sit at the front for a year
opera and ballets for 10 €
concerts for 8 €
all advantages for 15 € per year
All other info here

The ClassicCard – your key to Berlin’s high culture …and the best seats in the house.

The ClassicCard is for all under-30s*. It costs 15 euros and is valid for one year, starting on the purchaser’s desired date.

Beginning one hour before start of performance, ClassicCard holders can purchase tickets at a fixed price of 8 euros for concerts or 10 euros for opera and ballet. This gives last-minute visitors the chance of a seat near the front. A list of all performances covered by the ClassicCard can be found here

The ClassicCard is valid for one year and accepted by three opera houses, three orchestras, two choruses and one ballet: Deutsche Oper Berlin / Komische Oper Berlin / Konzerthaus Berlin / Staatsballett Berlin / Staatsoper im Schiller Theater / Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin** / Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin** / Rundfunkchor Berlin** / RIAS Kammerchor**. The Card can be used an unlimited number of times for performances by any of the partners named above.

During the season (September - June) every month, on a rota basis, a different participating venue allows a friend of a ClassicCard holder to attend an opera, ballet or concert performance as if he/she were a ClassicCard holder. In July, all operators who still play performances / concerts, offer this service. On one condition: the friend must also be under 30.

As well as a fixed price on the best-placed seats, the ClassicCard offers a bonus every month. This might be a chance to accompany an orchestra on a trip, a draw to appear as an extra, or the opportunity to sit in on a rehearsal. Wait and see what comes up.

ONLINE. - This is the place to go for information on all events for which the ClassicCard can be used, the monthly bonus offer, ClassicCard tips and much more. Don’t forget to register for our monthly newsletter, which will keep you up-to-date on everything going on.

*) A ClassicCard can be purchased up to the day before the purchaser’s 30th birthday.

**) Ensembles of roc berlin.
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
Almost every concert played by the symphony orchestra of 103 musicians – average age ca. 43 and including an above-average quota of women – documents an electrifying level of achievement. Together with the ensemble’s striking artistic profile, since 2002 this has been in the safe hands of Marek Janowski, the musical director and chief conductor. Janowski’s maxim that even a perfect orchestral sound still leaves room for improvement has made an impact that still reverberates in every single concert. The orchestra itself, but also its audiences and the media are responding with great attentiveness to the orchestra’s cyclic programme, which covers Schumann, Mozart, Hartmann, Shostakovich, Haydn, Henze, Bartók, Ravel, Bruckner, Strauss, Beethoven and Wagner. Expectations are higher than ever for the orchestra’s future and that of the conductor, to whom the musicians offered the life-long position of chief conductor in 2008.

Since the start of the Janowski era, capable young conductors from the international music scene have been coming to Berlin to work with the RSB. After Andris Nelsons, Kristjan Järvi, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Juraj Valčuha, Vasily Petrenko, Ludovic Morlot, Jakub Hrůša and Karel Mark Chichon in past years, those debuting with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin in the 2013/14 season include Alain Altinoglu (having already worked with the RSB in the Studio), Brandon Keith Brown, Peter Oundjian and Mark Wigglesworth. Guests including old masters such as Kurt Masur, Stanisław Skrowaczewski and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos will also contribute to the RSB’s repertoire and profile. Andrea Marcon will bring out the RSB’s skill in playing music from the Bach era, Frank Strobel will ensure that there are some exemplary concerts of film music, and Heiko Mathias Förster aims to enhance the RSB’s commitment to “Wagner for Children” with the “Ring of the Nibelungs”.

As with every full-blooded symphony orchestra, the focus of work is on symphonic music of all epochs from pre-classical through to modernity. Since its foundation, the RSB has forged a particular affinity with contemporary music. Key 20th century composers have come to the conductor’s stand in person or given solo performances of their own works: Paul Hindemith, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Sergei Prokofiev, Richard Strauss, Arnold Schönberg, Igor Stravinsky, Vladimir Vogel, Kurt Weill and Alexander Zemlinsky, and more recently Krzysztof Penderecki, Peter Maxwell Davies, Friedrich Goldmann, Berthold Goldschmidt, Siegfried Matthus, Matthias Pintscher, Peter Ruzicka, Heinz Holliger, Daniel Schnyder or Jörg Widmann. The RSB’s assignments, in addition to Berlin symphonic concerts, chamber music concerts, family concerts, radio recordings and CD productions, include guest appearances on important national and international podia. It is possible to hear the RSB there just as in Berlin – and has been for more than 50 years now. In addition to regular tours to Korea and Japan, the orchestra makes guest appearances at European festivals and other music centres in Germany. Beyond this there are long-existing partnerships with the Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Chorin Musiksommer / Summer of Music.

The Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin dates back to the first hour of musical broadcasting by Deutscher Rundfunk in October 1923. Until 1994, its chief conductors (incl. Sergiu Celibidache, Eugen Jochum, Hermann Abendroth, Rolf Kleinert, Heinz Rögner and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos) created a body of sound to communicate the changeable history of 20th century Germany in a remarkable way. Since then the Rundfunk-Orchester und -Chöre GmbH Berlin (roc berlin), founded that same year, has guaranteed the RSB’s institutional stability. roc berlin is a union of four radio music ensembles in the capital (two choirs, the RIAS Kammerchor and the Rundfunkchor Berlin, the RSB, and the DSO Berlin), which is upheld collaboratively by Deutschlandradio (40%), the Federal Republic of Germany (35%), the State of Berlin (20%) and Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (5%).
Staatsballett Berlin
Since January 1st, 2004 Berlin has once again one big independent ballet institution: The Staatsballett Berlin. This new Ballet company emanates from the “Stiftung Oper in Berlin”, a foundation which was brought into being by the state of Berlin in order to create modern structures for the three institutionalized opera houses and to release forces that create space for artistic and creative development. The former ballet companies of the three opera houses were transferred into one single institution.

The Staatsballett Berlin turns its proud name into a programme and claims to not only make its location Berlin the capital of dance but also to radiate from there into the international world of dance. Appointed as the artistic director was Vladimir Malakhov, one of the most famous and renowned artist-personalities in the world of ballet. He is entrusted with a heritage, that roots in a diversified local ballet history: The art form of ballet has a tradition, it has survived dry spells and numerous magic moments – signs of its lively identity.

With Vladimir Malakhov as the artistic director the course for the future is set: As primo inter pares he is the front man of a classical trained company, that consists of 88 dancers and two apprentices; herewith the Staatsballett Berlin is currently Germany´s biggest company. Vladimir Malakhov’s goal is it, to create a distinctive company out of previously excellently educated personalities and to form and strengthen the team spirit.

The main emphasis in the composition of the repertoire of the Staatsballett Berlin is first of all on the classical repertoire which is complemented by neoclassical works. In order to evolve the individual style of the ensemble and to personally work with the company, contemporary choreographers are invited (e.g.: Mauro Bigonzetti, Giorgio Madia, Angelin Preljocaj). Company members with choreographic ambitions are given an experimental platform in the show SHUT UP AND DANCE!.

The Staatsballett Berlin is presenting its performances on the stages of the city that it has always been at home: The performance locations will remain Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper im Schiller Theater and Komische Oper Berlin.
Komische Oper Berlin
Since the construction of the venue in Behrenstraße (which opened as the “Theater Unter den Linden” in 1892), the Komische Oper Berlin has at various times been a consistent international trend-setter in the world of musical theatre. As the leading theatre for operettas and revues in the 1920s, it fundamentally shaped the Berlin, and hence international, entertainment scene. Following the Second World War, Walter Felsenstein’s concept of musical theatre revolutionised European opera, and to this day it remains an important point of reference for the great majority of musical theatre directors seeking to be contemporary in their work. This inspirational international influence as a trend-setter in innovative musical theatre is reflected in the many artistic careers which began at the Komische Oper Berlin – including those of the directors Götz Friedrich and Harry Kupfer as well as the conductors Otto Klemperer, Kurt Masur, Yakov Kreizberg, and Kirill Petrenko.

In 2012, Barrie Kosky took over from Andreas Homoki as the Artistic Director of the Komische Oper Berlin. He was joined by Henrik Nánási, the new General Music Director. The Komische Oper Berlin is versatile and flexible to a degree which is unusual for an opera house. This and the fixed ensemble of singer-performers are key characteristics of the Komische Oper Berlin under Kosky’s directorship. Kosky’s conceptual approach draws not only on the tradition set by Felsenstein, but also on the venue’s pre-war traditions, which were strongly shaped by Jewish actors and have hitherto received less attention. Felsenstein’s vision of opera as a form of musical theatre in which music and action are equally important components of a production is combined by Kosky with the demand that musical theatre should provide an experience which appeals to all the senses and which encompasses musical drama in all its forms, from the classic Mozart repertoire through to genre-defying projects.
Rundfunkchor Berlin
The Rundfunkchor Berlin was founded on 1 May 1925, performing for the first time on 14 June during the Berlin Radio Hour. Hardly a day went by that it was not to be heard on one of Berlin's radio stations.

