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
orn 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. She will conduct two concerts of the RSB in the 2021/2022 season.
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“.
Iwona Sobotka - Soprano
Iwona Sobotka achieved international acclaim as the Grand Prize winner of the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in Belgium. Other awards include First Prize at the Warsaw Polish Art Song Competition and First Prize at the East & West Artists International Auditions in New York, that resulted in her debut concert in Carnegie Hall.
Recent and upcoming engagements include, among others, concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle in Beethoven’s “Christ on the Mount of Olives”, the London Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at Festspiele Baden-Baden, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg under Marek Janowski in Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder.
Iwona Sobotka made her operatic debut at the National Opera in Paris in 2004, where she performed the roles of the First Lady (“The Magic Flute”) and Ygraine (Dukas’ “Ariane et Barbe-Bleue”). She also appeared at the Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival in the title role of Halka and Liù (Puccini’s “Turandot”) to great critical acclaim. Other roles have included Tatyana (Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin”) and Donna Anna (Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”) under Teodor Currentzis for the Tchaikovsky Perm State Opera; and Violetta (Verdi’s “La traviata”), Pamina (“The Magic Flute”) and Mimi (Puccini’s “La bohème”) for Opera Podlaska. In 2017 she made her Komische Oper Berlin debut as Pamina, performing also with Komische Oper Berlin on tour to Australia, New Zealand, Macao and Taiwan. She made her Osterfestspiele Baden-Baden debut as Blumenmädchen in Wagner’s Parsifal with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle one year later.
Past performances on the concert stage include a concert tour in Asia with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; as well as appearances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, Vienna Symphony, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. With the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin she has appeared numerous times.
In 2010, Sobotka took part in a ‘Szymanowski Focus’ programme curated by distinguished Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewski to promote the music of Karol Szymanowski in London at the Wigmore Hall and in New York at Carnegie Hall. Following her graduation from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Iwona continued her studies with the renowned artist and pedagogue Tom Krause at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid.
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.
With round about 60 concerts per season, CD-recordings and international guest performances the Rundfunkchor Berlin is one of the world’s outstanding choral ensembles. Three Grammy® Awards alone mark the success of the ensemble. The exceptional breadth of its repertoire, an unmistakable warm, richly nuanced sound, absolute precision and delight in experimentation all contribute to making it one of the chosen partners of international orchestras and conductors such as Kirill Petrenko, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle, or Yannick NézetSéguin. It is the permanent partner of the Berliner Philharmoniker as well as of Berlin’s Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester and their Principal Conductors.
Rundfunkchor Berlin’s experimental project series has attracted great worldwide attention. In collaboration with artists from diverse disciplines, the chorus breaks down the classical concert formation and adopts new modes of choral music for a new audience. The interactive scenic version of Brahms’s »Ein deutsches Requiem« staged by Jochen Sandig and a team of Sasha Waltz & Guests – »human requiem« – became a milestone within the choir’s experimental repertoire with guest performances in New York, Hongkong, Paris, Adelaide and Istanbul. In its project »LUTHER dancing with the gods« the choir cooperated with director Robert Wilson and reflected upon Luthers impact within the arts in an extraordinary concert performance with music by Bach, Nystedt and Reich in march of 2017. In the season 2020/21 the Rundfunkchor Berlin presented the transdisciplinary project THE WORLD TO COME based on Beethovens »Missa solemnis«. Directed by Tilman Hecker, contemporary music genres are fusing with the masterpiece by Beethoven, guiding the audience on a musical journey into the world of tomorrow. National and international Artists including Moor Mother, Mohammad Reza Mortazavi, Planningtorock, Colin Self and Birke J. Bertelsmeier, came together to realize the heart of the new season in Berlin’s Vollgutlager.
With its community projects for various target groups – the big Sing-along Concert in the Berlin Philharmonie, the Festival of Choral Cultures for international choirs and the Liederbörse (Song Exchange) for children and young people – Rundfunkchor Berlin invites people of all ages to become immersed in the world of singing. Its long-term education programme SING!, encourages singing in Berlin’s elementary schools as an ongoing staple in everyday classes. With its Academy and Schola for young professional singers as well as the Berlin International Masterclass for highly qualified young choral conductors it supports the next generation.
Founded in 1925 the choir celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2015. Since its foundation the ensemble was shaped by conductors including Helmut Koch, Dietrich Knothe, Robin Gritton and Simon Halsey. As of season 2015/16 Gijs Leenaars has taken up his post as Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of Rundfunkchor Berlin. Simon Halsey was appointed Conductor Laureate and will retain his ties to the ensemble as regular guest conductor.
Rundfunkchor Berlin is an ensemble of RundfunkOrchester und -Chöre gGmbH Berlin (Shareholders: Deutschlandradio, the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Berlin and Radio BerlinBrandenburg).
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.