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The Bridge Journal
News Archive of The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive
News Archive 2012
 

Thursday, November 15, 2012, at 7.30 pm
Austrian Cultural Forum
11 East 52nd Street
New York City

Heinrich Heine: Tell me, what does it mean to be human?
A literary and musical journey through life
Concept and Introduction: Michael Lahr
with Jeannie Im (Soprano), Gregorij H. von Leitis (Narrator), and Dan Franklin Smith (Piano)
With traditional simplicity and light-footed lyricism, Heinrich Heine (1797 – 1856), the former romantic, extolled love, especially unrequited love. As a literary “guerrilla fighter” against the powers of State, he tried again and again to tempt his contemporaries out of their Biedermeier obedience, and to win them over to his dream of a great human brotherhood. According to his own statements, Heine spent his whole life “roaming around the dance floors of philosophy, given over to all the orgies of the spirit, wooing many different systems.”
Heine was a pathetic failure as a businessman, and he also had to bury hope for a professorship in Munich. But in Paris he quickly became successful as a journalist and writer. In his poetry, feature articles, essays, letters and prose work, Heine time and again circles around the question of what it is to be human. He sings about the beauty of life, describes the misery of human existence, smiles, sometimes mildly, sometimes ironically, at his own weaknesses and those of his fellow citizens. He declares solidarity with those who suffer, who are tortured, who are banished.
This literary-musical life journey connects texts by Heine together with the musical settings of his poems by Dessau, Eisler, Schumann, Wolpe, Zemlinsky, and others, into a poetic-melodic work of art.
Free admission. However, tickets are required. For reservations, please go to www.acfny.org
Presented by the Austrian Cultural Forum New York in cooperation with The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive and Elysium – between two continents.
 
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 7.30 pm
Künstlerhaus München (Millerzimmer)
Lenbachplatz 8
80333 Munich
“Our Death must be a Beacon“
Poems and Letters by Libertas Schulze-Boysen,
Member of the Nazi Resistance Group “Red Orchestra”
under the patronage of Christoph Haas-Heye
Gregorij H. von Leitis reads the texts by Libertas Schulze-Boysen
Introduction: Michael Lahr
Welcome: Maja Grassinger, President of the Münchner Künstlerhaus
Libertas Schulze-Boysen, née Haas-Heye, and her husband Harro, along with Arvid Harnack and his wife Mildred (who was an American), formed the nucleus of the so-called “Red Orchestra”, a resistance group fighting Hitler and his regime. The “Red Orchestra” was one of the biggest and most diverse resistance groups: women and men, Christians and Marxists, workers, intellectuals and artists, they all gathered in this group, united by their opposition to the Nazi Regime. For years they helped German Jews and political dissidents to escape and also provided vital intelligence to both the US and Russia. In the summer of 1942 the Gestapo discovered their activities and arrested over 100 members of the group. More of 50 of them were sentenced to death and executed, among them Libertas Schulze-Boysen. After 1945 the historical contributions of the “Red Orchestra” were discussed very controversially and its achievements were often falsely labeled as pro-communist. Starting in the early 90’s the access to hitherto inaccessible documents in archives in Prague and Moscow helped to correct and re-write the history of Libertas Schulze-Boysen and her circle.
Libertas Schulze-Boysen was arrested by the Gestapo in September 1942 and executed on December 22, 1942 in Berlin. During her three months in prison, she wrote some very moving poems. These poems along with Libertas’s letters to her mother, Countess Victoria zu Eulenburg, show the enormous maturity, calmness and wisdom of the 29-year-old in the face of death and are a grand testimony of humanity and dignity.

Presented by the Münchner Künstlerhaus.

Admission: € 16.00 (pupils and students free)
Advance Sales: München Ticket, phone (089) 54 81 81 81, www.muenchenticket.de
 
Impressions

of „Our Death must be a Beacon“
Excerpt from Michael Lahr’s introductory remarks (in German language)   00:41 min

Please start the video, then get a brief English translation
 
Excerpt from Libertas Schulze-Boysen’s second farewell letter to her mother written shortly before her execution on December 22, 1942 (read in German by Gregorij von Leitis)      02:00 min
Please start the video, then get a brief English translation
 
Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 6.00 pm
Crystal Glass Manufactory Theresienthal
Theresienthal 25
94227 Zwiesel
Defending Democracy
A Meditation on basic democratic values in times of political and economic insecurity
under the patronage of Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights
Literary Collage with texts by Mahatma Gandhi, Robert F. Kennedy, Hermynia zur Mühlen, Erich Mühsam, Alfred Polgar, Carl von Ossietzky, Joseph Roth, Hans Sahl, Kurt Tucholsky, Lasantha Wickrematunge and others.
Recitation: Gregorij H. von Leitis
Concept and Introduction: Michael Lahr
After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, the victory parade of democracy seemed unstoppable.  20 years later, the initial euphoria of a world-historical break-through of basic democratic thinking has given way to great disillusionment. Globalization, rising unemployment, retrenchment in social programs, marginalization of large societal groups: all this has led to shrinking trust in democracy and its institutions.
Since 2008, social and economic upheavals have been further aggravated by the bank crisis and the sovereign debt crisis. The economic crisis has developed into a crisis of democracy. In many places, the expression "post-democracy" has been used.
Especially in these times of political and economic uncertainly, when our Western system of an open, democracy-based society and the values holding up such a system are threatened from many sides, it seems important to remind ourselves of the great achievement democracy is, and that it is worth fighting for.  We can succeed in this specially by resorting to texts of authors and thinkers who, in their time, fought against undermining tendencies of dissolution and the erosion of the republic by totalitarian forces. The cry for simple solutions, the longing for a strong man who liberates us from the complex trap of a globalized world, is growing louder. The program "Defending Democracy" wants to take a stand against that.
Presented by the Crystal Glass Manufactory Theresienthal in cooperation with The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive.
Admission: € 7.00 (pupils and students free)
For reservations and further information please contact Theresienthal:
phone (09922) 500 930, fax (09922) 500 93-10, e-mail: info@theresienthal.de
 
Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7.30 pm
Austrian Cultural Forum
11 East 52nd Street
New York City
“On Wings of Song”
New York Concert of the 17th International Summer Academy for Young Singers
with:
Sophie Burgos (Soprano), Vania Chan (Soprano), Greer Davis (Soprano), Grace Kahl (Soprano) and Alexis Rodda (Soprano)
Faculty:
Gregorij H. von Leitis, Artistic Director & Stage Direction
Dan Franklin Smith, Music Director & Piano
Christa Pillmann, Acting & Diction
Michael Lahr, Dramaturgy
Jeannie Im, Assistant to the Artistic Director
No other German writer has inspired as many composers to set his poems to music than Heinrich Heine. There are more than 6,800 compositions which are based on texts by Heine. Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Liszt, and numerous other composers have set Heine’s poems to music. In March, the young talented singers from the United States of America and Canada were chosen through auditions in New York City. During their stay in Bernried from May 25 through June 3, they immersed themselves in the study of the Art of Song. They worked on famous and lesser known settings of poems by Heinrich Heine, among them compositions by Brahms, Grieg, Kowalski, Liszt, Rottenberg, Schubert, Tschaikowski and Wolf.
Free admission. However, tickets are required.
For reservations, please go tor www.acfny.org
Presented by the Austrian Cultural Forum New York in cooperation with The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive and Elysium – between two continents.
 
8th Elysium Festival Bernried

May 25 – June 3, 2012
Bernried Monastery on the shores of Lake Starnberg
Heinrich Heine: “When I think of Germany…”
under the patronage of Conrad R. Tribble, Consul General of the United States of America in Bavaria
Message of the Artistic Director
From May 25 through June 3, 2012, our 8th Elysium Festival and our 17th International Summer Academy for Young Singers take place in Bernried on the shores of Lake Starnberg south of Munich / Germany. All the events of this year’s festival are devoted to the great German poet Heinrich Heine.
Like almost no other German writer, Heine, throughout his life, sat between many chairs: He was torn between his native country Germany and his adoptive home France. Born a Jew, he later converted to Protestantism, without ever having practiced either religion. The history of literature does not count him as an exponent of romanticism any more, yet he also cannot be regarded totally as a representative of realism. And politically? On the one hand he was a friend of Karl Marx and was inspired by the early socialist movement of Saint-Simon in France; on the other hand he adored Napoleon as the “ingenious executive director of the Weltgeist”. One of Heine’s biggest admirers was the Austrian Empress Elisabeth. She venerated Heine to such a degree, that she wanted to donate a Heine-statue to the city of Hamburg. But Hamburg declined the offer, and so Elisabeth erected the Heine monument in the park of her castle on the island of Korfu.
Heine was a passionate champion of the ideas which today we consider to be the foundation of any democracy: the French revolutionary trio of freedom, equality and brotherhood, and of human rights. His travelogues, his poetry collections, his novels, and his political writings attest to his cosmopolitan spirit. Time and again, his curiosity prompted him to look beyond his own horizon. No other German writer has inspired as many composers to set his poems to music. There are more than 6,800 compositions which are based on texts by Heinrich Heine: Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Liszt, and numerous other composers have set Heine’s poems to music.
 
