c r e s c e n d o – the music festival of the UdK Berlin (Berlin University of the Arts)
17 concerts with programmes based on the theme of “Beethörende Natur – Enchanting Nature” in a live video stream show the diversity of artistic training at Berlin's prestigious conservatory of music.
From 21 May to 5 June, the UdK Berlin will once again present the entire diversity of artistic training at Berlin’s most prestigious conservatoire with its festival crescendo under the direction of Prof. Markus Groh (piano) and Prof. Konstantin Heidrich (cello). Leading international musicians and outstanding music students will perform 17 exciting concerts on the theme of “Beethörende Natur – Enchanting Nature”. The programme, originally planned for 2020, explores the interaction between nature and art, examines the position of human beings in this context and, with the Pastoral Symphony, forges a link with the music of Ludwig van Beethoven. The events, some of which are interdisciplinary, combine excellence, tradition and innovation in a way unique to themselves. Due to the pandemic, all concerts will take place in the concert hall of the UdK Berlin without an audience on site, but can be experienced live via video stream for the first time.
Off into nature with Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Pastorale” will be performed twice in the festival: in the opening concert (21 May) with Reinhard Goebel conducting the UdK Berlin orchestra, and in a very unusual interpretation of the five movements in five different instrumentations, ranging from piano solo to wind ensemble (3 June). On a total of four evenings, teachers, students and guests of the UdK Berlin will perform all of Beethoven’s duo sonatas (23 to 26 May) and the ensemble ilinx will explore new approaches to Beethoven with several premieres (27 May). Professors and students of the UdK Berlin will find a completely different route into nature via synaesthetics, birds, insects and quarks in a piano recital with works by Scriabin, Messiaen and Graham Lack (31 May). And based on George Crumb’s Vox balaenae, inspired by the songs of humpback whales, there are very special encounters with various real and mythical figures in a foray through nature with a line-up of outstanding chamber musicians (1 June).
Welcome, masterclass, goodbye and in memoriam
Further highlights include the concert “Welcome, Prof. Gábor Tarkövi”, in which the former principal trumpet of the Berliner Philharmoniker introduces himself together with his class, as well as a masterclass lasting several hours with star violinist Lisa Batiashvili, in which she provides insights into her musical world while teaching students of the violin classes at the UdK Berlin (22 May). With its master’s graduation concert (2 June), the vision string quartet, rising stars of the emerging classical music scene, bid farewell to the chamber music class of the Artemis Quartet. In a memorial concert, master students, students and colleagues will remember the cellist and long-serving professor of Berlin University of the Arts, Prof. Wolfgang Boettcher, who died in February – together with the 12 Cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Wen-Sinn Yang and David Geringas, plus the cello professors of the UdK Berlin.
Other concerts will feature former students of the Julius Stern Institute, which was founded 151 years ago (29 May), and the Big Band of the Jazz-Instituts-Berlin (30 May). The final concert of the crescendo festival will be performed by the string orchestra of the UdK Berlin under the direction of Prof. Hartmut Rohde with the prize-winners of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition Akiko Suwanai, violin (1st prize), and Senja Rummukainen, cello (5 June).
All concerts can be followed live online and free of charge via video stream. The complete programme as well as the links to the individual concerts can be found at:
This year, too, the festival is dependent on donations. As unfortunately no concerts can take place with an audience, the Freundeskreis der UdK Berlin | Karl Hofer Gesellschaft e. V. is collecting donations via the Betterplace platform or at www.udk-berlin.de/crescendo/spenden. Information about the Freundeskries: www.karl-hofer-gesellschaft.de.
21 May to 5 June 2021
crescendo – the music festival of the UdK Berlin: “Beethörende Natur – Enchanting Nature”
All concerts in free video livestream at
Stefan Stahnke – Words about Music
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Berlin University of the Arts is one of the few artistic universities in Europe that unites all artistic disciplines and the sciences related to them. In the four faculties of Fine Arts, Design, Music and Performing Arts, the inter-university centres Dance (HZT) and Jazz (JIB Berlin) and the Central Institute for Continuing Education/ Berlin Career College, teaching and research is carried out in over 70 artistic, artistic-scientific and arts education degree programmes. Close networking with the city's other universities provides interfaces to natural science and humanities disciplines.
The history of the UdK Berlin dates back to the founding of the Brandenburg-Prussian Academy of the Arts in 1696. It acquired its present form in 1975 through the merger of the “Hochschule für Bildende Künste” and the “Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst” to form the "Hochschule der Künste" (HdK). Since 2001, Berlin University of the Arts has borne its current name. Of its approximately 4,000 students, about one third have an international background. With more than 700 events a year, the UdK Berlin contributes significantly to the cultural life of the city. Prof. Dr. Norbert Palz has been President of the UdK Berlin since April 2020.