Schauspielhaus (Berlin)

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View of the Schauspielhaus on Gendarmenmarkt as a concert hall in Berlin, 2015

The Schauspielhaus (from 1821: Königliches Schauspielhaus , from 1919: Prussian State Theater , since 1984: Konzerthaus Berlin ) is a monument on Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin 's Mitte district . Built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel between 1818 and 1821 , it is one of the main works of German classicism . In World War II burned out, it was from 1976 to 1984 outside faithfully and inside historicizing form as Konzerthaus restored.


French Comedy House (left) and French Cathedral on Gendarmenmarkt, oil painting by Carl Traugott Fechhelm , 1788
Royal National Theater (right) and German Cathedral , 1815

Frederick the Great redesigned the Gendarmenmarkt in the 1770s. After the stables of the "Gens d'armes" regiment were removed, Johann Boumann built the French Comedy House here until 1776 . The house was empty from 1778 to 1786. In 1786 Friedrich's successor Friedrich Wilhelm II granted the drama director Karl Theophil Döbbelin , who had previously performed with his troupe in the theater on Behrenstrasse, the privilege to play here. The members were allowed to call themselves “Royal Prussian, most gracious general privileged national actors”. Döbbelin soon ran into financial difficulties and was dismissed in 1787. After that the king set up a directory, which u. a. consisted of Johann Jakob Engel and Karl Wilhelm Ramler ; that year the theater was renamed the Royal National Theater . The director of the house was August Wilhelm Iffland from December 1796 until his death in September 1814 , who made it the most important theater around 1800 through various reforms. At his suggestion, Friedrich Wilhelm III. commissioned a new building in 1800, which opened in 1802. The architect was Carl Gotthard Langhans , the builder of the Brandenburg Gate . In this building there was a large theater hall and a concert hall. Since 1811, Iffland was a director of the royal drama . Iffland's successor was Carl von Brühl from Seifersdorf near Dresden , a grandson of Heinrich von Brühl . From 1815 to 1828 he was the artistic director of the royal theaters. On July 29, 1817, the theater built by Langhans burned down completely.

Royal Playhouse



Design drawing by Karl Friedrich Schinkel for the Royal Theater

On November 19, 1817, King Friedrich Wilhelm III. the order for a new building to Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who presented his plans in April of the following year; on July 4, 1818 the foundation stone was laid. During the planning, the architect had to take numerous requirements into account. All reusable parts of the burned down theater should be used, i.e. the entire foundations, parts of the masonry and the pillars of the portico in front of the main entrance. The Langhans building had 2000 seats; the new theater, conceived as a bourgeois drama theater, was to offer space for only 1,200 spectators, so that it couldn't even come close to being comparable to the royal court opera with its 3,000 seats. The rooms necessary for the actual theater operation - stage and auditorium, magazines, workshops, cloakrooms and rehearsal rooms - should be supplemented by a concert and ballroom, which could also be rented privately, by a restaurant and kitchen, in order to be able to operate as economically as possible and so on to relieve the royal family of running costs. Effective fire protection was particularly important - with water reservoirs, water lifting machines and safe fireplaces to heat the large rooms.

Construction work

Playhouse around 1825

Schinkel fulfilled all requirements and created an aesthetically convincing and trend-setting building. His concept included, in his own words, “1. everything that belonged to the theater and the scenery, 2. everything that could be counted as part of the theater economy, 3. everything that the concert and festival venue should form ”. The three-way division of the tasks was reflected in the building. Schinkel extended the middle section of the house, which was previously laid out strictly in a north-south direction, to the east and west and housed the theater hall in it; He reinforced the overall impression, including the effect on the urban situation, with a superstructure with a second gable . The two wings of the building, erected exactly on the old foundations, contained the concert and ballroom on the left and the utility rooms on the right.

