brahms, on the other hand, fancied Hungarian sounds in music his whole life. That’s why he would probably welcome Frank Peter Zimmermann, who will interpret the Rhapsody No. 1 by Béla Bartók, with open arms. On 24 April 2021 the violinist will take the audiences on a journey from this unprecedented firework of Csárdás back to the Czech Republic, playing the breathtaking Suite Concertante by Bohuslav Martinů. Karina Canellakis will open the concert with the passionate tone poem „Jealosy“ by Leoš Janáček.
Karina Canellakis, who has Greek and Russian ancestry and speaks English as well as German, French, and Italian, began her musical career as a violinist. In the course of her education, she became a member of the orchestra academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker, where she was encouraged by Sir Simon Rattle to devote herself more to conducting. She followed this advice with great enthusiasm and won the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award in 2016. With emotionally charged performances, technical brilliance, and interpretative depth, she quickly made a name for herself at orchestras and at opera houses in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
In addition to her involvement with the RSB, Karina Canellakis took up her first position as Chief Conductor at the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest of the Netherlands in autumn 2019, with whom she will launch a cycle of Janáček operas in January 2021, starting with „Jenůfa“.
In the 2020/2021 season, the charismatic conductor will realise some remarkable projects, such as her début with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Deutsche Oper Berlin (Mozart’s „Le nozze de Figaro“). Again, she will be on the rostrum of the London und Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Seattle and Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Wiener Symphoniker.
Virginie Verrez - Alto
French mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez is a graduate of New York’s Juilliard School. She is the winner of the 2016 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition and a winner of the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She was a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program 2015-2017.
In the 2019/20 season, Virginie makes her role debut as Carmen in a new production for the Welsh National Opera and she sings her first Prince Charmant in a new production of Cendrillon for the Stadttheater Klagenfurt. On the concert platform she will sing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin/Karina Canellakis; Mozart’s Requiem with the Orchestre symphonique de Mulhouse/Jacques Lacombe and Beethoven’s Mass in C at the Festival de Saint Denis with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Radio France/Karina Canellakis.
She has sung at the Opéra national de Paris; Wiener Staatsoper; Opéra de Lille, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence; Glyndebourne Festival and, in the United States, for the Metropolitan Opera; Dallas Opera and in Santa Fe.
Stefan Vinke - Tenor
German Heldentenor, Stefan Vinke, studied as a church musician at the Cologne College of Music before beginning his professional singing career in Karlsruhe and Mönchengladbach. In 1999 he was awarded the position of ‘Young Heroic Tenor’ at the Nationaltheather Mannheim where in 2000 he was voted ‘Male Newcomer of the Year’ by Opernwelt magazine.
Globally renowned as an interpreter of Wagner’s great tenor roles, he has sung the title roles of Parsifal, Lohengrin, Rienzi, Tristan and Siegfried, also Siegmund/Die Walküre, Siegfried/Götterdammerung, Erik/Der Fliegende Holländer, and Walther von Stolzing/Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
His numerous Ring cycle appearances include the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden with Sir Antonio Pappano, the Metropolitan Opera, New York with Philippe Jordan, Wiener Staatsoper and Bayerische Staatsoper under Kiril Petrenko and Deutsche Oper with Donald Runnicles.
He has also sung the title role of Idomeneo, Florestan/Fidelio, Bacchus/Ariadne, Paul/Die tote Stadt, Alviano/Die Gezeichneten, and Jim Mahony/Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny in the theatres of Hamburg, Cologne, Leipzig, Stuttgart, Munich, Paris, Montpellier, Lisbon, Barcelona, Venice, Madrid, Melbourne, Bejing, Geneva, Chicago, Seattle, Hong Kong, Sydney, and at the Salzburg Festival.
His performances of Tristan at the 2019 Bayreuth Festival with Christian Thielemann, and Siegfried /Siegfried and Götterdämmerung at the Müpa in Budapest with Adam Fischer were highly acclaimed. His opera performances in the 2019/2020 season continue with Tristan in Bologna, Athens and Karlsrühe and his first Kaiser/Die Frau ohne Schatten in Leipzig.
