Schumann Quartett at robert schumann hall

Schumann Quartett with guitarist Wilfried Haecker
©Susanne Diesner

RhineBuzz now have discounted tickets for this concert - please email to reserve

We enjoyed such a memorable evening back in January in the company of the young and charismatic Schumann Quartett, headed up by Erik Schumann, including a chance to meet and speak to these great musicians before the concert.

This Sunday November 28 at 5pm, they return for a new series of ErstKlassik! concerts at the robert schumann hall, on this occasion with guitarist Wilfried Haecker. The chamber music recitals incorporate a few words from these enthusiastic young people who are keen to share their immense musical knowledge. It's a delightful chance to hear and learn more about this wonderful music.
Tickets priced €9 - €18 + booking fee, available here.

Joseph Haydn Streichquartett Nr. 63 in B-Dur, op. 76 Nr. 4 („Sonnenaufgang“), Hob. III: 78 Rudolfo Luigi Boccherini
Gitarrenquintett Nr. 4 in D-Dur "Fandango", G 448
Franz Schubert 
Streichquartett Nr. 14 d-moll D 810 "Der Tod und das Mädchen" 

Simone Kermes

©Andreas Dommenz

Last night Simone Kermes at the robert schumann hall was simply enthralling.
She bounds onto the stage in platform shoes with energy and eagerness and even a little fear; just how will her audience will receive her?
The performance is arresting and her voice, well her voice touches you in a way that has something to do with raw emotion and awe-inspiring respect.
Her audience, desperate to show their appreciation are, at the same time, clinging onto the moment she has created. They are hesitant to break that spell with their applause. But then, once one dares to clap, the adoration is never-ending.  

Clearly delighted at the standing ovation she and her musicians, the wonderful Le Musiche Nove, received at the end of the performance, I sensed something resembling 'relief' in her beaming eyes and her smile. The soprano wishes to touch her audience, she hopes that they will laugh and cry and indeed they do. I felt that she would have been very unhappy if she had not reached her audience in this way.

We are very fortunate in that Ms Kermes will be in Düsseldorf again on 4 June 2011 as part of the robert schumann hall series 440HZ when she will play with the young award-winning conductor Alexander Shelley and the Schumann Camerata Orchesta. The details of this programme are still not 100% known but we have been told that she will be touching on baroque arias in a 'disco version' and songs of the 1920's. Whatever the final programme, you can be certain of an amazing event of crossover sounds that will make for an exceptional evening's music.

If you'd like to see her before then, she at the Dortmund Konzerthaus on January 23 2011.

"I Catch Sound Waves"

Free entry to museum kunst palast 30.09 from 6pm.

Ei Wada Braun Tube Jazz Band

It's the opening of the show of the shortlisted artists of Nam June Paik Award 2010 tonight, 30th October, the winners will then be announced. Many of the artists will be present tonight including Ei Wada who touches tv monitors and makes music. When I asked him how he was doing this, he said " I catch sound waves" as if it were the most normal thing ever.
He then asked me to touch a screen, he then tapped my hand and sounds came out!!!
I'm now off to read the brochure and hopefully I can figure this out ...

Do go along tonight. Ei Wada will be playing his Braun Tube Brass Band only this evening.
The exhibition is of course on much longer. Performances of this extraordinary piece will happen at 6.30 and 7.45pm every Thursday evening and 4 and 5pm on Sundays.

International Day at ISR

The International School on the Rhine in Neuss, ISR, celebrates its International Day on Saturday November 13th from 11am until 3pm.
The day's activities let's you taste delicious food from around the globe, from Peru, Cambodia, Argentina, New Zealand, France, Spain and Poland.
Entertainment is offered with flamenco from Spain; shadow puppet theatre from Cambodia; Polish piano pieces; Brazilian beats and a New Zealand song performed by the second graders.

There will great prizes you can win by silent auction - amongst them: an FC Schalke tricot signed by the entire team; a free week in a recreational vehicle in New Zealand; 4 tickets for Titus I gratefully picked up from the German Opera on the Rhine recently and many other wonderful treats.
Proceeds of this auction are going to ISR's chosen charity Palm Tree Orphanage in Cambodia.

Everyone is welcome!

