The Weimar Republic took power following the First World War in Germany in 1918 and held until the ascendance of Nazism and the beginning of the slide toward the Second in 1933. While the Republic as a political entity can be viewed as a mere interlude between catastrophes, the cultural upheaval and artistic achievements of the era have consistently fascinated and spoken to people across the following century.
With nationalism and fascism again on the rise, the daring and boundary-pushing creators and movements of Weimar Germany could hardly seem more relevant to the present moment, and so Los Angeles Philharmonic’s month-long festival Weimar Republic: Germany 1918-1933, running from February 6-29, 2020, feels quite timely indeed.
The Philharmonic will be performing orchestral music by Hindemith, Schoenberg and Weill in two programs at Disney Hall while co-presenting The Weimar Variations a multi-disciplinary series of exhibitions, performances, and installations of work from and inspired by Weimar artists at Disney Hall and other locations throughout L.A.
The centerpiece of the event are two concert programs at Disney Hall conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. The first runs February 7 – 9, 2020, which features Weill’s Violin Concerto, with guest soloist Carolin Widmann, along with two pieces by Hindemith and two Bach chorale preludes arranged by Schoenberg.
The second, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, director Simon McBurney and his brother Gerard and guests to be announced, runs February 13 – 16, 2020, and features two fully staged musical satires, Brecht & Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins and Hindemith’s Murder, the Hope of Women.
Concurrently, the venue’s BP Hall will host Oskar Schlemmer: The Triadic Ballet Bauhaus Costume Exhibition from February 6 – 23, 2020, and composer Susan Philipsz’ 12 tone sound installation Prelude in the Form of a Passacaglia will receive its US premiere from February 7 – 16, 2020; be sure to check these out as well if you attend a show, or even if you are just in the neighborhood.
The Weimar Variations begins on February 6, 2020, at REDCAT, with a performance of Kurt Schwitters’ tone poem Ursonate at 8:30 p.m. and culminates on February 29, 2020, at the Egyptian Theatre with an all-day film festival co-presented with the American Cinematheque.
Other events attached to the festival include two free outdoor performances of period protest music from the Weimar Variation Workers Chorus, taking place outside the Hall on Grand Avenue at 7 p.m. on February 7, 2020, and at 1 p.m. on February 9, 2020.
Musik! Fantasie! Revolution! recreates a Weimar cabaret at Black Rabbit Rose in Hollywood at 8:30, February 11, 2020, featuring a variety of local singers and performers performing the era’s daring, gender-bending and socially conscious songs.
Hauser & Wirth presents the photography exhibit August Sander: New Women, New Men, and New Identities, from February 13, 2020, to April, 12, 2020.
For full details and tickets, visit LA Phil online.