A distinguished concert artist, his orchestral engagements in the 2019/2020 season include Beethoven’s ‘Christus am Ölberg’ in Frankfurt and Glanert’s ‘Requiem für Hieronymous Bosch’ with Semyon Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic.
Liang Li - Basso
The Chinese bass Liang Li has become a most sought-after singer for both opera and concert with performances at all important international companies and festivals. He sings all main roles of his Fach, which includes German as well as Italian and French repertoire. He has got a regular collaboration with conductors like Mariss Jansons, Zubin Mehta, Sir Simon Rattle, Myung-Whun Chung, Donald Runnicles, Tomás Netopil, Sylvain Cambreling, Jonathan Nott, Manfred Honeck, just to name a few.
Highlights of previous seasons include e.g.concert performances of “Turandot”/ Timur with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (Zubin Mehta) in Tel Aviv, “Tristan and Isolde”/ Marke at the National Center of the Performing Arts in Beijing (Shao-Chia Lu; Mariusz Trelinski), Beethoven’s “Symphony no. 9” with the Orchestra of La Scala di Milano (Zubin Mehta), Dvorak’s “Stabat Mater” in the Palace of the Arts in Budapest (Riccardo Frizza). He had a huge success with concert performances of “Don Giovanni”/ Commendatore with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra (Jonathan Nott) in Kawasaki, as Hunding /”Die Walküre” at the Hamburgische Staatsoper as well as Filippo /”Don Carlo” (Keri-Lynn Wilson) at Bolshoi Theatre Moscow. He subsequently received the ‘BraVo Award’ at Bolshoi. He furthermore portrayed Fiesco in a new production of “Simone Boccanegra” (Paolo Carignani; David Hermann) at the Vlaamse Opera Antwerp, Filippo /”Don Carlo” (Axel Kober) at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Zaccharia /”Nabucco” at the Deutsche Oper Berlin as well as at the Staatsoper Stuttgart, Marke /”Tristan and Isolde” and Daland /”The Flying Dutchman” at the Wagner Festival in Budapest and Sarastro in a Japan Tournée of Barrie Kosky’s production of “The Magic Flute”. He sang a concert of Beethoven’s “Symphony no. 9″ under the baton of Manfred Honeck with the Danish Radio in Copenhagen. As Arkel /”Pélleas et Mélisande” he appeared at the Wiener Festwochen and the Edinburgh Festival.
Liang Li is a regular guest at the Festival Baden-Baden with e.g. “Die Walküre”/ Hunding (Jonathan Nott) and a production of “Manon Lescaut”/ Geronte de Ravoir (Richard Eyre/Sir Simon Rattle), at the Opéra de Paris with “Il Trovatore”/ Ferrando (Daniele Rustioni; Alex Ollé) and “Don Giovanni”/ Commendatore (Alain Altinoglu), at the Deutsche Oper Berlin with “Nabucco”/ Zaccharia, Gurnemanz /”Parsifal” (Donald Runnicles) and “Tristan and Isolde”/ Marke, at the Semperoper Dresden with “Macbeth”/ Banco and “La juive”/ Cardinal de Brogni, in Caen and Luxemburg with “Der Fliegende Holländer”/ Daland (Francois-Xavier Roth), at the Opera Festival Beijing (NCPA) with “Nabucco”/ Zaccharia aside Placido Domingo, at the Palau de les Arts Valencia with “Il Trovatore”/ Ferrando and “Tristan and Isolde”/ Marke (Zubin Mehta).
