The Berliner Philharmoniker’s FIRST FULL SEASON OF live webcasts through its Digital Concert Hall BEGINS Friday, August 28

Thirty-three Berliner Philharmoniker concerts to be webcast live from the Berlin Philharmonie

Full season subscriptions, a 30-day pass and individual tickets available for live and archived concerts

The Berliner Philharmoniker’s first full Digital Concert Hall season opens on Friday, August 28 with Sir Simon Rattle leading the orchestra in Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Laterna Majica and Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. Over the season, 33 concerts will be webcast live from the Berlin Philharmonie and later become available on the site’s video archive. Live as well as archived content can be accessed at www.berliner-philharmoniker.de/dch

The Berliner Philharmoniker’s Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Sir Simon Rattle will lead 12 of the concerts. Guest conductors for the 2009-10 season include Gustavo Dudamel, Asher Fisch, Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado, Donald Runnicles, Bernard Haitink, Christoph von Dohnányi, David Robertson and Seiji Ozawa. Guest artists include Mitsuko Uchida, Thomas Quasthoff, Daniel Barenboim, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Alisa Weilerstein, Janine Jansen, Hélène Grimaud and András Schiff.

Launched in January 2009, the Digital Concert Hall employs state-of-the-art technology that sets new standards in online dissemination of audio-visual content. Five HDTV cameras record the concerts, operated by remote control from a studio in the Philharmonie. Flash H.264 encoding ensures an excellent high-definition image, and audio is provided in AAC format with a data transfer rate of up to 320 kbit/s, achieving quality similar to a CD.

Access to the Digital Concert Hall is available by a subscription to the complete season (149, approx US$209), a 30-day subscription (39, approx $55) or individual concert tickets (9.90, approx $14). Individual works are also available starting from 3 (approx $4.30). Students receive a 30% discount. All subscribers receive access to archived concerts from the Digital Concert Hall’s first season in addition to the 2009-10 season. Although the live webcasts began in January 2009, after the start of the 2008-09 season, all 31 concerts were recorded and can be accessed in the archive. All tickets are available online at www.berliner-philharmoniker.de/dch with payment able to be made by credit card or through PayPal.

The Digital Concert Hall is a project of Berlin Phil Media GmbH, which was established in May 2008 as a subsidiary of the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker. The managing directors are Olaf Maninger, principal cellist and a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker's media board, and management consultant and film producer Robert Zimmermann.

The exclusive partner of the Digital Concert Hall is the Deutsche Bank, whose generous support makes the project possible. Its support of the Berliner Philharmoniker goes back 20 years and has also enabled the orchestra to set up an innovative education project.

Since it was launched the Digital Concert Hall has been accessed by more than 200,000 visitors, 2,000 of which are Season Pass holders. Almost two-thirds of the visitors come from outside Germany .

The Digital Concert Hall has received two German Lead Awards and in May the website won a Gold Cube at the American Art Directors Club’s annual awards.

Full 2009-10 Digital Concert Hall season information, tickets and an online tour are available at: www.berliner-philharmoniker.de/dch

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