One of the best things about Berlin, especially in the summer, is that all sorts of open spaces get used for a wide range of performance including music. And what is even better is that quite a lot of it is free!
This is quite appealing to us, as new parents, as it means that we can get to see something as a family without having to worry about tickets or disturbing other people once we’re there. So when some friends of ours suggested that we go along to the Sonntagskonzerte at the Bode Museum we agreed straight away.This particular series has been running for the last 5 years from the end of June through to early August. The first concert featured music by Dvorak and Beethoven and this evening we were being treated to Prokofiev and Bruckner.
The weather report on the morning of the concert warned us that there could be ‘showers’ and, possibly, thunderstorms towards the evening. We decided that it was worth the risk so we all set off with the prams covered and umbrellas for the grown-ups. We had to dodge one shower as we walked down but it didn’t last too long so we continued on. As we approached the rear of the museum the rain had started to fall again, the sky had darkened ominously and thunder rumbled not so far away. As it was still around 30 minutes before the concert was due to start we made a dash to a nearby archway to wait out the storm. After a few minutes the rain could be described as torrential, lightning lit up the sky overhead and we started to consider collecting two of every animal. Then just 10 minutes before the concert was due to start the rain stopped and we tentatively returned to the seated area to find that, in the best Berlin tradition, no-one in the first two rows had given up their seat and the remaining places were quickly filling up.
In the end the concert started pretty much on time and we all had a great time, the children behaved themselves and the distant flashes of lightning even added to the occasion. It is well worth keeping an eye out for other free concerts particularly at the churches, cathedrals and music schools. One very good option is the lunchtime concert at the Berlin Philharmonic which takes place in the foyer there every Tuesday at 1.00p.m from 6th September.
Fantastic tips by guest writer Mark Beadle
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