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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

The Digital Concert Hall

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Berlin Philharmonic / Berlin / Music

The Berlin Philharmonic has opened a digital concert hall that allows the public to access performance archives for free, and the offerings are many (and fascinating, too, seeing who’s there and who isn’t). The renowned Romanian conductor Sergiu Celibidache has but one concert—but what a concert. The young Celibidache was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic from 1945 to 1952, the year that Wilhelm Furtwängler took back the post. When Furtwängler died in 1954, the job was handed to Herbert von Karajan, whom Celibidache thought shallow. He vowed never to conduct the orchestra again. Thirty-eight years later, however, at the request of Germany’s president, he took the podium to lead the Philharmonic in Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7. That 1992 performance was historic. Celibidache, a Christian who had found his way to Zen Buddhism, said in 1986, “Without Zen I couldn’t have known this strange principle that the beginning is the end. Music is nothing but the materialization of this principle.” —L.J.

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Berlin Philharmonic Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße 1, 10785 Berlin, Germany
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