But it was not only the immense workload which placed high demands on the choir. Its singers had to be "generalists", because the choir's repertoire included the classical choral genres, concertante opera performances, and concerts with opera choruses. World premieres of contemporary music were also on the programme at an early stage, furthermore, the choir performed folk songs with confidence. Famous German conductors such as Max von Schillings, Hermann Scherchen, Erich Kleiber, Manfred Gurlitt, Eugen Jochum, George Szell, Hans Rosbaud, Kurt Thomas and Hans Pfitzner conducted concerts and radio broadcasts with the choir. Its success continued until 1943 when activity had to be discontinued due to the war.

The Rundfunkchor Berlin was re-established by Helmut Koch in December 1945. During the "Koch era" the works of George Frideric Handel became a central element. The Rundfunkchor Berlin established its reputation as a Handel specialist on tours which took it through most of the countries of Europe, performing almost all of Handel's oratorios in, among other places, Coventry, the Royal Festival Hall, London, Paris and Perugia.

In 1982 Dietrich Knothe was appointed the new principal conductor and led the choir until 1993. He deserves credit for the fact that the choir not only survived in the enlarged musical landscape of post reunification Berlin, but was able to consolidate its leading position. Under Knothe the Rundfunkchor Berlin developed the tradition of performing premieres of contemporary music; the involvement with recent choral writing was accorded greater emphasis. The choir and its principal conductor also paid more attention to Berlin's musical history and presented significant, long-lost rediscoveries. Following the political changes concert activities in Germany and Europe increased once again.

In 1994 Robin Gritton took over the leadership of the Rundfunkchor Berlin, which became part of the newly-founded company Rundfunk-Orchester und -Chöre GmbH Berlin in the same year. Since then the choir's work has included radio recordings, CD recordings for all important labels, its own series of concerts, and appearances in concerts by all of Berlin's major orchestras.

Apart from the principal conductor, other internationally renowned choir leaders such as Stefan Parkman and Uwe Gronostay have stood on the choir's rostrum. When the choir celebrates its first 75 years of existence in the year 2000 it will be able to look back at a long and varied history in which it has always provided performances that comply with the highest standards, as a radio choir, a concert choir and an opera choir.

At the beginning of 2001 Simon Halsey took over as principal conductor of the Rundfunkchor Berlin. The young conductor enjoys a high reputation for his work with both amateur and professional ensembles. He attracted international attention because of his association with Sir Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, which he directed from 1982. Halsey’s unorthodox approach to repertoire and performance practice will surely leave its imprint on his work with the Rundfunkchor.
Konzerthaus Berlin
Konzerthaus Berlin offers you a wide-ranging program, from symphony concerts to chamber music, from musical theater productions to special children's concerts, from old to modern music.

Most of these concerts are given by our Konzerthausorchester, under the direction of its new Chief Conductor starting in season 2012/13, Iván Fischer. But many well-known soloists and ensembles from around the world also come by invitation of the Konzerthaus to present themselves in Berlin. This season alone, we will be hosting the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Il Complesso Barocco, the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg, violinists Daniel Hope, Isabelle Faust, Pekka Kuusisto and Janine Jansen, pianists Elisabeth Leonskaja, Fazil Say and Murray Perahia as well as conductors Jeffrey Tate, Michael Gielen and Stéphane Denève.

Our beloved subscriptions – 12,000 subscriptions speaks for itself – offer series with highly-varied perspectives: from symphonic masterpieces to chamber music, solo recitals to ensembles, stars to newcomers, piano and string quartets to singing. But even without a subscription, we give you the chance to experience classical music in interesting combinations. Even our program themes traditionally offer a lot of opportunity for intensive listening and inspired exchanges. With our Hommage, we focus on one central person, our Musik-Marathon focuses on a composer, our Länderfestival highlights the music of one country, and with our Musikfest am Gendarmenmarkt, we go out into the community.

Bringing music close – this is our main goal. A series of unique concert formats gives you the opportunity to experience classical music in a non-confining way, such as with 2 x hören or during the Konzerthausorchester's Generalproben (dress rehearsals), which our new Chief Conductor Iván Fischer opens for a full hour just for you. In addition, moderation from the conductor's podium and family concerts in which you can participate and discover, belong to our range of music education.

