Classic Open Air concerts

The historic Gendarmenmarkt in central Berlin is one of the city’s most beautiful locations and it becomes even more spectacular each July when it hosts the Classic Open Air series of concerts. For more than 25 years the concerts have been a joyfully anticipated event in the summer classical music calendar and 2018 is no different.

Gendarmenmarkt © Natale Esposito

Opening on Thursday 5th July, the series will run over 5 days with some of the world’s most talented orchestras, bands, singers and instrumentalists. The opening concert will feature the Deutsche Filmorchester Babelsberg, in celebration of the orchestra’s centenary, with a spectacular fireworks display at the end of the performance.

Fireworks Silvester © Lori Sousa

Last year the series launched Wagner Night, which was so well received, it returns to the programme once again in 2018. Works will be performed by The Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau and the Ernst Senff Chor on Friday 6th July at 7.30pm. Of course no classical music series is complete without a sprinkling of Italian opera and a gala titles Nessun Dorma will captivate audiences on Saturday night from 7.30pm. Works from Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini or Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Puccini and Verdi will be performed by the Philharmonisches Orchester Vorpommern, the Opera choir of Theaters Vorpommern and the Choir of Junges Ensembles Berlin.

Orchestra © Larisa Birta

The mood shifts slightly on Sunday as classical meets boogie boogie meets soul meets funk. Vier Pianisten – Ein Konzert features the talents of Joja Wendt, Sebastian Knauer, Axel Zwingenberger & Martin Tingvall bringing boogie boogie, jazz and pop music to the classics stage from 7.30pm. If that doesn’t get you dancing then surely some classic soul and funk will! The Classic Open Air series will close on Monday 9th July with a performance from the one and only Earth, Wind & Fire with special guest Sister Sledge performing all the classics of the soul era.

The full details of the programme can be viewed here and tickets can be purchased at all known ticket agencies, or online at


Melinda Barlow is an Australian freelance writer and editor, based in Berlin since 2012. Melinda works with print and online media and has a natural curiosity that informs her work. She is passionate about travel and great content. She loves to write most about the world, its people and why we all do what we do.