The Thrasyllos monument in Athens , built in 320 BC, served as a model for the design of the facade . Was built to commemorate the success of the musician Thrasyllos in the musical competition. Schinkel wrote about it: “Regarding the style of architecture which I gave the building, I only notice in general that I [...] tried to follow the Greek forms and methods of construction. All vaults in arched lines are avoided on the outside as well as in the main rooms of the interior [...] "and" The construction of the pilasters [...] seemed to me to correspond more to the character of a public building and to be more in harmony with the peristyle of the main facade, than ordinary windows, with the advantage that more light was obtained for the building, which is otherwise very difficult to illuminate inside because of its considerable depth ”. Based on these principles, what contemporaries referred to as "peculiar" network structure with large window areas was created, which has been viewed by functionally thinking architects as a forerunner of modern architecture since the early 20th century.

The pillars used for construction were made of sandstone ; the material would have been too expensive for the entire facade, as there were no suitable quarries near Berlin. The brick- built house was given the appearance of an ashlar building through plastering . This surface was so sensitive to weathering and thus expensive to maintain that the facade was subsequently faced with sandstone in 1883/1884.

Schinkel's architect and employee, Heinrich Bürde , was in charge of the construction work with Wilhelm Berger . Intendant Brühl accompanied the construction work throughout the entire period. In the summer of 1817 he invited Karl Friedrich Schinkel to his home castle Seifersdorf to discuss the renovation work there.

Sculpture jewelry

Reliefs and sculpture Apollo in grasping carriage of Wollin above the main entrance
Bronze sculpture by Tieck at the main entrance

Since 1819, Schinkel has been developing the image program for the rich sculptural jewelery of the theater in close collaboration with the sculptor Christian Friedrich Tieck , whom he had called back from Italy especially for this purpose. The basis was the function of the building and the imagination of classical antiquity . The four gable reliefs show the group of the Niobids above the portico , in the gable above symbols of theatrical art, on the north side a bacchanal , on the south side Orpheus and Eurydice . There were also a large number of individual statues and groups for inside and outside. Overall, Tieck worked with interruptions for over 30 years on the design of the theater, the sculptor Johann Balthasar Jacob Ratgeber implemented some of his stucco models in sandstone. Tieck's last work on this project was two bronze sculptures that stand on either side of the large flight of stairs in front of the main facade and symbolize the power of music: the lion and panther carry musical figures on their backs.

About the game operation

Gendarmenmarkt with theater and French cathedral , around 1910

On May 26, 1821, the stage was inaugurated in the presence of the king with the verse drama Iphigenie auf Tauris by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe . Carl von Brühl , the director at the time, cultivated the friendship that had developed between his parents Christina von Brühl and Hanns Moritz von Brühl and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe for many years. He also tried to ensure that Goethe's piece was performed at the inauguration. As a result, the house was mainly used as a spoken theater, but concerts and opera performances were also held again and again. Carl Maria von Weber conducted the world premiere of his opera Der Freischütz here on June 18, 1821 . Here too, Carl von Brühl set the tone. He made sure that Weber finished the opera and paved the way for the opera to be performed in Berlin. In 1826 there was the Berlin premiere of the 9th symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven , in 1829 the violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini made a guest appearance , in 1842 conducted Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy , in 1843 the composer and piano virtuoso Franz Liszt gave a guest performance. On January 7, 1844, Richard Wagner directed his opera Der Fliegende Holländer .

General Director of the Royal stages in Berlin was from 1815 to 1828, Count Carl von Brühl from Seifersdorf (Wachau) in Radeberg. In addition to the administrative work, he was keenly interested in questions of performance practice, especially in the historically correct setting of the pieces. With his own designs, he ensured that the costumes did not look "as they were created by chance and whim, but as they should really be - according to the best possible sources". He found that the decorations "should be architecturally and historically correctly composed and, as far as the landscapes are concerned, even with regard to plants and trees according to the different stretches of the sky" should be represented. At this point he could count on Schinkel, who, during Brühl's directorship, delivered over a hundred decorative designs for more than thirty pieces.