Because we are convinced: music moves and brings together!
Deutsche Oper Berlin
It amounted to a minor revolutionary act. Over a century ago a group of Berliners took the plunge and founded the Deutsche Oper in Charlottenburg, an unincorporated suburb of the city at the time. Set up with the stated intention of airing the modern musical theatre of the likes of Richard Wagner, their opera house was offered a clear alternative to the venerable Hofoper on Unter den Linden. Moreover, with more than 2,000 seats, the Bismarckstraße venue was not only larger than any other theatre in Berlin; it also dispensed with boxes, thereby reflecting the ethos of a “democratic” opera house, in which all visitors had an unimpeded view of the stage, regardless of where they sat. This tradition of a citizens’ opera house devoid of pomp and plush was retained in the new premises built by Fritz Bornemann in 1961. Today as then the excellent visibility and acoustics provide the framework for evening after evening of superb musical and theatrical performances. And the spacious foyers with their newly appreciated elegance remain one of the capital’s key cultural meeting places.

Directors such as Götz Friedrich and Hans Neuenfels, conductors of the likes of Ferenc Fricsay, Giuseppe Sinopoli and Christian Thielemann and once-in-a-century singers such as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Christa Ludwig and Julia Varady have contributed to the history of the venue and placed the Deutsche Oper firmly on the international map. This tradition of attracting top-drawer names is ongoing, with vocal artists of international standing appearing alongside the first-class ensemble in the opera house’s rich repertoire of productions. Strauss and Puccini are as much a feature of the programme as the modern opera of Helmut Lachenmann’s “The Little Match Girl” and Iannis Xenakis’ “Oresteia”. The orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin under the musical direction of Donald Runnicles is one of the country’s supreme ensembles and can also be found playing in the Berlin Philharmonie during the city’s Musikfest, giving gala performances in the Baden Baden Festspielhaus and guesting at the BBC Proms. The opera house’s acclaimed chorus has been voted “Chorus of the Year” a number of times.

Deutsche Oper Berlin productions cover the full spectrum of styles, encompassing a classical, naturalistic “Tosca” from 1969, the incorporation of filmed sequences into “Rienzi” by director Philipp Stölzl and works such as Jan Bosse’s “Rigoletto” and Christof Loy’s “Falstaff” that reflect more recent developments in theatre. Robert Carsen’s production of “The Love for Three Oranges” is a further instance of the Deutsche Opera’s high quality: based on an Italian play, composed by a Russian, sung in French and premiered in the USA, Sergei Prokofiev’s “The Love for Three Oranges” is probably the most international of the triumphant productions on the opera house’s repertoire. Yet this whacky tale of a lovesick prince and his ‘orange’ princess is more than simply a fairytale; it is a comment on the nature of theatre itself. Canadian star director Robert Carsen delivers a two-hour tour de force covering aspects of Berlin’s theatre and show history. Ranging from Brecht to the Berlin Film Festival, it is witty, hectic, satirical and guaranteed to entertain.
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
A new chapter opened for the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (DSO Berlin) on 7 September 2012: Tugan Sokhiev conducted the DSO as Music Director for the first time during the Musikfest Berlin, 65 years to the day after the orchestra’s first public concert. After two years as the Designated Music Director he thus officially succeeded Ferenc Fricsay, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Chailly, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Kent Nagano and Ingo Metzmacher. The response speaks for itself: »At his inaugural concert, Sokhiev – a springy, intelligent conductor who reacts to the music as quick as a flash – enthralled his orchestra, controlling with a light touch right from the start Stravinsky’s ›Pulcinella‹ Suite and, on the second half, Sergei Rachmaninov’s Third Symphony, which is rarely performed in Germany,« the Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote.

In 2013, the DSO looks back on a 67-year tradition as a Berlin radio and concert orchestra. Founded in 1946 as the RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester by Radio in the American Sector (RIAS), its first Principal Conductor Ferenc Fricsay set standards in repertoire, sound ideal and media presence starting in 1948. Music of the 20th century immediately became a programming staple, in addition to interpretations of the classical repertoire characterised by transparency, structural conciseness and plasticity.

Starting in 1956 the radio station Sender Freies Berlin (now Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, rbb) participated in sponsoring the orchestra; this is why it changed its name to Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin (RSO Berlin). The RSO acquired an excellent reputation in Berlin and on numerous tours, with radio and television productions, through its concert programs, as well as significant conductors who committed to them. After Ferenc Fricsay’s early death, the young Lorin Maazel 1964 took over artistic responsibility for the orchestra, followed by Riccardo Chailly in 1982 and Vladimir Ashkenazy in 1989. In 1993 the RSO changed its name to Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.

