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Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Iván Fischer with the Chorwerk Ruhr and soloists

Berlin, Konzerthaus Berlin — Großer Saal

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About the Event

In this highly‐anticipated concert, hear the mellifluous sounds of classical music by Johann Sebastian Bach and Philip Glass at Berlin's treasured and world‐renowned Konzerthaus Berlin.

Those familiar with the concerts conducted by honorary conductor Iván Fischer will notice how he always presents works in unexpected combinations. In collaboration with the renowned vocal ensemble Chorwerk Ruhr, this program explores 'contemporary choral music in the context of traditional musical forms,' building a cultural bridge between Baroque Christianity and a 19th‐century American interpretation of the Hindu passion story.

The moving cantata 'Lord, do not enter into judgment with your servant' reflects the profound anguish of an 18th‐century penitent for his sins. Nevertheless, Christian faith and Bach's musical expression convey hope, especially in the concluding chorale, which offers comfort with its soothing string accompaniment.

Interspersed with Bach's cantata are two spiritually tinged works by minimalist composer Philip Glass. They open with the chamber music piece 'Façades' from 1981, originally conceived for the film 'Koyaanisqatsi,' which explores the relationship between man and nature.

Regarding his second work, Philip Glass notes that Sri Ramakrishna's life and teachings had a formative influence on modern India, 'revitalizing Hindu culture from its spiritual roots.' With 'Passion of Ramakrishna,' which premiered in 2006, Glass vividly traces the monk's suffering, death and transfiguration.


  • Philip Glass – Facades
  • Johann Sebastian Bach – „Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht mit deinem Knecht“ — Kantate für Soli, Chor und Orchester BWV 105
  • Philip Glass – „Passion of Ramakrishna“
Program is subject to change


Conductor: Ivan Fischer

Ivan Fischer is one of the world's most sought‐after conductors. Chief Conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin since the 2012/13 season, he was the founder of the Budapest Festival Orchestra in 1983, and he enjoys a close partnership with the Vienna State Opera. Ivan Fischer has won numerous awards, and he has performed in practically every major concert house in the world.

Bass: Krešimir Stražanc
Choir: Chorwerk Ruhr
Soprano: Anna‐Lena Elbert
Tenor: Benjamin Glaubitz

Konzerthaus Berlin

The Konzerthaus Berlin is a concert hall situated on the Gendarmenmarkt, the most beautiful square in the city. Built in 1821, the structure initially served as a theater. Severely damaged in the Second World War, it was rebuilt as a concert hall in 1977, with a neoclassical interior, and changed its name to reflect its new function in 1994. Consistently numbered among the top five concert halls in the world, the Konzerthaus hosts around 500 performances every year, ranging from symphony and chamber concerts featuring international stars to new music and children's concerts.

Johann Sebastian Bach

The name Bach and the word musician had long been synonyms in Germany as the world saw 56 musicians from this kin. But it was Johann Sebastian Bach, a genius composer and virtuoso organ player, who shed lustre on his family name. He was born on th 31st of March 1685 in Eisenach, a small town in Thuringia. At the age of 10 he became an orphan and was brought up by his elder brother Johann Christoph, who was an organist in a neighbouring town. His brother was the one to teach music to the young Johann Sebastian. Later he moved to Luneburg where he attended a church school and mastered the techniques of playing violin, viola, piano and organ by the age of 17. Besides that, Bach was a choir singer and later after his voice broke he became a chanter’s assistant. In 1703 Bach was hired as a court musician in the chapel of Duke Johann Ernst III. He earned such a good reputation there that he was later invited to Arnstadt to be an organist at the New Church, where he wrote his best organ works. In 1723 he moved to Leipzig to be a chantor at St. Thomas Church where he stayed until his death of a stroke in 1750. In the year of his death he had undergone unsuccessful eye surgery which lead him to lose his eyesight. During that strenuous time his second wife Anna Magdalena helped him to write his last musical pieces. Bach’s artistic legacy is vast. He created compositions in all genres of the time: oratorias, cantatas, masses, motets, music for organ, piano and violin.


Konzerthaus Berlin, Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin, Germany — Google Maps

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