With his distinguished concert repertoire, Liang Li also appears internationally on all important concert stages, as with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra (Mozart “c-moll Mass”; Andrew Manze), with Dvorak’s “Stabat Mater” with the Bavarian Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Mariss Jansons in Munich and Lucerne, with Rossini’s “Stabat Mater” both at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia (Nicola Luisotti) and at the Palace of the Arts in Budapest (Carlo Montanaro) and with Mahler’s “Symphony no. 8” with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra at Kawasaki (Jonathan Nott), with Mozart’s “Requiem” and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (Manfred Honeck) at Carnegie Hall in New York, at Vienna Musikverein as well as in Pittsburgh, with Verdi’s “Requiem” at the Philharmonie Essen (Tomás Netopil) and at the Palau de les Arts (Carlo Rizzi), with Schumann’s “Faust Szenen”/ Pater Profundus, Böser Geist under the baton of Sebastian Weigle at the Frankfurt Museumskonzerte, with Mahler’s “Symphony no. 8” (Shao-chia Lü) in Taiwan, with Dvorak’s “Stabat Mater” at the Mozarteum Salzburg – just to name a few.
Liang Li was born in China and studied voice in Tianjin and in Peking. He won numerous prizes at International Voice Competitions, e.g. the ‘International ARD Music Competition’ in Munich, ‘Neue Stimmen’ of the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the ‘International Opera-Competition in Shizuoka’ in Japan.
For his outstanding credits for the Staatsoper Stuttgart where Liang Li was a member for ten years and where he sings all important roles of his Fach, he has been honored with the title ‘Kammersänger of the Staatsoper Stuttgart’ in November 2016.
Future and current projects include several new productions at the Hamburgische Staatsoper, his return to both, Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Semperoper Dresden, various concerts and performances with Zubin Mehta, with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.
Mit rund 60 Konzerten jährlich, CD-Einspielungen und internationalen Gastspielen
zählt der Rundfunkchor Berlin zu den herausragenden Chören der Welt. Allein drei
Grammy Awards stehen für die Qualität seiner Aufnahmen. Sein breit gefächertes
Repertoire, ein flexibles, reich nuanciertes Klangbild, makellose Präzision und packende Ansprache machen den Profichor zum Partner bedeutender Orchester und Dirigenten,
darunter Sir Simon Rattle, Christian Thielemann oder Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In Berlin
besteht eine intensive Zusammenarbeit mit den Berliner Philharmonikern sowie mit dem Deutschen Symphonie-Orchester Berlin und dem Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
und ihren Chefdirigenten.
Internationales Aufsehen erregt der Rundfunkchor Berlin auch mit seinen interdisziplinären Projekten, die das klassische Konzertformat aufbrechen und Chormusik neu erlebbar machen. Zum Meilenstein wurde die szenische Umsetzung des Brahms-Requiems als »human requiem« durch Jochen Sandig und ein Team von Sasha Waltz & Guests. Nach Gastspielen u.a. in New York, Hongkong, Paris, Brüssel und Athen reiste die Produktion im Frühjahr 2018 erstmals nach Australien. Für sein jüngstes Projekt »LUTHER dancing with the gods« reflektierte der Chor im Herbst 2017 in einer einzigartigen Konzertperformance mit Robert Wilson und Musik von Bach, Nystedt und Reich Luthers Wirkung auf die Künste und in den Künsten. Mit Christian Josts 2014 uraufgeführtem Musik-Tanz-Theater »LOVER« ging der Chor im Frühjahr 2016 auf Asientournee.
Mit seinen Community-Projekten für unterschiedliche Zielgruppen – das große Mitsingkonzert in der Berliner Philharmonie, das Fest der Chorkulturen für Chöre aus aller Welt und die Liederbörse für Berliner Schülerinnen und Schüler– möchte der Rundfunkchor Berlin möglichst viele Menschen zum Singen bringen. Seine breit angelegte Bildungsinitiative SING! zielt auf die nachhaltige Vernetzung verschiedener Partner, um das Singen als selbstverständlichen Teil des Berliner Grundschulalltags zu fördern. Mit der Akademie und Schola sowie der Internationalen Meisterklasse Berlin setzt sich das Ensemble für den professionellen Sänger- und Dirigentennachwuchs ein.