The royal family and nobility intervened repeatedly to influence the repertoire . The robbers of Friedrich Schiller - rejected by the King of recognizable criticism of the feudal system - were not to be listed 1819-1825. Heinrich von Kleist's Prince Friedrich von Homburg first appeared on the stage in Berlin in 1828, but was removed after the third performance at the king's objection, although it had already been cut as a precaution. arbitrary, albeit successful, action by an officer was not accepted even on the stage at the time. The repertoire for 1848 names 33 different plays, including The Robbers , Prince Friedrich von Homburg and Hamlet by William Shakespeare . However, trivial comedies, taunts and vaudevilles with titles such as Der Weg durch Fenster , Der Rechnrath and his daughters or a marriage project by authors such as Charlotte Birch-Pfeiffer , August von Kotzebue , Eugène Scribe and others were absolutely dominant .

The fixtures for the following decades were designed according to this pattern. Few highlights - such as the world premieres of the drama Penthesilea by Heinrich von Kleist in 1876 and the dream poem Hanneles Himmelfahrt by Gerhart Hauptmann in 1893 - were juxtaposed with many trivialities. In today's consideration of the theater it says: “The royal court theater fluctuates [...] between bourgeois business and feudal state theater.” It must be considered the “preferred place of representation for the aristocratic and upper class public” and is based “essentially on the audience's wishes decorative congested and talking technically survived splendid performances of classical works and brings further historical dramas or undemanding conversation pieces of French and German provenance to the stage. "Artistic authoritative Theater Berlin were the turn of the century Lessing Theater and especially the German theater among its conductors Otto Brahm and Max Reinhardt .

Usage and media

  • In the revolutionary year of 1848, when the Gendarmenmarkt was an important stage for political events, the Prussian National Assembly met for several weeks from September onwards in the great hall of the theater.
  • Theodor Fontane had been employed by the liberal, bourgeois Vossische Zeitung as a theater critic especially for the performances of the “Königliches Schauspielhaus” since August 17, 1870 , followed them from his corner seat No. 23 in the stalls and made no friends with his critical texts in the theater . “Bad is bad and it has to be said” was his journalistic motto.

Conversions and modernizations

Among other minor changes, Friedrich August Stüler converted Schinkel's concert hall into a small theater in 1865 . In the years 1888/1889, under Reinhold Persius, the stage technology was modernized, the wooden structures were replaced by concrete-coated steel girders and the house received electrical lighting. Sensational theater fires such as the Ringtheaterbrand in Vienna and finally the fire in the Iroquois Theater in Chicago prompted Felix Genzmer to renovate in 1904/1905 for fire safety reasons , which only left the concert hall, which was now used as a foyer, untouched. The client was King Wilhelm II , who completely absorbed his role as German Emperor. On this occasion he demanded from Genzmer to create something that would correspond to “the increased power of the empire”. The result was a redesign of the theater in the neo-baroque style , interspersed with elements of neo-rococo and art nouveau . The outside staircase had become a pure backdrop.

Personal judgments

In 1840, the writer and journalist Karl Gutzkow criticized the building:

“If the facade of a public building is not even used as an entrance and exit, when you see grass growing on a large flight of stairs, you can involuntarily get the feeling that the unused is an overload. But the connoisseurs may decide on the external architectural value of the playhouse! The interior […] has that depressed miniature and private character that a house that was formerly called the National Theater should not have. It might not have been necessary to build this theater larger than 1200 people; but why this strange character of isolation in the system of the whole? One rank is invisible to the other. The ground floor and the parquet boxes see nothing of the tiers. [...] You can have brother and sister in the theater and not see them. "

- Karl Gutzkow: Berlin - Panorama of a residential city

The influential theater critic Alfred Kerr wrote in his Berlin letters on January 20, 1895 about the "Royal Theater":

“The young girls are the loveliest here, the most numerous and the most stupid. You are brought into this theater rather than any other because it is the most virtuous. And they enthusiastically admire and adore, without letting it be too much, the compact articulated structure of the handsome Mr. Matkowsky . The rest is a milieu of military and rustic elements, mixed with civil servants and subscribed rich philistines . "

- Alfred Kerr: Berlin letters

Prussian State Theater

From 1918

After the end of the monarchy, a time of new artistic quality began for the theater, which - in two very different phases - lasted until 1944. The former Royal Theater on Gendarmenmarkt was renamed the Prussian State Theater in October 1919 and had its own directorship, which was only subordinate to the general directorship of the state theaters. In 1923 the Schillertheater in Berlin-Charlottenburg was added as a second venue; In 1932 it was re-privatized.

