TRIP TO ASIA – THE QUEST FOR HARMONYEnter the world of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra: 126 musicians, all of them masters of their craft, each with their own unique personalities, who must come together to channel their individual skills to create the orchestra’s distinctive sound, and harness their virtuosity for the good of the whole. The dichotomies of tradition and innovation, individual ego and community are revealed. One of the world’s leading orchestras is a closed society that observes its own laws and traditions – an island, a democratic microcosm, almost without precedent in the music world – whose social structure and cohesion is not only founded on a common love for music but also informed by the pressure to perform, competition and constraints. Never before in its 125-year-old history have the musicians in this orchestra permitted such intimate and exclusive access to their world. This film accompanies the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra and its conductor Sir Simon Rattle on a concert tour to Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei and Tokyo – taking with them the music of Thomas Adès’ “Asyla“, Beethovens “Eroica“ and Richard Strauss’ “A Hero’s Life“. The trip to these six pulsating Asian metropolises lasts several weeks. It is a journey poised between curiosity, passion and exhaustion, during which the diverse motivations and personalities of this unique musical community become visible. In this documentary, the orchestra’s members talk remarkably candidly and perceptively about their lives, their doubts and the pleasures of performing; about friendship and competition, and the musician’s career from nerve-wracking trial period to the painful process of stepping down, as well as the desire for harmony and fulfilment – encapsulated in one powerful moment during a concert before an audience of 30,000 in Taipei.