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The orchestra performs Brahms' "Piano Quartet No. 1," orchestrated by Schoenberg.
From the Acropolis: A Salute to The Games with the Berlin Philharmonic banner
Concertgoers at the Herodes Atticus amphitheater
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FROM THE ACROPOLIS: A SALUTE TO THE GAMES WITH THE BERLIN PHILHARMONIC premiered on August 4, 2004 on PBS (check local listings).

GREAT PERFORMANCES continues its tradition of showcasing the world's preeminent orchestras with the Berlin Philharmonic opening concert for Greece's Hellenic Festival, the five-month cultural celebration featuring music, theater, and dance in honor of the 2004 summer Olympic Games in Athens. From the spectacular Herodes Atticus amphitheater, against a backdrop of ancient Athens, conductor Sir Simon Rattle leads the Berlin in a concert featuring Johannes Brahms' towering "Piano Concerto No. 1," with renowned conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim as soloist. The program examines modern-day Athens and its connection to the origin of the games, as well as its role as the birthplace of democracy.

The Berlin is back on GREAT PERFORMANCES. Classical music fans get the rare pleasure of seeing the much-admired orchestra in performance for the second time this season, under the baton of its recently elected chief conductor, Sir Simon Rattle, who makes his series debut. Get a better understanding of the program's two featured composers, Brahms and Schoenberg, in the essay by writer Marc Geelhoed. In Dialogue, read an interview with the multitalented Daniel Barenboim, who discusses the Brahms piano concerto, the unique venue, and the commonalities between music-making and athletic competition. Lastly, find a complete record of the evening's musical selections in the song list.

Special funding for this program was provided by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, in memory of Stephen M. Kellen.

Visit the Web features for the Berlin Philharmonic's previous Europakonzerts, from Lisbon (2003), Palermo (2002), and Istanbul (2001).

Top banner photos: Sir Simon Rattle, the Parthenon atop the Acropolis, and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Trombonists of the Berlin Philharmonic

The Berlin Philharmonic's next Europakonzert, in 2005, is set for Budapest, Hungary.

Sir Simon Rattle leads the Berlin

Sir Simon Rattle, the Berlin's chief conductor, began his tenure with the orchestra in 2002.

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The DVD of the concert is available from
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