Intendancy Jessner

The first theater director was Leopold Jessner - SPD sympathizer, Jew and rigorous innovator of classic directing. With him, his theater became the center of heated public controversy. Jessner preferred a directorial approach with clear political time references. His goal was initially to settle accounts with the fallen empire and the still influential old elites. Formally, he also used elements of expressionist theater for his performances of classical pieces : radical emphasis on a certain content of ideas, expressive speech gestures and expressive movements. Jessner polarized his audience, the reactions were either scandal or enthusiasm. Its first premiere in December 1919 caused tumult in the theater. He had Friedrich Schiller's Wilhelm Tell performed as a modern drama of freedom, without any Alpine decorations on a largely bare, stepped stage, the soon-to-be-so-called "Jessner stairs". Young dramatists such as Ernst Barlach , Arnolt Bronnen , Hans Henny Jahnn and Carl Zuckmayer found the opportunity to perform their plays at the State Theater.

Under the social conditions of the unstable Weimar Republic , resistance soon arose against Jessner's theater, which questioned traditional authorities and bourgeois complacency. Economic crises and political radicalization poisoned the cultural climate. Bourgeois-conservative and völkisch- National Socialist circles took a stand against Jessner as a person - including anti-Semitism - and against his work, which was a symbol of the unpopular social democratic cultural policy in Prussia. Repeated inquiries in the Prussian state parliament operated with suspicion of mismanagement in the management of the theater. Jessner was insecure, made content-related and aesthetic concessions and thus lost some support even among his followers. On January 18, 1930, disappointed, he withdrew from the position of artistic director. The immediate cause was the devastating criticism of the performance of the play Harte Bandagen by Ferdinand Reyher. In the Theater am Gendarmenmarkt he did some directing work before he went into exile in 1933 . He died in Los Angeles in 1945 .

Tietjen, Ulbrich, Johst

Temporarily took over Heinz Tietjen , director general of the Prussian State Theater, in addition to direct management of the theater. As early as 1932 he was said to have had close working contacts with the National Socialists, the future rulers - which he denied in his later denazification proceedings . He retained his post even after the “ seizure of power ” on January 30, 1933 and announced the new personal details a few days later: Weimar Intendant Franz Ulbrich , who had previously been politically neutral , was appointed director of the Schauspielhaus, and the committed Nazi writer Hanns Johst was assigned to him as chief dramaturge . In the same year, both began to “cleanse” the ensemble of undesirable members in line with the new regime. Their repertoire was dominated by contemporary pieces that corresponded to the Nazi worldview. The artistic substance was unsatisfactory. One member of the ensemble, the actor Hans Otto , who had become famous in the title role of Egmont , did not survive the year of the "seizure of power" - he was murdered by the National Socialists as a member of the KPD .

Director of Gründgens

Gründgens as Hamlet , 1936

Gustaf Gründgens played Mephisto in Goethe's Faust in the 1932/1933 season in Berlin . The then President of the Reichstag, Hermann Göring , saw him, was deeply impressed and sponsored Gründgens until the end of the National Socialist era . In his later function as Prussian Prime Minister he appointed him on February 26, 1934 as artistic director of the Theater am Gendarmenmarkt, appointed him to the Prussian State Council and in 1937 to general director of all Prussian state theaters. Gründgens' artistic achievement was undisputed by friends and enemies, but former companions reproached him for being out of exile or after the end of the war, for having adapted to an extreme system of injustice for the sake of his own career. Gründgens stated that he wanted to protect art against politics. After all, it has been proven that he used his official contacts to help ensemble members who were threatened on “ racial ” grounds. When Gründgens reopened the house on November 7th, 1935 with a production of Egmont with Paul Hartmann in the title role and Wilhelm Furtwängler as conductor of Beethoven's music , this was seen by “anti-fascists and upright democrats” as a “parallel to the dark present” and a reinforcement of them Understand attitude.

