Berlin Philharmonic

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Berlin Philharmonic,

orchestra, Berlin, Germany, founded 1882 by musicans who had left an ensemble led by Benjamin Bilse. The orchestra performs in the modernist Philharmonie concert hall (1963). Among its early conductors was Hans von BülowBülow, Hans Guido, Freiherr von
, 1830–94, German pianist and conductor. After hearing Wagner's Lohengrin in 1850 at Weimar under Liszt's direction, he studied piano with Liszt and later conducted the premieres of several of Wagner's operas.
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 (1887–92), who helped establish the orchestra's international reputation. Under Herbert von KarajanKarajan, Herbert von
, 1908–89, Austrian conductor. Karajan began his conducting career in 1927. After World War II his reputation spread through Europe to the United States.
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 (1956–89), the Philharmonic made voluminous recordings and toured widely; Claudio AbbadoAbbado, Claudio,
1933–2014, Italian conductor, b. Milan. He debuted (1960) in his native city, conducting the orchestra at La Scala, where he subsequently served (1968–86) as musical director.
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 (1989–2002) expanded the orchestra's repertoire to include more modern works. Sir Simon RattleRattle, Sir Simon,
1955–, British conductor, b. Liverpool, studied Royal Academy of Music, London. Originally a percussionist, he became part of the Merseyside Youth Orchestra at 11 and of the Royal Liverpool Orchestra at 15.
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 led the orchestra from 2002 to 2018; Kirill Petrenko succeeded him in 2019.
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