Berlin orchestra's new conductor unveils 2018-2019 concert programme



BERLIN, Andrew McCathie (dpa)- Berlin's Deutsches Symphonie Orchester chief conductor Robin Ticciati unveiled on Thursday his new programme for the orchestra after a rise in audience numbers boosted revenue during his first season as its artistic director.
Speaking at a press conference marking the release of the new DSO concert programme, Ticciati said he wanted to "dig deep" into the established classical music repertoire of major composers and to "interweave" them with more contemporary composers.



The result, the British-born conductor said, would "give a new perspective on the journey" he plans to take the orchestra on.
It's a journey that has so far paid off for the DSO: The orchestra's ticket sales went from 1.90 million euros (2.4 million dollars) in 2016 to 1.95 million euros last year when Ticciati arrived at the DSO.
The orchestra also sold 87 per cent of it seats last year. In 2014, ticket sales stood at 85 per cent.
The 2018-2019 programme forms part of Ticciati's moves to try to place classical music in a modern context and to encourage concert-goers to listen to music in a new way. "What is the responsibility of a symphony orchestra?" he asked.
With this in mind, the 35-year-old Ticciati has paired works by contemporary composers such as Britain's George Benjamin and the Russian-American Lera Auerbach with music by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Anton Bruckner.
Ticciati now seems have established a rapport with the DSO to give him the confidence to perform in his second season works by major composers from the German repertoire such as Johannes Brahms and Ludwig van Beethoven. The new season also includes a festival of Brahms' work.
"The idea of confronting Brahms with my orchestra is a big event," said Ticciati. "Hopefully we can place Brahms where people can experience him in a new way."
About eight months after Ticciati took ago over the DSO's top post, the new season programme underlined his efforts to lift its profile in a classical music world that often seems dominated by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
The DSO now performs in the Berlin Philharmonic's home concert house, the Philharmonie.
After conducting his first orchestra at age 15, Ticciati quickly established himself as a wunderkind in the world of classical music.
Now he is part of generational change that has taken hold across Berlin's classical music scene, which includes 45-year-old Russian-born conductor Kirill Petrenko taking over the Berlin Philharmonic.
One timely addition to the 2018-19 programme is a performance of Dimtri Shostokovitch's Symphony Number 13 "Babi Jahr," which is a lament about anti-Semitism with Germany currently shaken by reports of an increase in anti-Semitic attacks in the nation.
A possibly gallant inclusion in the DSO programme is one of the world's most famous choral works: George Frideric Handel's "Messiah." Berlin audiences have never really warmed to the piece - something Simon Rattle discovered when he conducted a Berlin Philharmonic performance of it several years ago.
Ticciati said he had been told that "is not a piece that is often done" in Berlin. The DSO's December performance of "Messiah" will be the first time that Ticciati has conducted the work.
The DSO programme also includes a slew of works by Claude Debussy, with 2018 marking the 100th anniversary of French modernist composer's death.
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Friday, April 20th 2018
Andrew McCathie (dpa)
           


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