Firefighters on Tuesday battled a blaze below the roof of the Berlin Philharmonic's home that sent a plume of acrid gray smoke pouring from the crest of the famed 1960s building and had musicians rushing to save their instruments.
The Berliner are looking for alternative venues for the planned concerts Friday, Saturday and Sunday under Claudio Abbado.
“A few minutes later, someone burst in and said we have to get out now,” she said, speaking on her cellphone as she watched smoke billowing from the building. “Double basses were on stage and many valuable violins and cellos were in lockers. The stagehands were allowed to take them out.”
“The orchestra hands were absolute heroes,” she said. “People were panicking about their instruments, as you can imagine. Once everybody was out and safe, they were worried about their instruments.”
They were moved to a chamber music hall next to the main building. As she watched the firefighters drill through the roof to get at the fire, she said, “Aw, it’s really painful to see. They’re breaking up the roof!”
“It’s really sad,” she said. “It’s the best acoustic in the world. We just don’t know what it’s going to look like.”
More (and scary photo gallery) on Die Welt's site.