1925 gegründet, feierte der Rundfunkchor Berlin 2015 sein 90-jähriges Bestehen. Der Chor wurde von Dirigenten wie Helmut Koch, Dietrich Knothe, Robin Gritton und Simon Halsey geprägt. Seit der Saison 2015/16 steht der Niederländer Gijs Leenaars als Chefdirigent und Künstlerischer Leiter an der Spitze des Ensembles. Simon Halsey bleibt dem Chor als Ehrendirigent und Gastdirigent verbunden. Der Rundfunkchor Berlin ist ein Ensemble der Rundfunk Orchester und Chöre GmbH Berlin in der Trägerschaft von Deutschlandradio, der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, dem Land Berlin und dem Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg.
Benjamin Goodson - Chorus Master
In 2016/17 Benjamin Goodson took up his post as assistant of the principal conductor of the Rundfunkchor Berlin. Born in London in 1990 the British conductor studied music and musicology at the University of Oxford. Furthermore he studied conducting with renowned teachers and conductors like Sir Colin Davis, Paul Spicer and Ulrich Windfuhr.
In England he is the musical director of the award-winning Bath Camerata, which he took over in 2015. In the same year – by the age of 24 – he was named by the university to become Oxford’s youngest director of music, a position that he gave up for the Berlin engagement, while he still holds the position as chorus master at the Dorset Festival Opera. Moreover he is a regular guest conductor of various choirs and orchestras with a broad repertoire ranging from early music to contemporary works. In the season 2017/18 he worked with the, the MDR Rundfunkchor Leipzig, the NDR Chor Hamburg, the Netherlands Radio Choir and the London Symphony Chorus, which he prepared for a performance at the BBC Proms.
In the Rundfunkchor Berlin’s 2018/19 season Benjamin Goodson prepares the choir for several works such as Ralph Vaughan Williams’s “Sea Symphony” und Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. In 2020/21 he will become principal conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir.
It is possible to buy your tickets online at www.rsb-online.de , by telephone, email or in person at our visitor service, or at the daytime or evening box office. Book your tickets until the last working day before the respective concert on our homepage and simply print them out at home in A4-format. Payment is by credit card; a processing fee of 2 € will be charged. This possibility is available for concerts in the Konzerthaus Berlin and the Philharmonie Berlin. All theatre box offices, travel agents and advance ticket sales offices in Berlin and Brandenburg affiliated to “eventim” also sell tickets for concerts by the RSB. The customary advance ticket fees and, where relevant, costs for postage will be charged. The evening box office opens one hour before the concert starts on the day of the concert. If an introductory event is taking place before the concert, the evening box office will open 90 minutes before the concert begins.
Special group rates are available for school pupils and travel groups, companies, societies and major customers. Please contact our visitor service directly if you are interested.
School pupils, trainees and students up to the age of 27, as well as the unemployed, can buy tickets for the RSB's own concerts for 10 € each at the evening box office before the respective concert. This offer applies only when tickets are still available. The organisers take responsibility for the disposition of the tickets. Reductions can be granted only when buying tickets personally and presenting the corresponding documents and personal identification. No more than one reduced ticket per person may be purchased. This ticket is non-transferrable. Severely disabled persons entitled to an escort can address their request for tickets to the visitor service. This service is happy to offer advice regarding the contingent of places available.
