Big Shake-Up in Berlin's Classical Music Scene

A big shake-up has begun in Berlin.

It's not about coalition talks in the wake of the federal election last Sunday; it's about music, as the season begins long before a new parliament convenes. And unlike the politicians who are tuckered out after weeks of campaigning, Berlin's cultural life is once again highly dynamic and unusually open to change.

It's true that Berlin has long tried to set musical trends. Its six symphony orchestras, three opera houses and a lively independent music scene make for a bottomless reservoir of fabulous singers and musicians. Added to that are the marvelous acoustics of the Berlin Philharmonic and its new little sister, the Pierre Boulez Saal in the Barenboim-Said Academy. What city has more to offer? New York, London and Paris certainly don't.