The Berliner Philharmoniker has launched it own Digital Concert Hall.

The video platform will be accessible to the public at www.berliner-philharmoniker.de. In the first live broadcast on Jan. 6, the Berliner Philharmoniker under Sir Simon Rattle will present a special concert featuring Johannes Brahms' First Symphony and other works.

Audiences in the Digital Concert Hall will be able to hear approximately 30 concerts live every season. After the concert, the live recording can be retrieved from a video archive. Documentaries about the orchestra's work will also be available

Visitors to the Digital Concert Hall may choose from various ticket options. For €9.90 ($13.80) they can either purchase a ticket for a single live broadcast or retrieve a concert from the archive and watch it as often as they wish within a
48-hour period.

There is also a season ticket for €149.00 ($207.53), which makes all live concerts and archive recordings accessible without limits. For the 2008/2009 season, which is already in progress, this ticket is available at a special price of €89.00 ($123.96).

Remote-controlled cameras deliver high-definition recording quality, while state-of-the-art encoding technology transfers images and sound to the Internet.

Olaf Maninger, principal cellist and a member of the orchestra's media board, is one of the originators of the Digital Concert Hall idea. "Our primary concern is to achieve presentation and broadcasting quality that meets our artistic demands,” he said in a statement. "We have installed excellent recording and studio technology in the Philharmonie in order to record our concerts as authentically and vividly as possible."

The sponsor of the Digital Concert Hall is the Deutsche Bank, which has been the orchestra's exclusive partner since 2002.

Sir Simon Rattle, chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker, added: "When the idea of the Digital Concert Hall occurred to us, I was immediately certain that this is the way of the future. I believe it is a marvellous thing for both the orchestra and the public. And it is a wonderful feeling to be able to welcome far more people to the Philharmonie than before."

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