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Ernst Schoen: Lunchtime Concert

20 March 2020 1:00 pm


Bishopsgate Institute

This lunchtime concert features the recently rediscovered music of the anti-fascist and experimental radio producer and composer Ernst Schoen. Schoen, a former director of Radio Frankfurt and friend of Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht and others, escaped to London after being arrested for crimes against the Third Reich in 1934, and continued his writing and activism in exile. He returned to West Berlin in 1952, and died there in 1960.

In the first section, singer Lotte Betts-Dean and pianist Joseph Havlat will perform a song-cycle written in 1932 in memory of Schoen’s friend Fritz Heinle, who died tragically young in protest at war.In the second half, Alka Nauman and Lucie Palazot will reconstruct a dance performance from 1924, in the manner of Henri Chatin-Hofmann (second husband of notorious cabaret performer Anita Berber) in historical costumes specially reconstructed by Alicia Gladstone. The music, a series of short pieces, including one by Schoen, is selected from the original programme and played by pianist Sam Draper. Schoen’s Brechtian Gebrauchsmusik will get a brief airing too.

Presented by academics and writers Esther Leslie and Sam Dolbear, this concert will be accompanied by a pop-up display of contextual documents and artefacts, including materials relating to Schoen’s life, as well as contemporaneous items from the 1930s East End held by the Bishopsgate Institute archive.



20 March 2020
1:00 pm
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Bishopsgate Institute
230 Bishopsgate
London, EC2M 4QH United Kingdom
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020 7392 9200