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News of The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive
 
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 7.30 pm
Künstlerhaus
Lenbachplatz 8
80333 Munich / Germany
Nourishing the Soul – Building Peace in the Heart of Europe
Literary Snapshots of the 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the Salzburg Festival
One hundred years ago - on 22 August 1920 - the "Jedermann" (Everyman) was performed on the cathedral square in Salzburg, Hugo von Hofmannsthal's "Play on the Dying of the Rich Man". The stage for this was built from the boards of the wooden barracks, which until shortly before had formed the largest POW camp on Austrian soil in the neighboring community of Grödig. The theater magician Max Reinhardt used the architecture and the special conditions of the place for dramatic effects: Shouts calling out “Jedermann” resounded from the towers of the surrounding churches and even from the Hohensalzburg Fortress high above the city, and the cathedral bells rang at decisive moments. From the very beginning, the enthusiastic reviews were mixed with malicious anti-Semitic tones, not only in the organ of the anti-Semitic association, "Der eiserne Besen" (The Iron Broom), but also in the "Salzburger Volksblatt", the newspaper of the German national camp and the Christian-social "Salzburger Chronik" (Salzburg Chronicle). The hostility against the two Jewish founders of the festival, Hofmannsthal and Reinhardt, became so vehement that Hofmannsthal asked the 'Aryan' composer Richard Strauss to take over the presidency of the festival in 1922.
As early as the 1970s there were plans in Mozart's native city to stage festivals centered around the work of this brilliant composer, in a sense as the Austrian counterpart to the already established Bayreuth Wagner Festival. But competing ideas of those in charge prevented the realization. Only the courageous approach of Max Reinhardt and Hugo von Hofmannsthal led to success in 1920. Reinhardt had gained his first stage experience at the Salzburg City Theater in 1893, then built up a successful theater empire in Berlin, bought Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg in 1918 and concentrated his theater activities increasingly in Vienna. Even during the war, Reinhardt justified the necessity of festivals in Salzburg: "This very war proved that theater is not an expendable luxury for the upper ten thousand, but rather an indispensable food for the general public. Elsewhere, he wrote: "Thus, the idea of [...] to build a festival hall for the theater as one of the first works of peace is in the air, so to speak.” At the same time, the writer Hugo von Hofmannsthal theoretically prepared the ground for the idea of a festival in lectures and programmatic writings. Conservative Catholic, sometimes restorative considerations of a Greater Austria played a role in this, as did the evocation of a European cosmopolitan spirit. This mixture is certainly not only due to the different addressees and interest groups Hofmannsthal tried to inspire.
In his introduction, Michael Lahr von Leitis traces the origins of the Salzburg Festival idea.
Gregorij von Leitis will bring the beginnings of the Salzburg Festival to life by reading selected texts by Hermann Bahr, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Harry Graf Kessler, Karl Kraus, Alfred Polgar, Max Reinhardt, Joseph Roth, Bertha Zuckerkandl, Stefan Zweig and others.
Admission: € 22 / reduced € 11
Further information and Online-Tickets: here
Presented by Künstlerhaus München
in cooperation with The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive and Elysium – between two continents
Logo Künstlerhaus München
 
Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 7.30 pm
Kulturvolk │ Freie Volksbühne Berlin e.V.
Ruhrstraße 6
10709 Berlin / Germany
Erwin Piscator’s Legacy Lives On
Conversations on Theater, Music and Politics
Presentation of the newly published book by Michael Lahr with photos by Letizia Mariotti
The book delves into the legacy of Piscator and his ideas of political theater. In interviews with 15 recipients of the Erwin Piscator Award and with Gregorij von Leitis, founder and president of the Erwin Piscator Award Society, Michael Lahr explores the relevance of political and social topics on stage, as well as the relationship between art and politics. Together, the answers of the various artists – Lee Grant, Judith Malina, Robert Wilson, William Hoffman, Marshall Mason, Ellen Burstyn, Kurt Masur, Martina Arroyo, Thomas Hampson, André Bishop, Harold Prince, John Guare, Bartlett Sher, James Nicola and J.T. Rogers – form a unique document of contemporary history.
The New York-based French photographer Letizia Mariotti did impressive portraits of all the interviewees.
In her introduction, Prof. Dr. Erika Fischer-Lichte, internationally acclaimed theater historian, places Piscator’s work in a tradition that started with Friedrich Schiller was further developed by Richard Wagner and continues to this day.
Admission: € 5.00
Registration here
Or by calling the box office of Kulturvolk at (030) 86 00 93-51 (open Tuesday – Friday from 10.00 am – 3.00 pm)
Presented by Kulturvolk │ Freie Volksbühne Berlin e.V.
in cooperation with The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive and Elysium – between two continents
Logo Kulturvolk
 
Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 7.00 pm
Austrian Cultural Forum Berlin
Stauffenbergstrasse 1
10785 Berlin / Germany
Nourishing the Soul – Building Peace in the Heart of Europe
Literary Snapshots of the 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the Salzburg Festival
One hundred years ago - on 22 August 1920 - the "Jedermann" (Everyman) was performed on the cathedral square in Salzburg, Hugo von Hofmannsthal's "Play on the Dying of the Rich Man". The stage for this was built from the boards of the wooden barracks, which until shortly before had formed the largest POW camp on Austrian soil in the neighboring community of Grödig. The theater magician Max Reinhardt used the architecture and the special conditions of the place for dramatic effects: Shouts calling out “Jedermann” resounded from the towers of the surrounding churches and even from the Hohensalzburg Fortress high above the city, and the cathedral bells rang at decisive moments. From the very beginning, the enthusiastic reviews were mixed with malicious anti-Semitic tones, not only in the organ of the anti-Semitic association, "Der eiserne Besen" (The Iron Broom), but also in the "Salzburger Volksblatt", the newspaper of the German national camp and the Christian-social "Salzburger Chronik" (Salzburg Chronicle). The hostility against the two Jewish founders of the festival, Hofmannsthal and Reinhardt, became so vehement that Hofmannsthal asked the 'Aryan' composer Richard Strauss to take over the presidency of the festival in 1922.
As early as the 1970s there were plans in Mozart's native city to stage festivals centered around the work of this brilliant composer, in a sense as the Austrian counterpart to the already established Bayreuth Wagner Festival. But competing ideas of those in charge prevented the realization. Only the courageous approach of Max Reinhardt and Hugo von Hofmannsthal led to success in 1920. Reinhardt had gained his first stage experience at the Salzburg City Theater in 1893, then built up a successful theater empire in Berlin, bought Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg in 1918 and concentrated his theater activities increasingly in Vienna. Even during the war, Reinhardt justified the necessity of festivals in Salzburg: "This very war proved that theater is not an expendable luxury for the upper ten thousand, but rather an indispensable food for the general public. Elsewhere, he wrote: "Thus, the idea of [...] to build a festival hall for the theater as one of the first works of peace is in the air, so to speak.” At the same time, the writer Hugo von Hofmannsthal theoretically prepared the ground for the idea of a festival in lectures and programmatic writings. Conservative Catholic, sometimes restorative considerations of a Greater Austria played a role in this, as did the evocation of a European cosmopolitan spirit. This mixture is certainly not only due to the different addressees and interest groups Hofmannsthal tried to inspire.
In his introduction, Michael Lahr von Leitis traces the origins of the Salzburg Festival idea.
Gregorij von Leitis will bring the beginnings of the Salzburg Festival to life by reading selected texts by Hermann Bahr, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Harry Graf Kessler, Karl Kraus, Alfred Polgar, Max Reinhardt, Joseph Roth, Bertha Zuckerkandl, Stefan Zweig and others.
Free admission
Registration is necessary
Further information and reservation here
Presented by the Austrian Cultural Forum Berlin
in cooperation with The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive and Elysium – between two continents
Logo Austrian Cultural Forum Berlin
 
Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 7.00 pm
Zionskirche
Zionskirchplatz
10119 Berlin / Germany
Hate is a Failure of Imagination
A literary collage – an encouraging testimony
under the patronage of Prof. Felix Kolmer, Advisor to the Foundation for Holocaust Victims, and Rabbi Dr. Ismar Schorsch, Chancellor Emeritus Jewish Theological Seminary New York
Hate and ignorance harden and blind. The English writer Graham Greene once described hate as a failure of the imagination. The National Socialists systematically stirred up hate against Jews and all those who thought differently and tried to dehumanize their victims in this way. The artists imprisoned in the ghetto and concentration camp Theresienstadt defied this hate and the contempt for humanity of Nazi ideology in their own way: With imagination and creativity they resisted the Nazi dictum that Jews were subhumans and as such incapable of any culture.
The texts by Alice Herz-Sommer, Georg Kafka, Paul Aron Sandfort, Leo Strauss, Viktor Ullmann and Ilse Weber bear witness to the deep humanity that these artists preserved even in the hell of Theresienstadt. They can give us courage, especially today, to break the spiral of hate, violence and destruction.
Recitation: Gregorij H. von Leitis
Concept and Introduction: Michael Lahr von Leitis
Free admission – Donations for Elysium’s and The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive’s Project “Art and Education without Borders” are welcome
Presented by Zionskirche Berlin
in cooperation with The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive and Elysium – between two continents
Logo Zionskirche Berlin
 
Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at 11.30 am
The Lotos Club
5 East 66th Street
New York, NY 10065
33rd Annual Erwin Piscator Award Luncheon
to benefit our International Educational Programs
The Polish-born lyric tenor Piotr Beczala will be presented with the Erwin Piscator Award 2020 for his outstanding artistic achievements as one of the world's leading tenors and his commitment to authentically portray each character he embodies on stage. Piotr Beczala is a constant guest in the world's leading opera houses. In addition to his operatic work, he has sung many of the great vocal works with the world's most distinguished orchestras and maestri.
Kim Kowalke will receive the Honorary Erwin Piscator Award in memory of Maria Ley Piscator for his enormous artistic and scientific achievements as Professor of Musicology at Eastman School of Music, as Music Director of innumerable musical theater productions and most of all for his tireless commitment to keeping the legacy of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya alive as President of the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music in New York. As one of the foremost Weill-scholars and musicologists of his generation, Kim Kowalke has won five ASCAP Deems Taylor Awars for excellence in writing about music.
Admission: $ 345 (tickets are tax-deductible for the full amount less $ 85)
To receive an invitation please contact Michael Lahr.
Logo Erwin Piscator Award Society
 
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 7.00 pm
Leo Baeck Institute
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011
Lew Nussimbaum, alias Essad Bey, alias Kurban Said:
Cosmopolitan – Jewish Muslim – Orientalist in Exile
When the Russian civil war ensuing from the October revolution finally reached Baku in 1918, Lew Nussimbaum and his father fled and eventually settled in Berlin. The 15-year-old Lew Nussimbaum initially attended the Grammar School of the Russian exile community and then enrolled in Arabic and Turkish literature at Berlin’s Humboldt University. In 1922 he converted to Islam and changed his name to Essad Bey. Soon he started writing, mainly for the newspaper „Die Literarische Welt“ (The Literary World) published by Willy Haas. His first book Oil and Blood in the Orient, a reconstruction of his childhood and escape from Baku was printed in 1929 and immediately became a best-seller. In quick succession he published 13 other books. In 1936, while he was already banned from publishing his works in Germany, Essad Bey under the nom de plume Kurban Said published his novel Ali and Nino in Vienna. After the “Anschluss” Essad Bey fled from Vienna to Italy. Lew Nussimbaum’s father Abraham stayed in Vienna and eventually was deported to Belzec and killed there. Essad Bey died in Positano of a rare disease in 1942.
Gregorij von Leïtis reads from Nussimbaum’s fantastic œuvre
Concept & Introduction: Michael Lahr
Admission: $ 10 / $ 5.00 (for LBI / CJH / Partner members, students and seniors)
presented by the Leo Baeck Institute
in cooperation with Elysium – between two continents and The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive
Logo Leo Baeck Institute
 
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 7.30 pm
Czech Consulate General
Bohemian National Hall
321 East 73rd Street
New York, NY 10021
Cornet: Viktor Ullmann’s Legacy from Terezin
In 1942, the Austrian-Jewish composer Viktor Ullmann was deported to the ghetto and concentration camp Theresienstadt north of Prague. Despite horrible circumstances, Ullmann composed a number of great works there. His artistry helped himself and gave consolation and strength to his fellow inmates. In October of 1944 Ullmann was murdered in Auschwitz. But his compositions from Theresienstadt were saved and to this day bear to Ullmann’s powerful creativity and deep humanity.
“The Lay of Love and Death of Cornet Christoph Rilke” for recitation and piano is based on Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem of the same title. It tells the haunting story of a young soldier who – within one night – finds fulfilment in love and then dies in battle when the enemies attack the castle where he and his company are resting. The music poignantly illustrates, comments and emphasizes the dramatic action. Ullmann composed the “Cornet” in the summer of 1944 and dedicated it to his wife Elisabeth on her birthday on September 27. Three weeks later they both were deported to Auschwitz, along with a number of artists from Theresienstadt, and killed in the gas chambers immediately after their arrival.
Program
Introductory Lecture on Music from Theresienstadt: Michael Lahr
Piano Sonata No. 6 (op. 49)
“The Lay of Love and Death of Cornet Christoph Rilke”
Recitation: Gregorij H. von Leitis
Piano: Dan Franklin Smith
Free admission
Presented by the Czech Consulate General
In cooperation with Elysium – between two continents and The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive
LOGO Czech Consulate General NYC
 