As of 1 January 1994 the existing RSO GmbH was extended to become Rundfunk Orchester und Chöre GmbH (roc berlin). Its shareholders are Deutschlandradio (40%), the Federal Republic of Germany (35%), the state of Berlin (20%) and Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (5%).

Kent Nagano was appointed Principal Conductor and Artistic Director in the 2000|2001 season. He led the orchestra to engagements at the Salzburg Festival, the Baden-Baden Festival House and the Paris Théâtre du Châtelet. Kent Nagano bade the orchestra farewell in 2006; since then he has been associated with them as its honorary conductor. Ingo Metzmacher held the position of the DSO’s Music Director from 2007 to 2010. His annual programs were characterised by overarching themes. By launching the Casual Concerts concert format he emphasised the orchestra’s openness and its desire to address new groups of listeners.

The DSO’s symphony concerts in the Berliner Philharmonic Hall are recorded by Deutschlandradio Kultur and by the rbb Kulturradio, and are regularly broadcast in Germany and throughout Europe and beyond via the European Broadcasting Union. Selected concerts outside of Germany are recorded by Deutsche Welle, the German international broadcaster for radio and television.

The DSO is also globally present with numerous prize-winning CD recordings. In 2011 it received the ›Grammy Award‹ for the world premiere recording of Kaija Saariaho’s opera ›L’amour de loin‹, conducted by Kent Nagano. Among other CD publications of recent years, recordings with Ingo Metzmacher on ›Phoenix Edition‹, Christoph Eschenbach on ›Capriccio‹ and with Yutaka Sado on ›Challenge Classics‹ stand out. Recordings of contemporary music have been released on ›Neos‹ and ›Kairos‹. Furthermore, the orchestra has released several live opera recordings from the Baden-Baden Festival House as DVDs on ›Arthaus Musik‹. The DVD series ›Monuments of Classical Music‹ produced by Deutsche Welle has received several awards.

Over and above its concerts in Berlin, the DSO is active in international music life with numerous guest appearances. Concert tours have led the orchestra to Russia, Asia, North and South America and Lebanon. In recent years it has given guest performances in Brazil and Argentina, in Japan, China, Malaysia and Abu-Dhabi, and a number of tour concerts in Eastern Europe in an ongoing collaboration with Deutsche Welle and the German Federal Foreign Office.

Besides performances at national and international festivals such as the Rheingau Music Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Salzburg Festival, the BBC Proms and the Beethovenfest Bonn, the DSO can regularly be experienced in the major concert halls of Europe such as the Vienna Musikverein, the Salle Pleyel in Paris and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.
RIAS Kammerchor
The RIAS Kammerchor (RIAS Chamber Choir) has an artistic profile which is unmistakeable in its rich diversity and is received with enthusiasm all over the world. Among professional choirs, the RIAS Kammerchor is a pioneer in the area of historical performance practice. Since its foundation, it has also been exemplary in promoting music of the modern era and the present day. Within the context of the tension between these areas, the choir's interpretations of works from the classical and romantic repertoires have acquired intensive musical speech with clarity of depth. The choir has grown decisively above all in the breadth of its range of stylistic expression under the direction of Hans-Christoph Rademann, who has been chief conductor since 2007. He has been able to build on the foundation provided by the work of his predecessors in this area.

A clear departure from the monumental style of Bach interpretation was already evident in Karl Ristenpart's project to record all the Bach cantatas, a project which unfortunately remained uncompleted. "Transparency as in chamber music" was Ristenpart's guiding principle. When Uwe Gronostay took over the choir in 1972, he continued to mould its sound with the ideal of a chamber choir in mind, giving it homogenous form with assured intonation and stylistic flexibility. He looked to partners in Europe such as Eric Ericson and his chamber choir for this new direction, introducing fundamental principles of historical performance practice into the choir's work. These were systematically developed by Marcus Creed, who succeeded in creating firm partnerships with specialised orchestras such as Concerto Köln, Freiburger Barockorchester, Akademie für Alte Musik, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, also establishing an exclusive link for the choir with the harmonia mundi france label in 1995.

Numerous works of new music have not only had their premieres and first performances thanks to the RIAS Kammerchor, but have also been successively anchored in its repertoire and recorded in definitive interpretations. This aspect of the choir's repertoire runs like a thread through its history. The fact that choir music is re-emerging today in a wide variety of styles is also to the credit of the RIAS Kammerchor and its constant commitment to new developments in music.

The RIAS Kammerchor is an ensemble of Rundfunk Orchester und Chöre GmbH (roc berlin.) The shareholders are Deutschlandradio , the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Berlin und the Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting station.
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