The book Mephisto - Roman of a career by Klaus Mann , published in 1936, contains very clear allusions to the first two years of Gründgens' work as general manager at the Schauspielhaus Berlin. After Gründgens' death, his sole heir, Peter Gorski , banned the book in 1966, leading to a decision by the Federal Constitutional Court in 1971 , which still lays down decisive principles for the barriers to artistic freedom. Gründgens is accused of adapting politically to the National Socialist structures of rule, having exploited Göring's sympathies as an unprecedented opportunist for his rise and eliminating his previous colleagues. But Gründgens also brought Bettina Moissi to the Prussian State Theaters in 1943 .

The core of the renewal of the theater system under the Nazi regime should be " true to the work " performances of the classics. The Völkischer Beobachter of March 26, 1936, retrospectively described the situation of the Weimar “decay period” , in which not only the wrong plays, but also failed productions had destroyed the theater as a moral institution: “Only a small community of intellectual snobs enjoyed this experiment -Kabarett [...] Gone was the honestly fighting actor and theater director who felt connected to poetry [...] “This essentially also described Gründgens' official attitude. A " Düsseldorfer Manifest", which he initiated in 1952, was directed "against an arbitrary interpretation of the poetry through unjustified experiments that squeeze between the work and the listener".

The National Socialist theater policy used, beyond pure propaganda, a traditional "non-political" concept of art tailored to the needs of state representation and the cultural preferences of the bourgeois population. The " Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda " Joseph Goebbels , previously fascinated by agitational theater, stated as early as 1933 that ideologically correct, but artistically poor plays would damage the regime's prestige. On this point, Gründgens secured himself particularly well, after a conversation with Goebbels he noted: “No tendency pieces, but poems with tendencies. Here we both agreed that there is basically no art without tendency ”. Thus, under Gründgens, the schedules did not contain predominantly classics - this impression only came about in retrospect - but hardly any of the trend pieces mentioned. The repertoire was varied - with a large proportion of relatively light entertainment -, at the same time politically as indifferent as possible, and was presented with top-class actors in "true to the work" performances at an artistically high level.


Playhouse and French Cathedral in 1951

Well-known actors at the Prussian State Theater were:
Axel von Ambesser , Charlotte Basté , Paul Bildt , Claus Clausen , Käthe Dorsch , Berta Drews , Erich Dunskus , Karl Etlinger , Elisabeth Flickenschildt , Werner Finck , Albert Florath , Walter Franck , Käthe Gold , Otto Graf , Gustaf Gründgens , Käthe Haack , Günther Hadank , Paul Hartmann , Clemens Hasse , Elfriede Heisler , Paul Henckels , Marianne Hoppe , Malte Jaeger , Friedrich Kayssler , Eugen Klöpfer , Gustav Knuth , Maria Koppenhöfer , Hermine Körner , Viktor de Kowa , Werner Krauss , Hannsgeorg Laubenthal , Albert Lieven , Theo Lingen , Bernhard Minetti , Lola Müthel , Heinz Rühmann , Hans Stiebner , Walter Tarrach , Wolf Trutz , Aribert Wäscher , Franz Weber , Pamela Wedekind , Paul Wegener , Antje Weisgerber , Walter Werner .

Reconstruction and expansion

Under the directorship of Gründgens, the stage technology was thoroughly modernized by Hans Grube from May to November 1935 with the installation of a revolving stage. At the same time extended pit the backstage in full as building bridge to the house opposite Charlotte Street 55, where, far into pulling in the block joined, storage rooms for scenes and decorations. In the house itself, he largely restored Schinkel's interior design in the antechamber and in the auditorium, and the stairwell got its connection back to the outside staircase.

The end in World War II

On November 23, 1943, the south wing with the concert hall burned down due to a bomb hit. The theater had to be stopped from September 1944 as a result of the theater closure. The interior of the house, which had been almost intact until then, was burned during fighting in the last days of the Battle of Berlin .

Konzerthaus Berlin

The playhouse during the gutting

In 1976, the SED leadership decided to reconstruct the Gendarmenmarkt, which has been known as the "Platz der Akademie" since 1950, into a "spiritual and cultural center of art and science" , whereby the theater, as there was sufficient theater, became the previously missing Konzerthaus Ost- Berlins should be. Erhardt Gißke , Manfred Prasser and Klaus Just were in charge of the project .

