Berlin Philharmonic deemed a huge success for Paphos

The Berlin Philharmonic concert in Paphos on Monday was a huge success, all involved, organisers, audience and musicians said. The 1,500 people who attended the sold-out concert at the square of the Paphos medieval castle gave standing ovations, seemingly not very bothered by the hot midday sun at the unsheltered venue.

“Everything went smoothly,” officer at Paphos2017 Anastasia Anastasiou said, adding that the musicians had many good things to say about Paphos. “This is a world-wide cultural event that shows how well the Pafos2017 programme is organised,” Minister of Education and Culture Costas Kadis added.

The concert involved 94 musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic who performed works by Carl Maria von Weber and Antonín Dvoƙák under the direction of Mariss Jansons as part of the programme, crowning it with an encore, Johannes Brahms’ Hungarian Dance. Not only the audience at the venue had the opportunity to see what has been hailed as the highlight of the year-long European capital of culture Pafos2017 programme.

The event was seen by more than 50 million people around the world as it was broadcast live not only on German state TV but in many other countries. In cooperation with the Cyprus Broadcasting Cooperation a German TV crew filmed the concert and captured the audience’s enthusiasm, the musicians’ mood and of course, a fantastic performance by one of the greatest orchestras in Europe. Even the break was used to showcase Cyprus and especially Paphos at its best to the world. A German crew travelled to Cyprus prior to the event to film the countryside and the town.

They recorded events surrounding Paphos’ current role as Europe’s cultural capital and interviewed a traditional local bread baker and a tavern owner, and the results of their work were shown to millions on TV in the 30-minute interval. The documentary was honest enough to show some effects of the economic crisis as well, showing a building badly in need of repair and a part of the town where road works have not yet been completed despite the cultural year being in full swing.

The Berlin Philharmonic has organised a concert on May 1 every year since 1991 to mark the date it was established in 1882. The concerts take place in different cities often in unusual and historically significant venues which is why the Paphos castle square was chosen this year instead of a concert hall. The orchestra is one of Europe’s greatest, with hundreds of concerts, performances and recordings all over the world. Legendary conductor Herbert von Karajan was for many years its artistic director.