Saturday, May 26 at 4.30 pm
Bernried Monastery – Baroque Music Hall
Klosterhof 8
82347 Bernried / Upper Bavaria
Heinrich Heine: Tell me, what does it mean to be human?
A Literary and Musical Journey through Life
Concept and Introduction: Michael Lahr
with Jeannie Im (Soprano), Gregorij H. von Leitis (Recitation), and Dan Franklin Smith (Piano)
Admission: € 15 – 22
 
Sunday, May 27 at 4.30 pm
Bernried Monastery – Baroque Music Hall
Klosterhof 8
82347 Bernried / Upper Bavaria
Defending Democracy
A Meditation on Basic Democratic Values in Times of Political and Economic Uncertainty
Literary Collage with texts by Mahatma Gandhi, Robert F. Kennedy, Hermynia zur Mühlen, Erich Mühsam, Alfred Polgar, Carl von Ossietzky, Joseph Roth, Hans Sahl, Kurt Tucholsky, Lasantha Wickrematunge and others.
Recitation: Gregorij H. von Leitis
Concept and Introduction: Michael Lahr
Admission: € 12 and € 9 (for students and senior citizens)
 
Friday, June 1 at 7.00 pm
Bernried Monastery – Baroque Music Hall
Klosterhof 8
82347 Bernried / Upper Bavaria
“Peace to the Shacks! War on the Palaces!”
Social Criticism in Germany prior to the Revolution of 1848
Christa Pillmann reads selected works by Georg Büchner and Christian Dietrich Grabbe
Admission: € 12 and € 9 (for students & senior citizens)
 
Saturday, June 2 at 4.30 pm
Bernried Monastery – Baroque Music Hall
Klosterhof 8
82347 Bernried / Upper Bavaria
“On Wings of Song…”
Final Concert of the 17th International Summer Academy for Young Singers
Faculty:
Gregorij H. von Leitis, Artistic Director & Stage Direction
Dan Franklin Smith, Music Director & Piano
Christa Pillmann, Acting & Diction
Michael Lahr, Dramaturgy
Jeannie Im, Assistant to the Artistic Director
Admission: € 15 – 22
 
May 12, 2012 at 4.00 pm
Crystal Glass Manufactory Theresienthal
The Gospel According to Kafka
under the patronage of Karel Schwarzenberg,
Depute Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic
A literary collage of texts by Franz Kafka recited by Gregorij H. von Leitis
Concept and Introduction: Michael Lahr
After the reading please join us for refreshments and a conversation at the glass kiln
Crystal Glass Manufactory Theresienthal
 
Impressions
of “The Gospel according to Kafka“
From Part 1: The Ideal and its Unattainability
To Elsa and Max Brod, February 4, 1913     01:09 min
Please start the video, then get a brief English translation
 
 
From Part 2: The Individual and the World
“When you stand before me…“     00:58 min
Please start the video, then get a brief English translation
 
Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 7.30 pm
Münchner Künstlerhaus, Millerzimmer
Defending Democracy
A Meditation on Basic Democratic Values in Times of Political and Economic Uncertainty
under the patronage of Barbara Stamm, President of the Parliament of the State of Bavaria
European Premiere and Start of the Romanian Tour
Literary Collage with texts by Mahatma Gandhi, Robert F. Kennedy, Hermynia zur Mühlen, Erich Mühsam, Alfred Polgar, Carl von Ossietzky, Joseph Roth, Hans Sahl, Kurt Tucholsky, Lasantha Wickrematunge and others.
Recitation: Gregorij H. von Leitis
Concept and Introduction: Michael Lahr
Welcome: Maja Grassinger, President of the Münchner Künstlerhaus
„Education and knowledge are the only tools we have to fight against ignorance, hatred, and discrimination.“  (Gregorij H. von Leitis)
Münchner Künstlerhaus
 
 

More information on the readings and literary collages you find under Projects.

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