› for all those under 30
› Sit in the best seats for one year as from date requested
› Fixed price of 8 € for concerts or 10 € for opera and ballet (depending on availability at the evening box office)
› valid all participating ensembles' own events and venues: RundfunkSinfonieorchester Berlin, Rundfunkchor Berlin, RIAS Kammerchor, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Konzerthaus Berlin, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Komische Oper Berlin, Staatsoper im Schiller Theater, Staatsballett Berlin › Monthly bonus and visits to rehearsals, raffle to win a role as an extra etc. › All advantages for only 15 €, further information: www.classiccard.de
› for young people aged 14 to 21 › Experience Berlin's top musicians: Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Berliner Philharmoniker, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Bundesjugendorchester › Six concerts per season for a package price of only 36 € › Additional bonus as well as special concert introductions, talks with musicians etc., further information: www.berlinerjugendabo.de
Route directions & parking location
The Konzerthaus can be accessed easily by the following means of public transport:
Bus M48 to U Stadtmitte/Leipziger Straße + 5 minutes walk, 100 to Unter den Linden/Friedrichstraße + 5 minutes walk, 147 to Französische Straße, 200 to Unter den Linden/Friedrichstraße + 5 minutes walk
Underground U2 to Hausvogteiplatz + 3 minutes walk or Stadtmitte + 5 minutes walk, U6 to Französische Straße + 4 minutes walk or Stadtmitte + 5 minutes walk, U55 to Brandenburger Tor + 10 minutes walk
S-Bahn (city railway) S1, S2, S25, S26, S3, S5, S7, S9 to Friedrichstraße + 15 minutes walk, S1, S2, S25, S26 to Brandenburger Tor + 10 minutes walk
For those arriving by car, the following underground car park is available : Taubenstraße/Jägerstraße run by Contipark Parkgaragengesellschaft mbH (address of entrance: Taubenstraße 14, 10117 Berlin, The-Q). The cost of parking here is 2.00 Euros per hour. Exclusively for concert audiences: the Konzerthaus rate is 5.50 Euros for a full six hours parking. Simply get your parking ticket marked at the service desk in the foyer of the Konzerthaus.
A lift, accessible via the stage entrance (Charlottenstraße), is available for the use of the physically disabled. Disabled toilets can be found close to the stage entrance and at Café Konzerthaus. Identified parking for the disabled is available in Charlottenstraße (close to the stage entrance) and Markgrafenstraße (near Taubenstraße).
Concert visitors with severely disabled passes marked B will receive a free ticket for their escort when buying a ticket. Our visitor service is happy to assist with any further questions. On site, you can contact the staff of the events service ARTIS, who will be happy to help you in any way.
For concerts with an introduction by our dramaturge, admission begins 75 minutes before the concert.
The building opens one hour before the start of concerts without such introductions.
Please note that visitors may not take large bags, rucksacks or coats into the concert hall with them. However, coats can be handed in, free of charge at the cloakrooms in the entrance foyer. Please collect your coats and items of luggage as soon as possible after the end of the concert. Personal items which are not collected in good time will be left with the stage porter (rear entrance) and can be collected there upon presentation of your cloakroom ticket.
There is no fixed dress code for concerts by the RSB. Depending on your taste and how you feel most comfortable, you can attend in suit or evening gown, or in jeans and a T-shirt, for example.
The gastronomic offers at the Konzerthaus, including refreshing drinks and delicious snacks, can be found in the Ludwig-van-Beethoven-Saal or Carl-Maria-von-Weber-Saal, as well as in the snack foyer. It is possible to reserve a table in advance and pre-order drinks and a snack for the interval, personally or by telephone: tel. 030 848 55 666.
No food or drinks may be taken into the concert hall.
Symphonic and chamber music concerts generally take 2 hours including a 20-minute interval.
Attention is drawn to significant deviations from this rule in the concert calendar.
Steffen Georgi, dramaturge of the RSB, offers free introductory talks to most symphonic concerts in the auxiliary rooms of the Konzerthaus or the Philharmonie. These take place 50 minutes (in the Philharmonie) or 60 minutes (in the Konzerthaus) before the start of the concert. The introductory talks will take place in German language. All relevant details may be found in our annotated concert calendar; see entries on respective concert dates.
Should you arrive too late for a concert, it will depend on the works being played when and whether there will be late admissions. Please speak to the staff of the respective venue. It may not be possible for you to take up your actual seat until the concert interval, as the music cannot be disturbed. No refund on ticket prices is possible.
Our programmes are sold by the admission stewards before each concert and in the interval, costing 3 € each.
RSB subscribers receive a free copy of the relevant programme on presentation of a voucher.