Berlin Philharmonic Celebrates 50 Years in the Philharmonie

Philharmonie Concert Hall in Berlin(Photo: Wikipedia)
Philharmonie Concert Hall in Berlin(Photo: Wikipedia)

On October 15, 1963, the Berlin Philharmonic inaugurated their new modern concert hall with Herbert von Karajan leading the orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  This evening on Symphony @ 7, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Philharmonie, we’ll have a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth recorded around the same time.

The Philharmonie was designed by Hans Scharoun, who was considered “an important exponent of organic and expressionist architecture.”  Aside from the unusual-looking exterior, the interior was innovative as well, with a pentagon shape and terraced seating surrounding the orchestra stage.  This type of arrangement has become more common in recent years, but it was ground-breaking at the time.

Join me this evening for Beethoven’s Choral Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic and Herbert von Karajan with outstanding soloists and chorus from the 1963 set of the symphonies from Deutsche Grammophon, still a very fine set with powerful performances.

I don’t know where or when exactly this was filmed, but it looks like it could be Karajan in the early 1960′s leading the Berlin Philharmonic in Beethoven’s Fifth:

The Berlin Philharmonic’s old concert hall was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1944.  I found this fascinating video of Sergiu Celibidache leading the orchestra in Beethoven’s Egmont Overture in the ruins of the old Philharmonie in 1950:

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