The gutted building received a steel frame that stiffened the old walls and the dimensions of which resulted from the grid of Schinkel's outer facade. The ceilings were poured in concrete, the walls and pillar cladding bricked up. The plastic decor was made of plaster or stucco . Around 90 construction and specialist companies worked on the interior for almost three years, regardless of the costs. As a result, the completely new creation of the interior gives a good idea of ​​the character of the original.

Grube's building bridge to the opposite block on Charlottenstrasse was removed after the war. During the redesign of the Gendarmenmarkt, the parts of the storage and functional area of ​​the theater that had been preserved there could be included in its reconstruction. Since then, in the row of houses at Charlottenstrasse 55-59 and the adjacent properties in the block, there are operating and administrative rooms of the theater as well as rehearsal rooms and studio rooms of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra (or later concert hall orchestra ), including storage rooms, e.g. B. for the seating that is connected to the theater underground by tunnels and special elevators. The Hanns Eisler University of Music in Berlin was relocated to the northern part of the block, so that Grube's backdrop magazine could be expanded into its large hall.

The theater was inaugurated on October 1, 1984. In 1992 it was renamed “Konzerthaus Berlin” in line with its new use. Other names that have been used for the building since the 19th century until today are the Schauspielhaus , Schauspielhaus Berlin or Schauspielhaus am Gendarmenmarkt . As a theater , it is officially listed in the Berlin list of monuments.

Interior work in the concert hall

The great hall stage at a concert

As in Schinkel's time, the main entrance for everyday concerts is on the ground floor under the stairs. The passage originally served as a right of way. From the entrance hall, the path leads over the cloakrooms to the side of the stairwells, which separate the three parts of the house. The middle wing is filled by the Great Hall above the entrance hall, the music club, the Ludwig van Beethoven Hall (foyer) and the Small Hall are located one above the other in the south wing, and the Carl-Maria-von-Weber visitor service with café in the north wing -Saal (foyer) and the Werner-Otto-Saal.

The rectangular Great Hall offers space for around 1500 spectators in the stalls and the two tiers. It is an enlarged adaptation of the Schinkel concert hall, from which numerous details of the decor such as the design of the wall panels, the balconies, the ceiling and the Ionic columns on the narrow sides have been copied. 16 of the 28 life-size sculptures of ancient mythical figures were modeled according to historical models. The concert organ above the orchestra podium comes from the traditional Dresden organ building company Jehmlich , it has 74 registers and 5801 sounding pipes.

Acoustically, the great hall of the concert hall is one of the best symphonic concert halls in the world. The reverberation time of 2.0 seconds for medium frequencies with an audience and 2.2 seconds for low frequencies is only slightly higher than the values ​​that room acoustics consider to be the optimum for a concert hall used for symphonic purposes.

The two foyers are located on both sides of the Great Hall, on the same level as the parquet: The Carl-Maria-von-Weber-Hall in the north wing is defined by Corinthian columns and olive-green wall surfaces, the bright Ludwig-van-Beethoven-Hall in the The south wing is characterized by two rows of Ionic columns.

Above the foyer, at the level of the second balcony of the concert hall, there are two more concert halls: the “neo-Schinkelsche” small hall and, at the location of the former rehearsal hall, the Werner Otto hall, named after the mail-order company founder and patron, one all in black Contained, windowless, if necessary, flexible “black box” that can be designed using lifting platforms, which is used in particular for contemporary concert and music theater performances.

The smallest performance venue is the 80-seat music club on the ground floor of the south wing, which is mainly used for scenic productions, readings and children's performances. In 2004, the new visitor service with the café was opened on the ground floor of the north wing, a simple room decorated entirely in black and wine red.

At the back of the house, distributed over all floors, are the musicians' rooms, the soloists' and conductors' changing rooms, a few offices and the canteen reserved for the artists and employees of the concert hall. During the reconstruction, the administration offices were relocated to the management building at Charlottenstrasse 55-56, opposite the stage entrance of the concert hall.

