Classical music lands in Berlin’s underground stations in a sound makeover


March 25, 2022, 3:36 p.m. | Updated: March 25, 2022, 3:46 PM

Classical music is coming to Berlin’s U-Bahn.

Photo: Alamy/Getty Images

A new project launched at U-Bahn stations in the German capital is turning travel into concerts…

Berlin is a renowned cultural city with a rich musical heritage.

It was the workplace of some of the greatest composers in history such as Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Felix Mendelssohn, Richard Strauss and Arnold Schoenberg.

Today, the city is home to one of the world’s greatest orchestras, the Berliner Philharmoniker, as well as a range of historic concert halls, including three opera houses.

But these concert halls are no longer the only place where classical music can be heard. As part of a pilot project between Berlin’s BVG (main transport company) and Klassik Radio, commuters in the city will now be able to listen to classical music at four underground stations: Unter den Linden, Strausberger Platz (U5) , Südstern (U7) and Moritzplatz. (U8).

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State Opera, Unter den Linden, Berlin, Germany

State Opera, Unter den Linden, Berlin, Germany.

Photo: Aliyah

A different music playlist will play on each station; Unter den Linden, one of the network’s classiest stations, will offer a playlist of ‘Piano Classics’, while commuters to Südstern station will be treated to a selection of ‘Lounge Beats’.

The locations were chosen by BVG as they all vary in size; part of the experiment is finding out what works sonically for each type of station.

Passengers traveling through the stations will be asked about their opinion of the pilot project, and depending on the results, classical music may be introduced to more stations across the city.

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Classical music found its way to other rail services around the world, including the Hamburg Hauptbahnhof, where Vivaldi Four Seasons has been a fixture since 2008.

In London, classical music is part of a 40-hour playlist played in 65 of the 270 stations in the underground tube network.

Read more: Why is classical music on the tube?


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