Maestros in Democracy

The Berlin Philharmonic elects their conductor

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Program notes

The 128 musicians of the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra have cast their votes: their new Principal Conductor will be Sir Simon Rattle.

He succeeds Claudio Abbado to become the sixth Principal Director in the 2002/2003 season.

The Berliner Philharmoniker is the only symphony orchestra world-wide choosing its principal conductor in its own responsibility. The camera has been following the orchestra since 1999 at auditions, concerts and guest performances and shows the various steps, from the groundwork preceding the election until the final counting of votes.

The most extensive documentation ever produced about this leading orchestra also presents the orchestra as a microcosm of the German society at the end of the 20th century. Excerpts from auditions and interviews with the Major conductors our time, statements by members of the orchestra, important agents and soloists working with him, reveal the significance of this new election and convey an atmosphere of expectation and excitement.

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