Konzerthausorchester Berlin

Founded in 1952 as the Berlin Symphony Orchestra (BSO), today's Konzerthausorchester Berlin experienced its decisive profile and international recognition from 1960 to 1977 under chief conductor Kurt Sanderling . The permanent venue from 1984 was the Schauspielhaus am Gendarmenmarkt, which was renamed the Konzerthaus Berlin in 1994. The orchestra has been called the Konzerthausorchester Berlin since 2006. The chief conductor for the past six seasons has been Iván Fischer . Since the 2017/18 season he has been associated with the orchestra as an honorary conductor, Juraj Valčuha took over the position of chief guest conductor. With the start of the 2019/20 season, Christoph Eschenbach will be the new chief conductor of the Konzerthausorchester.

In 2019 the Konzerthausorchester has over 12,000 subscribers, which is one of the largest regular listeners of a classical orchestra in Germany. In addition, it can be heard regularly on national and international tours and festivals. At what is now the Kurt Sanderling Academy, founded in 2010, highly talented young orchestras are trained.

The organ in the great hall

The organ in the Great Hall of the Konzerthaus Berlin was built in 1983/1984 by the Jehmlich Orgelbau Dresden company and has 74 sounding registers with a total of 5811 pipes on four manuals and pedal . In 1994 the organ was expanded with a few additional stops (glockenspiel, two cymbal stars , bird screams and cuckoo) and received a new setting system with a total of 256 setting combinations. Since then, in addition to the mechanically played main game table, an electric podium game table has been available that can be installed as required.

The organ was primarily intended to serve as a partner for choirs and orchestras in classical, romantic and contemporary music, but was also intended for solo use from the outset. The building company from Dresden stands in the tradition of Saxon organ building based on Gottfried Silbermann , which finds its expression in the Berlin concert hall organ with its soft sound. A broad repertoire can be represented on the instrument, with the emphasis placed on the music of the 19th to 21st centuries. The prospectus, kept in classicist forms, fits organically into the overall space.

I positive C – c 4

Wooden dacked 08th'
Quintatön 08th'
Prefix 04 ′
Reed flute 04 ′
octave 02 ′
recorder 02 ′
octave 01'
Terzian II
Zimbel III
Vox humana 08th'
II main work C – c 4
Principal 16 ′
octave 08th'
Coupling flute 08th'
Viola di gamba 08th'
octave 04 ′
Pointed flute 04 ′
Fifth 02 23
octave 02 ′
Forest flute 02 ′
Mixture IV-V
Sharp IV
Cornett V (from g 0 ) 08th'
Trumpet 16 ′
Trumpet 08th'
Chip. shelf 08th'
III Upper structure C – c 4
Quintad 16 ′
Principal 08th'
Far-drawn 08th'
octave 04 ′
recorder 04 ′
Nasat 02 23
octave 02 ′
third 01 35
Fifth 01 13
Sif flute 01'
Tonus fabri II
Sharp cymbal v
Wooden dulcian 16 ′
Cromorne 08th'
Rohrschalmei 04 ′
IV Swell C – c 4
Lovely Gedackt 16 ′
Delicate violin 16 ′
Flute principal 08th'
Flute 08th'
Salicional 08th'
Beat 08th'
octave 04 ′
Dulz flute 04 ′
Swiss pipe 02 ′
Rep. Septime 047
Sesquialtera II 0
Plein jeu V – VI
Third cymbal III
Cor anglais 16 ′
Trompette harmonique 08th'
Hautbois 08th'
Clairon 04 ′
Pedal C – f 1
Principal 16 ′
Sub bass 16 ′
Subtle bass 16 ′
Fifth 10 23
Octave bass 08th'
Wooden flute 08th'
Choral bass 04 ′
Coupling flute 04 ′
Night horn 02 ′
Back set IV
Pedal mixture IV
Contrabassoon 32 ′
trombone 16 ′
Dulcian 16 ′
Trumpet 08th'
Field trumpet 04 ′
Singing Cornett 02 ′


