The founding of Germany's capital city dates back to the 13th century. Surrounded by significant landmarks that remind you of the city’s turbulent history, including the Holocaust and the fall of the Berlin Wall, you’ll also find classical music treasures waiting to be discovered in this beautiful city.
These five musical attractions are not to be missed in Berlin. If you are a classical music fan, scroll down and watch our video for some highlights.
1. Komische Oper Berlin
Built between 1891 and 1892, the Komische Oper Berlin theatre was used primarily for operetta, a light form of opera, as well as other events and balls in its history. With an audience capacity of 1,270, it is now home to the resident German Opera company, Komische Oper or Comic Opera, a member of the Berlin Opera Foundation. Under the artistic director Barrie Kosky, the Opera company is currently committed to the idea of contemporary, accessible musical theatre. It also showcases works that had previously been suppressed or forgotten, especially by composers who had vanished from sight under Nazi rule.
2. Berlin State Opera
Next on our list is the Berlin State Opera, or Staatsoper, a building that has been rebuilt three times in it’s 250 year history. Despite the fire in the 19th century and bombings of World War II, architects and builders have restored and maintained its original beauty. In 1742, the Staatsoper was inaugurated with a performance of Carl Heinrich Graun's Cesare e Cleopatra, which marked a collaboration with the Staatskapelle Berlin, the state orchestra. Book a performance here, and you can view the main hall with 1,396 seats, and beautifully ornate wings and ceiling, designed in an elegant, Rococo style.
3. Konzerthaus Berlin
Situated on the Gendarmenmarkt square is the Konzerthaus Berlin, which houses the German orchestra Konzerthausorchester Berlin. Previously built as a theatre in 1821, the building was severely damaged by Allied bombing and the Battle of Berlin. It was later rebuilt as a concert hall in 1977 and its exterior features Apollo, God of the Arts, lording over the front facade in a chariot drawn by two griffins. You’ll want to visit the Great Hall, which is equipped with a pipe organ built by Jehmlich Orgelbau Dresden in 1984. The organ has four manuals and pedals, 74 stops and 5,811 pipes. The hall is considered to be among the five best concert venues in the world, acoustically.
The Tempodrom is a unique modern-looking musical venue – much like a big top that’s made of concrety – that hosts all sorts of events, from concerts to comedies. Initially founded in 1980 by a lady named Irene Moessinger, it was built as a small circus tent. However, the original Tempodrom had to make way for new buildings when Germany’s government moved to Berlin in the 1990s. Today’s Tempodrom is a new building at Anhalter Bahnhof that echoes the original tent shape.
5. Berlin Philharmonic
A visit to Berlin isn’t complete if you haven’t seen the Berlin Philharmonic in action. Arguably one of the best orchestras in the world, catch a performance at its home in the Berlin Philharmonie. The striking pentagonal yellow concert hall has phenomenal acoustics and boasts what is known as “vineyard style” seating – where the audience sits in balcony terraces that arise from a central orchestral platform. You’ll notice this configuration in the iconic Sydney Opera House, which actually drew inspiration from the Berlin Philharmonie.
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