“The "Philharmonisches Kammerorchester Berlin" unites top instrumentalists of the musical city of Berlin. These young musicians do not only play excellently, they also show commitment.” (Berliner Zeitung)
Founded in 2002 by Russian conductor Michael Zukernik (emerging from Ensemble Europa and the Camerata Berlin) the Verein Berliner Kammerphilharmonie - later renamed in Philharmonisches Kammerorchester Berlin – provides financial and administrative support to the work of the orchestra.
The Philharmonisches Kammerorchester Berlin (PKB) is strongly concerned with the training of the artistic offspring: in autumn 2003 the first “international master class for orchestral conducting” held by the “Maestro of Maestros” Prof. Jorma Panula (Royal College of Music, Stockholm) turned out an overwhelming success. No less then 50 conductors of international origin were taking part. The final concert in the Philharmonie Berlin inspired professionals as well as the Berlin public. In these courses, participants have the opportunity to test their professional skills in conducting and benefit from professional experience of the orchestra and the instructor.
After this successful Masterclass in 2003, the PKB organizes annual national and internal Masterclasses on a high professional level. The PKB is working with renowed german orchestras and world-renowned conductors as a teacher like Jorma Panula, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Leif Segerstam, Otto-Werner Müller, Gustav Meier, Colin Metters, Kenneth Kiesler, Janos Fürst, Eri Klas, Mark Gorenstein, Michail Jurowski, Vladimir Ponkin. Students from all over the world are taking part at the Masterclasses. It takes place at different places in Europe, for example Moskau, St. Petersburg, Vilnius, Berlin, Leipzig, Göttingen, Jena and Cottbus. In May 2010, the next masterclass will be held by Kenneth Kiesler.
Together with the Björn-Schulz-Stiftung, the Philharmonisches Kammerorchester is supporting children and teenagers with cancer. Shortly after its foundation the orchestra initiated a beneficial concert in the Komische Oper Berlin. In November 2009 a large charity concert "Us and them - Symphonic Pink Floyd” by Roger Waters and David Gilmour with the Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra was organized for the benefit of the Björn Schulz Stiftung in cooperation with NH Hoteles.
In recent years, the PKB organizes great concerts in the most well-known concert halls in Germany such as the Chamber Hall of the Philharmonie Berlin, Konzerthaus Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Beethovenhalle Bonn, the Robert-Schumann-Saal in Düsseldorf, the Glocke in Bremen, the Französische Friedrichkirche Berlin.
A large focus is on the work with professional artists such as Guy Braunstein, 1. concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, Michael Barenboim, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden,Victor Emanuel Montenton (piano), Kim Barbier (piano), Michael Sekler (violin), and Ramon Jaffé (violoncello). Especially the selection of specific dates to Advent and Christmas is an important factor for the PKB.
Also this year, 2013 there are many concerts at the Konzerthaus Berlin and at the Gewandhaus Leipzig!
For Michael Zukernik the main purpose of his work is continuity as well as the constant extent of the orchestra's achievements.
Michael Zukernik (2011)
The Moscow born conductor Michael Zukernik was chosen principal guest conductor of the State Academic Philharmonic Orchestra in Samara, Russia for the season 2011/2012.
He founded the Philharmonisches Kammerorchester Berlin in 2002. The ensemble is invited at the Konzerthaus Berlin and the famous Gewandhaus in Leipzig. More than 30 concerts are given by the orchestra throughout the season which also includes concerts at places like the Philharmonie Berlin, the Berlin Dome, the Beethovenhalle in Bonn and the Leizhalle in Hamburg.
In the past season Michael Zukernik got the chance to lead his ensemble on a tour through South-Korea, conducting not less than 10 concerts. In the year 2006 a tour through China followed, where he performed at the Operahouse Shanghai and the Cultural Center Beijing. Since 2004 he works together with the Berlin Sinfonietta, a chamber formation of the Konzerthaus Berlin.
Further engagements lead to the collaboration with orchestras like the Symphony Orchestra of Rome, Staatskapelle Weimar, Symphony Orchestra Wuppertal, Beethovenorchester Bonn, Nürnberg Symphonics, Göttingen Symphonie Orchester, Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Svetlanov, Russian National Orchestra, St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Thüringen Philharmonie, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz, Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra and many more.
Michael Zukernik was able to improve his skills as a conductor as a student of Jorma Panula in Finnland, Sweden, Germany, Russia and Croatia. He also participated as a student in many masterclasses with Pierre Boulez, Sir Collin Davis and Leif Segerstram, as well as Janosh Fürst, Kenneth Kiesler, Eri Klas, Gustav Meier, Colin Metters, Otto Werner Mueller, Vladimir Ponkin, Rolf Reuter and Gennady Rozhdestvensky. He was able to establish a wide repertoire for himself which ranges from the early baroque age until up to modern opera. He followed intense conducting studies at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna and the Hochschule für Musik “Carl Maria von Weber” in Dresden.
At the early age of 19, the studied percussionist Michael Zukernik became youngest member at the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Le Zion. As a solo-timpanist he also was performing in ensembles like the Spanish Orquestra Sinfónica de Barcelona y Nacional de Cataluna and the Auckland Philharmonia in New Zealand.
He was invited as a guest conductor by the Macao Orchestra in China and also conducted the Philharmonic Orchestra Auckland on a tour through New Zealand.
Michael Zukernik is living with his wife and his two children in Zurich. He speaks fluently Russian, German, English, French, Hebrew and Spanish. In his spare time he likes playing golf and doing yoga.