KiKiFe Children's Film Festival with ISR

November 4 - 10 2010
sensational 1100+ children enjoying the festival this week!
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (OV) Nov 6 at 3pm 
at the UCI Cinema Düsseldorf

The Children’s Film Festival celebrates 25 years in Düsseldorf
In 2009 RhineBuzz initiated the new International Day at KiKiFe, KinderKinoFest, with an original version showing of Mary Poppins - we were extremely pleased with the turn-out and the children and their parents left the cinema with big smiling faces.
For 2010 RhineBuzz are presenting Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the story of the magical car which was written by none other than James Bond creator Ian Fleming.
making a movie at UFA
The festival is not just about watching movies - it is about getting the children involved in all that the world of movies entail. Throughout the festival there are numerous activities for the children to be involved in. They can make movies, bake, draw, all sorts!

Before our film Colin Sinclair will give a musical workshop at the UCI Cinema in the harbour for children aged 6-12. See what goes into a musical number in a movie - Sinclair is a British choreographer, dancer, model and designer. Places are limited for this workshop, please reserve on or on the hotline 0211 8998108.

What do we think of when we think of films - Oscars of course and KiKiFe is no exception!
One of the main activities is a prize giving for the best film. There has been a tradition of this in the past for KiKiFe for the children of German schools and clubs and now for the first time, we are very pleased to be working with the International School on the Rhine in Neuss, ISR, to be presenting the first International Children’s Jury.

I have been working with the students at ISR, on how to review a movie. We will watch a total of four films, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, in order to evaluate and give the prize for best film at the KiKiFe celebrations on November 9th at the UFA Cinema next to the main station. This will be a wonderful day of movies, prizes and activities for both the students of German schools and clubs and ISR, we are looking forward to it immensely!

International Children's Jury ar ISR

We have plans for much more of this kind of activity for next year and hope that more and more international students and those of the German schools and clubs will be given the opportunity to work on such other delightful projects together.

Dance Workshop with Colin Sinclair November 6th 
UCI Cinema 1.15pm €3
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang November 6th 
UCI Cinema 3pm Children €3, Adults €4
Prize Giving Best Film with the International Jury from ISR November 9th UFA Cinema
From October 1st you can reserve online, via the hotline 0211 8998108 or send an email to

robert schumann hall 2010/11

Simone Kermes    Photograph Andreas Dommenz

The robert schumann hall, a purpose built concert hall for chamber music, is part of the museum kunst palast complex and can be found in the basement of the east wing.
It hosts all manner of events: films, concerts, comedy evenings, opera, jazz and accompanying programmes for the museum's exhibitions and guest events.
Eckart Schulze-Neuhoff, the head of the Robert Schumann Hall, presented the Hall's very own programme recently and was obviously very pleased and proud that several of the ideas that he had conceived together with Ulla Baumeister had been so well-received in the recent past, making it possible to extend the programme with the help of excellent sponsorship. 
One of the main focuses of this programme is to encourage more young people to give classical music a try with innovative concerts ideas such as partnering chamber music with techno, or jazz as in the 440Hz Series or giving extraordinary talented musicians the opportunity to explain their craft to the audience as the young charismatic Schumann Quartett do in the series ErstKlassik!
The forthcoming programme is an eclectic mix of astounding musicians from numerous genres and experience. The Schumann Quartett, who RhineBuzz enjoyed up close and personal in January, will perform on November 28 and again on Boxing Day, December 26. Incredibly popular so do purchase your tickets from the Tonhalle box office, or online, on time.

On October 31 at 5pm, Eva Mattes, one of Germany's most popular actresses will be presenting pieces from the bustling world metropolis of Berlin in the legendary twenties to forties, performing songs with lyrics in several languages that tell the tales of artists, immigrants and those returning home at a time when this city was bursting with vibrant creativity and energy.
I asked Eva Mattes if she felt that this concert was right for our audience, bearing in mind that many speak very little or no German. She smiled and thought you would indeed enjoy it. The tales are universal she told me and told with such passion and feeling, the readings are in German, but the whole atmosphere of the performance carries you along. Everyone can understand the stories that are being told here.
Anyway, "I am accompanied by such amazing musicians," she added, "no one will go home disappointed!"
Her smile was so warm I was convinced she was right.
Other highlights for the next few months also include Simone Kermes, presently Germany's most sought after opera singer, known as "The Crazy Queen of Baroque" a performer of 
passionate character with a crystal clear voice. Have a listen.
She will be interpreting arias from 18th century Naples on November 14, 
a date certainly not to be missed!
Students of the Robert Schumann Music School play on November 11. These concerts have been happening since 2002, but up until now have only been open to members of the Friends of the Robert Schumann School and E.ON who support these events. Due to great demand the Robert Schumann Hall will now be presenting the first of such concerts that will be open to everyone. For just €10 you can experience the great talents of tomorrow's classical music generation.
Do take a look at the entire schedule. There are some absolute gems there, and as an added bonus, the robert schumann hall can provide free child care if you wish to visit a concert on a Sunday afternoon at 5pm. You must register your child three days before the performance you wish to attend. What a great service! 

