Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free

The Berlin Philharmonic: A Harmonious Marvel in Germany’s Capital

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin

The Legacy of the Berlin Philharmonic

The Berlin Philharmonic, located in Berlin, Germany, is one of the world’s most renowned orchestras. With a rich history dating back to 1882, it has established itself as a symbol of German classical music excellence. The orchestra’s distinct sound and exceptional musicianship have captivated audiences for over a century.

Inception and Early Years

The Berlin Philharmonic was founded by a group of 54 talented musicians under the leadership of Benjamin Bilse. Initially named the “Bilse’sche Kapelle,” it quickly gained recognition for its exceptional performances. However, its true impact was realized when the legendary conductor Hans von Bülow took charge in 1887. Bülow transformed the orchestra into a world-class ensemble and laid the foundation for its future success.

Influence of Wilhelm Furtwängler and Herbert von Karajan

Two prominent figures who played a vital role in shaping the Berlin Philharmonic were Wilhelm Furtwängler and Herbert von Karajan. Furtwängler, considered one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, led the orchestra from 1922 to 1945 and again from 1952 to 1954. His interpretations of composers like Beethoven and Brahms were revered for their emotional depth and intensity.

Herbert von Karajan’s tenure from 1955 to 1989 marked a golden era for the Berlin Philharmonic. Under his leadership, the orchestra achieved unparalleled global recognition and expanded its repertoire, delving into contemporary compositions. Karajan’s ambition and meticulous attention to detail elevated the ensemble to new heights.

A World-Class Concert Hall: The Berlin Philharmonie

The Berlin Philharmonic’s permanent home is the renowned Berlin Philharmonie. Designed by the celebrated architect Hans Scharoun, the concert hall is an architectural masterpiece and an integral part of Berlin’s cultural landscape. Its distinctive tent-like shape and superb acoustics offer an immersive experience for both musicians and audiences.

Inside the Philharmonie, 2,440 seats surround the orchestra, creating an intimate atmosphere that facilitates a strong connection between the performers and the listeners. The venue’s exceptional acoustics ensure a pristine sound quality, enabling every nuanced detail of the music to be heard.

The Philharmonie is also equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including a unique suspended roof that minimizes external noise and vibrations. These features contribute to the exceptional musical experience enjoyed by visitors from around the world.

Extraordinary Musicianship and Repertoire

What truly sets the Berlin Philharmonic apart is its exceptional musicians, each handpicked through a rigorous selection process. The orchestra comprises talented instrumentalists who demonstrate exceptional skill, artistry, and passion.

The ensemble’s repertoire encompasses a vast range of musical styles and genres. From the timeless classics of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven to contemporary works and innovative compositions, the Berlin Philharmonic continuously pushes the boundaries of musical expression. Their performances are characterized by a perfect blend of technical precision and emotive interpretation.

Legendary Concerts and Recordings

The Berlin Philharmonic’s captivating live performances have enthralled audiences worldwide. Their annual New Year’s Eve concerts, a tradition since 1977, showcase the orchestra’s versatility and appeal to a broad audience. These concerts, broadcast globally, bring the magic of the Berlin Philharmonic to homes around the world.

Additionally, the orchestra has produced numerous acclaimed recordings. Iconic interpretations conducted by Furtwängler, Karajan, and more recently, Sir Simon Rattle, have become legendary and continue to inspire generations of musicians and music lovers alike. Their extensive discography covers a vast array of compositions that capture the essence of the Berlin Philharmonic’s artistry.

Education and Outreach Initiatives

Recognizing the importance of cultivating future musicians and fostering a love for classical music, the Berlin Philharmonic invests in extensive educational programs. Their outreach initiatives aim to make classical music accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.

With youth orchestras, educational concerts, and workshops, the Berlin Philharmonic encourages the next generation to explore and appreciate the world of music. These initiatives provide young musicians with invaluable opportunities to learn from and perform alongside seasoned professionals.

Digital Concert Hall

In an effort to engage a wider audience, the Berlin Philharmonic launched the Digital Concert Hall in 2008. This innovative online platform allows music enthusiasts from around the globe to experience live concerts, archival recordings, and behind-the-scenes content from the comfort of their homes.

The Digital Concert Hall offers a vast library of performances, interviews, and documentaries, providing an immersive digital experience. With regular live streams, viewers can tune in to witness the Berlin Philharmonic’s exceptional musicianship without the constraints of geographic limitations.

An Iconic Institution

The Berlin Philharmonic is more than just an orchestra. It represents the timeless beauty and power of music, bringing joy and inspiration to millions worldwide. Through their unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation, the ensemble continues to shape the future of classical music and leave an indelible mark on the cultural landscape.

Thank you for reading. If you're inspired by the stories of Berlin and want to delve deeper, why not join us on our Free Berlin Walking Tour? It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and vibrant culture. We look forward to welcoming you soon.


  • 3.5 hours walking tour
  • Berlin’s major highlights
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Reichstag and Berlin Wall
  • Historical sites

Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free