As a young journalist in Berlin, I have observed an unendlessly fascinating classical music scene. New music and avant-garde programming thrive in off-spaces and converted industrial buildings. Operatic stagings no know bounds. Just like the city itself, the arts world is always becoming, but never being.
Not that the burden of history doesn’t show its face. In some ways, everything still seems doubled: the Konzerthaus in the east, the Berlin Philharmonic in the west; three opera houses, two broadcast orchestras and choruses. Although I had the same impression as a student in Vienna, where the selection is arguably of an even higher caliber, I have also realized how artistically conservative the rest of Europe seems in comparison to Berlin. Perhaps in no other city is the desire to break with the past so intense.
Since I am based in the German capital, this blog will mostly explore its classical music events and, whenever possible, will tie them into what is happening on the other side of the pond. As a former singer, I have an insatiable passion for opera, but orchestral, chamber and new music will undoubtedly receive attention as well. I will also blog about performances I attend on my travels.
With the classical music industry in a precarious state of flux on both sides of the Atlantic, I will additionally delve into the pros and cons of public funding, the implications of wild Regietheater, the cross-section of different art forms on Germany’s contemporary scene and whatever else seems relevant. Of course, the blogosphere is already full of rants, strongly-opinionated editorials and speculations. So I’ll try to keep my posts (and reviews) as succinct and pertinent as possible.