  • Berger Bergmann, Gerhard Müller (ed.): Apollos Tempel in Berlin - from the national theater to the concert hall on the Gendarmenmarkt . Prestel, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-7913-3874-3 .
  • Erhardt Gißke (ed.): The theater in Berlin . VEB Verlag für Bauwesen, Berlin 1984.
  • Konzerthaus Berlin - Schauspielhaus am Gendarmenmarkt. The book about yesterday and today. Museum and gallery publishing house, Berlin 1994.
  • Goethe traces . A reading book about the concert project, Konzerthaus Berlin 1998/1999. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 1998.
  • The Berlin Symphony Orchestra . Konzerthaus Berlin and Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung, Berlin 2000.
  • K. Kasch: The stage building renovation in the Royal Theater in Berlin . In: Zeitschrift für Bauwesen , vol. 42 (1892), col. 483–512, plates 64–67. Digitized in the holdings of the Central and State Library Berlin .
  • Felix Genzmer : The conversion of the formerly royal theater in Berlin from 1904 to 1905 . In: Zeitschrift für Bauwesen , vol. 76 (1926), Hochbauteil, pp. 93-104, plate 1. Digitized in the holdings of the Central and State Library Berlin .

Web links

Commons : Konzerthaus Berlin  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. A large part of the history of this house is covered by the Iffland estate, which entered the international autograph trade through Hugo Fetting at the beginning of 2014.
  2. Press review of the planned auction of the Iffland estate ( memento of April 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  3. a b  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 3.5 MB)@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  4. Uwe Kieling: Berlin building officials and state architects in the 19th century , Berlin 1986, pp. 15 and 10
  5. ( Memento from April 10, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  6. Performances at Berlin theaters in 1848
  7. ^ Nicola Denis: Tartuffe in Germany . Dissertation. LIT Verlag 2002, ISBN 3-8258-6022-1 .
  8. Part and opposite .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. In: , March 7, 2003@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  9. ^ Quote from Erhardt Gißke (ed.): Das Schauspielhaus in Berlin . VEB Verlag für Bauwesen, Berlin 1984, p. 114.
  10. Essay Dom, Schauspielhaus - "Sechserbrücke" . Morgenbuch, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-371-00380-9
  11. a b About Jessner's theater work.
  12. Dissertation FU Berlin (PDF; 75 kB)
  13. a b c d About Gründgens as artistic director.
  14. Quotations from Erhardt Gißke (ed.): Das Schauspielhaus in Berlin . VEB Verlag für Bauwesen, Berlin 1984, p. 124.
  15. a b Dissertation FU Berlin (PDF; 969 kB)
  16. Erhardt Gißke (ed.): The theater in Berlin . VEB Verlag für Bauwesen, Berlin 1984, p. 114, illus. P. 118 f.
  17. ^ Alfred Mühr: Around the Gendarmenmarkt - From Iffland to Gründgens - 200 years of musical Berlin . Oldenburg 1965.
  18. See: The history of the house from 1945 ; Information and interviews with Prasser and Just at Google Arts & Culture , requested on August 17, 2019.
  19. ^ Adalbert Behr, Alfred Hoffmann: The theater in Berlin . Ed .: Prof. Dr. -Ing. Erhardt Gißke. Berlin 1985.
  20. Erhardt Gißke (ed.): The theater in Berlin . VEB Verlag für Bauwesen, Berlin 1984, p. 136 f., Ill. P. 139.
  21. Gerhard Müller, Dieter Götze, Ariane Handrock: Apollo's Temple in Berlin - From the National Theater to the Concert Hall on Gendarmenmarkt . Ed .: Berger Bergmann, Gerhard Müller. Prestel Verlag, 2008.
  22. Entry in the Berlin State Monument List
  23. Hans-Peter Tennhard: Guide values ​​for reverberation times in large auditoriums. (PDF) Retrieved January 29, 2019 .
  24. ^ Gerhard Müller: The Berlin Symphony Orchestra . Nicolai, Berlin 2002.
  25. To the Jehmlich organ

Coordinates: 52 ° 30 ′ 49 ″  N , 13 ° 23 ′ 32 ″  E