Music: The Berliners

The 73-year-old Berlin Philharmonic is up to its white ties in tradition. Its first renowned conductor was Hans von Bülow, distinguished among other things for the fact that his wife Cosima ran away with (and eventually married) Richard Wagner. Johannes Brahms played with the Philharmonic as a piano soloist, and the famed Arthur Nikisch became its conductor in time to take the orchestra to Moscow for the coronation of Czar Nicholas II in 1896. In the next half a century, a lot of things went out of the world, including czars, and Germany became famed for other names than Brahms, but...

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