The 2021-22 Season (Copy)

© Marion Kalter

The 2021-22 Season: Program for the Months of September and October

The Pierre Boulez Saal starts its fifth concert season. To avoid further uncertainties, the program will be published in quarterly instalments. Tickets for all events in the months of September and October go on sale August 24. The program for the months of November through January will be published in early October. The Pierre Boulez Saal is committed to protecting the health and safety of its guests. Only visitors presenting a negative test result, proof of full vaccination, or proof of recovery from a covid infection will be admitted to events. FFP2 masks are mandatory throughout the building and on the way to the seats. The audience is strongly encouraged to wear masks also during the performances. Masks will be provided free of charge. The audience will be seated without spacing.

Daniel Barenboim and Martha Argerich began to play chamber music together in an early age. Since then, their parallel—yet very different—careers have taken them around the world, and to this day their joint performances are imbued with a special sense of playfulness and intimacy. Following several previous duo appearances at the Pierre Boulez Saal, they now open the season together for the first time on September 5. The program prominently includes the world premiere of a new work that Philippe Manoury has written for Daniel Barenboim.
With the Edward W. Said Days, the Barenboim-Said Akademie annually honors the life and work of the Palestinian literary scholar. The third Edward W. Said Days (September 30–October 2) examine the relationship between culture and power through music, lecture, art, and film. Musical performances will explore the binary of resistance and subservience to power in works of German, Soviet, Italian, and American composers.

The West-Eastern Divan Ensemble—founded in 2019 in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra by its concertmaster, Michael Barenboim—brings together members of the orchestra in an intimate chamber-music formation. Following its inaugural U.S. tour in the spring of 2020, the ensemble now makes its Pierre Boulez Saal debut on October 3 to present a program that prominently includes the European premiere of Benjamin Attahir’s string octet “Jawb”, which was written for the ensemble.
From the beginning, it was part of Daniel Barenboim’s vision to make the Pierre Boulez Saal “a home for Arab and Persian music in Europe.” During the first weeks of the 2021-22 season, the Palestinian oud ensemble Le Trio Joubran makes its Pierre Boulez Saal debut on October 13 performing a program that combines traditional maqamat, Spanish-Arabic music, and improvisation. Syrian singer and oud player Waed Bouhassoun, heard in the hall in previous years, is joined by ney virtuoso Moslem Rahal on October 28. Composer Sohrab Pournazeri and singer Sahar Boroujerdi, who both hail from Iran, open a concert series that accompanies a new exhibition at the Museum für Islamische Kunst Berlin on October 30. In their Concert for Children and Adults (October 31–November 2), recorder virtuoso Stefan Temmingh and oud player Bakr Khleifi embark on a musical journey through different cultures by way of their folk songs.

Just like the Pierre Boulez Saal, the Boulez Ensemble embodies flexibility and programmatic openness. Whether presenting solo pieces or works for a multitude of different combinations of instruments, the ensemble’s concerts are focused on the inspiring juxtaposition of the Classical and Romantic repertoire with compositions from the 20th century and music of the present day. The season’s first program on October 24 is dedicated entirely to Pierre Boulez’s “Répons“ for six soloists, ensemble, and live electronics, a trailblazing work that will be presented by conductor François-Xavier Roth in a lecture-concert format.

The new concert series Lied und Lyrik, conceived by pianist Julius Drake, explores the power of poetry in words and music. On three evenings, works of selected poets, read by renowned actors in the original language, will be set to music by composers from different eras. Christoph Prégardien and Udo Samel join Julius Drake on October 10.

The extremely popular series of “Elternzeit“ concerts is aimed at mothers and fathers (as well as uncles, aunts, grandparents…) who would like to experience music together with their babies (0 to 12 months) in a relaxed setting. In seven morning programs, renowned artists perform excerpts of about 45 minutes from their current repertoire.

Save the Date:
In 2018, the Pierre Boulez Saal presented its first Schubert Weekend. Since then, the festival, curated by baritone Thomas Hampson, has become a fixture on the international concert calendar. This season, the Schubert Week (January 24–30, 2022) will once again include recitals with established singers and pianists, concerts featuring young artists, and workshops with students of the International Lied Academy Heidelberg.

The Arabic Music Days (March 1–5, 2022) traditionally present a kaleidoscope of varied repertoire. With their concert on March 4, curator Naseer Shamma and his trio celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Pierre Boulez Saal’s opening. Four other stellar ensembles complete the lineup, with a special digital program section devoted to poetry, visual art, and film.