My Perfect Day
As a classical violinist, she knows how to enjoy the finer things in life.
From the best croissants and French macarons to where to see the best rock concerts, classical violinist Julia Baniewicz knows where in Berlin to find all the finer things in life. The Swiss-Polish virtuoso studied in Manhattan and Leipzig before settling in Berlin five years ago, where she now performs as part of the Deutsche Oper’s orchestra.
How did you end up in Berlin?
When I was studying music in New York everybody there was talking about Berlin as the place to be, especially for classical musicians. I wanted to come back to Europe but still live in a big cosmopolitan city, so I came here and loved it.
What about Berlin inspires you?
It is so big and at the same time so small. What seems out of reach in cities like New York or Paris is much more accessible here. You can sit in the same hall with a famous director at the Berlinale film festival, or drink a beer in the Kantine of the Philharmonie and meet important musicians. Most importantly, Berliners know how to take their time and enjoy life.
When you’re not rehearsing or performing, where do you go to enjoy good music?
Since I play mostly operas, I love to go listen to symphonic works or chamber music at the Philharmonie or the Konzerthaus. When I’m tired of classical music I love places like Bassy Cowboy Club or White Trash Fast Food for good rock concerts. There are also great concerts at Privatclub.
What other cultural offerings of the city would you recommend?
There are many great theaters here! You can see something completely crazy at the Volksbühne or a very fine piece at the Deutsches Theater. HAU also offers great performances, including dance.
You have the luxury of an entire day off. How would you spend it?
If it’s Sunday, I would meet friends for my favorite brunch at Restaurant Pasternak and then head to the flea market at Arkonaplatz, or go for a walk to Rehberge, my favorite park. On a Saturday, I would spend the day in Mitte, treating myself with a good croissant or lemon meringue pie at Les Pâtisseries de Sébastien and then buy some good cheese at the great épicerie Vom Einfachen das Gute. I could also go to Prenzlauer Berg to say hello to my friends at their Chocolaterie Mon Plaisir, which really has the best macarons in Berlin. I would then walk along Rosenthaler Straße, looking at the nice stores on the way, then buy some flowers at the market at Hackescher Markt. If I’m in the mood for going out at night, I’d have dinner with friends at Les Valseuses and then go see an indie movie, or go straight to Redwood Bar to finish the evening with a nice cocktail.
What’s a special little spot in the Kiez where you live?
There is this great little bar called Hackethals in the middle of nowhere in Mitte. I love the neighborhood atmosphere there.
When you have friends visiting, where do you take them?
For a walk around Mitte to look at the galleries on Linienstraße and Auguststraße, with a break in a nice coffee shop. Then I show them the Hackesche Höfe and have a walk along the river at Monbijou Park. I also like to show them the Turkish market at Maybachufer, the very special Tempelhof Park, or the flea markets at Mauerpark or on Straße des 17. Juni.
White Trash Fast Food