About Tempelhof Broadcast

Tempelhof Broadcast brought together hundreds of musicians in a large-scale spatial acoustic musical celebration in and about Tempelhofer Park in Berlin, Germany. The 60-minute piece was composed by Lisa Bielawa expressly for performance on the tarmac of the former Tempelhof Airport. This site, famous for its role in the Berlin Airlift in 1948-49, was currently open to the public, unaltered, but in 2013 it began to evolve into a new role in the life of the city. From May 10-12, 2013, the runways were turned into a vast musical canvas, as community and professional musicians executed a spatialized symphony. A partnership between Grün Berlin, Ensemble Mosaik, Work in Progress - Berlin, the Knights Chamber Orchestra of New York and Bielawa, the performance also included hundreds of amateur and student musicians. It was free and open to the public, and occurred around and among the regular public uses of the Park.

The massive event began in the center of the field and dispersed outwards according to instructions given in the score, with some players moving in clusters, while others spread out in long chains, before exiting the park. Some groups were instructed to stay close to each other for a certain duration, then peel away. Musicians playing larger instruments (like pianos) played on the beds of motorized luggage carriers that moved between the slower-moving groups. Their music was composed to form different sonic relationships with the musical tasks of the larger groups they approached or transected.

Performances: 10.05.2013, 7pm / 11.05.2013, 3pm / 12.05.2013, 2pm


Lisa Bielawa has been active in New York musical life since 1990. She is Co-Founder of the MATA Festival, Vocalist of the Philip Glass Ensemble, 2009-10 Rome Prize winner in Musical Composition, and was Composer-in-Residence of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project from 2006-2009. Her work Chance Encounter has been performed in transient public spaces worldwide. Ms. Bielawa’s discography includes A Handful of World (Tzadik 8039); In medias res (BMOP/sound 0017), a double-disc set of Ms. Bielawa’s solo and orchestral works; and Chance Encounter (Orange Mountain Music 7004).