Monday, February 24, 2020 at 7.00 pm
Austrian Cultural Forum
Austrian Embassy
3524 International Court, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Defending Democracy
A Meditation on Basic Democratic Values in Times of Political and Economic Insecurity
under the patronage of Franz Leichter, former State Senator of New York State
Literary Collage with texts by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Robert F. Kennedy, Hermynia zur Mühlen, Erich Mühsam, Alfred Polgar, Carl von Ossietzky, Joseph Roth, Hans Sahl, Kurt Tucholsky, and others
Today, the Western system of an open society based in democratic values is threatened from many sides. Especially since the refugee crisis in 2015 right-wing populism has been gaining momentum, not only in Germany but in many countries in Europe. Racism, anti-Semitism and right-wing extremist acts of violence are a clear sign, that our free democratic basic order has come under fire. Especially in these times of political and economic uncertainty it seems more important than ever to remind ourselves of the great achievement democracy is, and that it is worth fighting for. 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.
Recitation: Gregorij H. von Leitis
Concept and Introduction: Michael Lahr
Free admission
Presented by Austrian Cultural Forum Washington DC
in cooperation with The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive and Elysium – between two continents
LOGO ACF Washington
 
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 7.00 pm
Künstlerhaus
Lenbachplatz 8
80333 Munich / Germany
Erwin Piscator’s Legacy Lives On
Conversations on Theater, Music and Politics
Presentation of the newly published book by Michael Lahr with photos by Letizia Mariotti
The book delves into the legacy of Piscator and his ideas of political theater. In interviews with 15 recipients of the Erwin Piscator Award and with Gregorij von Leitis, founder and president of the Erwin Piscator Award Society, Michael Lahr explores the relevance of political and social topics on stage, as well as the relationship between art and politics. Together, the answers of the various artists – Lee Grant, Judith Malina, Robert Wilson, William Hoffman, Marshall Mason, Ellen Burstyn, Kurt Masur, Martina Arroyo, Thomas Hampson, André Bishop, Harold Prince, John Guare, Bartlett Sher, James Nicola and J.T. Rogers – form a unique document of contemporary history.
The New York-based French photographer Letizia Mariotti did impressive portraits of all the interviewees
In her introduction, Prof. Dr. Erika Fischer-Lichte, internationally acclaimed theater historian, places Piscator’s work in a tradition that started with Friedrich Schiller was further developed by Richard Wagner and continues to this day.
Free admission
Presented by Künstlerhaus München
in cooperation with The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive and Elysium – between two continents
LOGO Münchner Künstlerhaus
 
Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 7.00 pm
Zionskirche
Zionskirchplatz
10119 Berlin / Germany
Defending Democracy
A Meditation on Basic Democratic Values in Times of Political and Economic Insecurity
Remembering Dietrich Bonhoeffer on his 114th birthday
under the patronage of Franz Leichter, former State Senator of New York State
Literary Collage with texts by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Robert F. Kennedy, Hermynia zur Mühlen, Erich Mühsam, Alfred Polgar, Carl von Ossietzky, Joseph Roth, Hans Sahl, Kurt Tucholsky, and others
Today, the Western system of an open society based in democratic values is threatened from many sides. Especially since the refugee crisis in 2015 right-wing populism has been gaining momentum, not only in Germany but in many countries in Europe. Racism, anti-Semitism and right-wing extremist acts of violence are a clear sign, that our free democratic basic order has come under fire. Especially in these times of political and economic uncertainty it seems more important than ever to remind ourselves of the great achievement democracy is, and that it is worth fighting for. 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.
Recitation: Gregorij H. von Leitis
Concept and Introduction: Michael Lahr
Free admission – Donations for Elysium’s and The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive’s Project “Art and Education without Borders” are welcome
Presented by Zionskirche
in cooperation with The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive and Elysium – between two continents
LOGO Evangelische Kirche am Weinberg Berlin-Mitte
 
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 7.00 pm
Parish Hall of St. Ursula
Kaiserplatz 13 A
80803 Munich / Germany
Defending Democracy
A Meditation on Basic Democratic Values in Times of Political and Economic Insecurity
On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day
under the patronage of Franz Leichter, former State Senator of New York State
Literary Collage with texts by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Robert F. Kennedy, Hermynia zur Mühlen, Erich Mühsam, Alfred Polgar, Carl von Ossietzky, Joseph Roth, Hans Sahl, Kurt Tucholsky, and others
Today, the Western system of an open society based in democratic values is threatened from many sides. Especially since the refugee crisis in 2015 right-wing populism has been gaining momentum, not only in Germany but in many countries in Europe. Racism, anti-Semitism and right-wing extremist acts of violence are a clear sign, that our free democratic basic order has come under fire. Especially in these times of political and economic uncertainty it seems more important than ever to remind ourselves of the great achievement democracy is, and that it is worth fighting for. 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.
Recitation: Gregorij H. von Leitis
Concept and Introduction: Michael Lahr
Free admission – Donations for Elysium’s and The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive’s Project “Art and Education without Borders” are welcome
Presented by St. Ursula Munich
in cooperation with The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive and Elysium – between two continents
LOGO Pfarrverband Schwabing
 
 
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