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MUSIK FÜR DAS DENKENDE OHR — KONZERTE IM PIERRE BOULEZ SAAL

MUSIK FÜR DAS DENKENDE OHR — KONZERTE IM PIERRE BOULEZ SAAL

Since its opening in March 2017, the Pierre Boulez Saal has been sparking our musical curiosity with a wide-ranging program of stylistically and culturally diverse concerts. Founded by Argentine-Israeli pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, the hall was designed by architect Frank Gehry and acclaimed acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota with the purpose of bringing people together through “music for the thinking ear.” Next up in this season’s string quartet series is The Heath Quartet, a fast-rising British ensemble known for their energetic performances and contemporary chamber music interpretations that was awarded the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artists Award in 2013. Their performance offers a great chance for new audiences to experience the captivating energy and beautiful complexity of live classical music in the Pierre Boulez Saal. Distinguished by its state-of-the-art modular design, the hall features two tiers of seating – the upper one suspended as though it were floating – which can be reconfigured in countless ways. The acoustics are impeccable and, with no seat further than 14 meters from the conductor, each performance offers an intimate sonic and spatial experience. (Text: Lucy Thorpe / Photos (clockwise): Volker Kreidler / Simon Way / Volker Kreidler)

Pierre Boulez Saal, Französische Str.33D, 10117 Berlin-Mitte; map
The Heath Quartet & Carolyn Sampson, Sat 3.3.2018, 19h; Tickets available here

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KASPER KÖNIG’S PRIVATE COLLECTION ON VIEW AT THOMAS FISCHER

KASPER KÖNIG’S PRIVATE COLLECTION ON VIEW AT THOMAS FISCHER

At Galerie Thomas Fischer, the word “sell” is written prominently on the wall in capital letters. Yet in this most recent exhibition, nothing is for sale. Curated by Thomas Fischer and Andreas Prinzing, the show “I dreamed I was leaving on a trip but I forgot my money — Works from the private collection of Kasper König” offers an insight into the private collection of Germany’s most famous exhibition maker: Kasper König. A salon-style exhibition build, adapted almost one-to-one from König’s own wall, displays prominent names alongside unknown artists: Heidi Specker’s photograph of Jannowitzbrücke hangs next to a drawing by Caspar David Friedrich; a black and white print by Michael Schmidt is placed beside a portrait that Jonathan Borofsky made of König in 1991. Exhibiting private collections is in vogue these days, making the selection shown here all the more appealing — the works do not seem to be piled up for strategic reasons, nor are they overshadowed by König’s image. Each of his spontaneous purchases, each edition and every gift stands alone as a work of art in its own right and counts as an essential part of König’s visual biography. (Text: Laura Storfner / Photos: Torben Höke c/o Galerie Thomas Fischer)

Galerie Thomas Fischer, Potsdamer Str.77-87,10785 Berlin Tiergarten; map
“I dreamed I was leaving on a trip but I forgot my money — Works from the private collection of Kasper König
On view until 31.3.2018, Tue-Sat 11-18h

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TORBJØRN RØDLAND BRINGS US BACK IN TOUCH AT C/O BERLIN

TORBJØRN RØDLAND BRINGS US BACK IN TOUCH AT C/O BERLIN

Those interested in getting up close and personal with the aesthetics of popular culture today should not miss Torbjørn Rødland’s current exhibition at C/O Berlin. The Norwegian-born artist’s first solo show in Germany, “Back In Touch”, brings together a collection of his recent photographic and filmic work. Though at first glance, his photographs appear as though they’re straight out of a commercial magazine with their rich colours, glossy finishes, orchestrated scenes and a dose of sexual innuendo – they in fact have darker undertones. In these intriguing staged snapshots, Rødland decontextualizes everyday objects and reconstructs them with unexpected compositions in nondescript settings: Like a half-eaten cinnamon bun with a set of dentures nestled in its pastry. In doing so, he challenges our preconceptions of the familiar, forcing us to reconsider immediate associations and personal memories that spring to mind. Leave time for a pensive cup of tea after your visit — there’ll be plenty of questions left to unpick. (Text: Lucy Thorpe / Photos: Torbjørn Rødland / David von Becker)

C/O Berlin, Hardenbergstr.22-24, 10623 Berlin-Tiergarten; map
Torbjørn Rødland “Back in Touch“, on till 11.3.2018, Mon-Sun 11-20h

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HEALTH & SAFETY — A PARALLEL WORLD IN THE GRÜNER SALON WITH COSTUMES BY NHU DUONG

HEALTH & SAFETY — A PARALLEL WORLD IN THE GRÜNER SALON WITH COSTUMES BY NHU DUONG

“If you have to leave the stage during the performance, do it the same way you came in: via the stage.” With these words, Health & Safety begins, immediately captivating the audience. The play is the second in a four-part series which traces the rise and fall of a city, written by Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff for the Volksbühne’s Grüner Salon. Set in and around a karaoke bar in modern-day Berlin, Health & Safety – based loosely on Molière’s “The Misanthrope” – explores the Berlin state of mind, architecture and heartbreak, destruction and disease and the collapse of theory into practice. Where is the boundary between inside and out? The play addresses this question continuously. Outside, you can watch Daniel, a failed architecture student who lives in his car, while on the inside you can follow the bustle of the karaoke bar, including the slightly drunken ghost of Berlin’s prominent architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who wants to burn down the new city palace. If you want to be transported to a parallel world for 60 minutes, Health & Safety is just the play for you. (Text: Lisa Strube / Photos: Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff / David Baltzer)

Grüner Salon, Volksbühne Berlin, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, 10178 Berlin; map
Health & Safety, on till 3.3.2018. Program and tickets here.

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CUTTING-EDGE CLASSICAL: MEET THE NEW MUSICAL MASTERS

CUTTING-EDGE CLASSICAL: MEET THE NEW MUSICAL MASTERS

We recently had the pleasure of watching the up-and-coming piano soloist Olga Scheps give everything in an emotive performance during the Kammermusiktage Ahrenshoop. Then came the release of her cover record of German dance group Scooter, “100% Scooter (Piano Only)”. A bold move — and one which you have the chance to experience live on 6.3.2018 at Drive. Volkswagen Group Forum, which will host “Neue Meister: Modern Classical Music” together with the Deutsche Kammerorchester Berlin. The 7th iteration of the concert series will see six emerging composers and artists who blur the boundaries between classical, electronic and pop music perform their latest works live on stage. Joining Scheps — who was named the Echo Klassik “Best Newcomer” in 2010 — will be Berlin trumpeter, composer and pianist Sebastian Studnitzky, Ukrainian pianist Marina Baranova and pioneer of “orchestronic” music, Fabian Russ. Expect captivating performances that transcend definition and transport you to a sublime state of mind — not to mention to the forefront of what’s happening in instrumental and electronic sound right now. (Text: Anna Dorothea Ker / Photos: Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft)

Drive. Volkswagen Group Forum and the Deutsche Kammerorchester Berlin present “Neue Meister: Modern Classical Music”
Tue 6.3, 20h. Tickets via Eventim.dekoka36.de und at the Drive. Volkswagen Group Forum shop.

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