Home to legendary rock clubs, techno temples, the Berlin State Opera and world-famous concert halls such as Berliner Philharmonie, Berlin offers a spectrum of musical entertainment, while smaller, more unconventional music venues reveal the capital’s carefree spirit. Here is a selection of our favourite secret music venues across the city.
A Mozart ensemble, Arabian oud soloist and Japanese jazz trio are just some of the highlights of Pierre Boulez Hall’s programme. The global stars reflect the international spirit of Argentinian pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, the name behind the venue’s Barenboim-Said Academy. Just a few steps from Hotel de Rome, this concert hall is an architectural gem, its chamber music hall designed by the Canadian-born, American architect Frank Gehry, a friend of Barenboim’s. The audience sits close to the musicians, caressed by the energy of the music and surrounded by caramel-coloured wooden walls – almost as if in the centre of a gigantic instrument.
Some of Berlin’s finest jazz is played in B-flat’s basement close to the Berlin TV Tower. Founded in 1995, the club’s diverse programme has since made a significant contribution to the now lively jazz scene in the capital. At the concerts, you're seated at eye level with the jazz musicians, from international stars to local names. B-flat’s legendary jam sessions meanwhile delight guests every Wednesday, with a roster of guest musicians under the direction of the Canadian bassist Robin Draganic, a local on Berlin’s jamming scene for more than two decades.
Berlin is blessed with beautiful churches including the castle-like Passionskirche (Passion Church), with its striking octagonal tower which has towered over Kreuzberg’s Marheinekeplatz since 1908. Its Neo-Romanesque interior holds concerts ranging from pop and country to classical music and klezmer – Jewish folk music. Renowned international artists play for a diverse audience on a stage in the altar room, which features ornate original furnishings, stained glass windows, mosaics and an Art Nouveau chandelier.
Since its renovation in 2013, the Silent Green Cultural Quarter has brought new life into a 1900s crematorium in the northern district of Wedding. Around a dozen creative institutions – from music labels to a film archive company – have occupied this listed venue ever since. At its heart is a 17-metre high dome atop a former mourning hall, which is now an octagonal amphitheatre with extraordinary acoustics. After listening to jazz, experimental and classical music concerts, round off your visit with a glass of wine in the in-house café bar.
Piano Salon Christophori
Like the Silent Green Cultural Quarter, Piano Salon Christophori nearby is another unusual concert hall, named after the Italian inventor of the piano, Bartolomeo Cristofori. Hidden in a former bus and tram repair shop with a rust-brown brick facade and corrugated iron roof, it has an industrial appeal softened by retro sofas, candelabras and piano parts with a flea market charm. Here, top-class artists play classical music on restored antique grand pianos in intimate concerts.
Hotel de Rome’s Concierge Steff Bäslack will happily arrange tickets to Berlin’s best live music venues. Contact us by emailing email@example.com or calling +49 30 460 6090.
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