Nam June Paik at museum kunst palast

museum kunst palast Opening Nam June Paik
Final Week! Closing 21 November

museum kunst palast, in conjunction with Tate Liverpool, is currently showing an extensive retrospective of the ‘Godfather of Video Art’, Nam June Paik until November 21. The exhibition is then going to the Tate Liverpool to open on December 17.
Paik’s imagination and curiosity for what he could do with a tv screen paved the way for MTV and countless forms of creative workings on a monitor. He was one of the first to use the term 'electronic super highway' and much of which entertains us on our screens and that we take for granted today can be accredited to this Korean artist.
Mercury 19191 ©Nam June Paik Estate, New York, 2010/Kunststiftung NRW
Photograph: Sascha Dressler
At the press conference I was introduced to Ken Hakuta, Paik’s nephew and executor of the Paik estate.

He was an amusing man who gave me an intimate insight into his ‘crazy uncle’.
My father, Nam June’s oldest brother claimed his artist sibling was lazy - “Paik liked to sleep late and my father didn’t like that!” he told me gleefully. But we loved him as kids - he told my parents that they should buy us a better tv!
"He was my crazy uncle. He was always doing crazy stuff; he ate a copy of the New York Times during a performance in New York." 
When I asked how he would describe this exhibition to someone who knows nothing about Paik or video art, he instantly said “Imagine it’s 1970. This is Nam’s view of the future.”
Much of it still looks pretty contemporary and even futuristic all these years later.
Sook-Kyung Lee joint curator of the exhibition from Tate Liverpool, stood by Ken’s side and nodded. ‘Exactly’ she agreed.

Ken Hakuta and Sook-Kyung Lee
 before Paik's 75 Internet Dream
The next day at the opening, I ran into Ken several times. Each time he grinned and said ‘remember - it’s the future!’
Sook-Kyung Lee described the artist as the first person to combine fine art and tv. Trained as a cellist, Paik experimented with instruments, monitors, lasers, 3 D tv, robots and fish tanks.

Laser Cone
It’s kind of tricky to really describe the exhibition - it’s very diverse; includes a wall of tv’s that were Paik’s equivalent to ‘elevator music’ and for the first time in Germany you can wonder at the stunning Laser Cone on a teepee type construction from which you can see the swirling bright and shiny forms from both the outside and by laying underneath it. It’s very hypnotic.
The exhibition includes extensive photographs of Paik and his work with peers such as John Cage, Yoko Ono and Joseph Beuys.

Ken Hakuta also added that Germany just has so many old pieces as Paik spent much of his working life here in Germany. His first show was hosted in Wuppertal and from 1979 to 1996 he was professor at the Düsseldorf Arts Academy.
Definitely worth a longer look. I’d seen Paik’s work here and there at shows before, but in this depth and quantity it takes on a whole new meaning. 
There are 'Video Fish' and robots to gaze at; 'TV Buddha' and 3D TV ...
Paik’s mind sure was a colourful, whizzing playground.

Further images of the exhibition are also here on flickr
There is also an accompanying programme running with this exhibition including Hommage á John on October 24. 
And one other, very important fact - from an art historical point of view, we were told that this exhibition will be the last using the monitors that Paik actually used.
“What will be used in the future?” One journalist asked. The answer was a shrug of the shoulders by all concerned. So go and see this whilst you still can.

Nam June Paik at museum kunst palast until 21 November 2010
The museum opens late until 9pm on Thursdays
Wednesday Special, two for one from 2pm

The Flying Dutchman

© Jörg Michel
Our next Opera on the Rhine date is November 12th when we are off to see the Wagner classic the Flying Dutchman.
Discounted tickets available in the stalls and third tier. Please email for further details. Deadline for tickets November 5th.
There's a great talk about this legendary piece on youtube and a synopsis here.
Our opera events are very popular, RhineBuzz tickets for La Bohème sold out days before the deadline to reserve, so to avoid disappointment, do contact us in plenty time.

Joe Robinson Guitar Whizzkid

Fabulous gig Joe!
You so deserved the standing ovation. WoW.

Thursday evening, November 4th, sees an absolute treat for all guitar lovers.
Joe Robinson plays at the Albert Einstein Forum in nearby Kaarst, just a 30 minute train ride away from Düsseldorf main station.
Still in his teens, this enchanting Australian musician most deservedly won 'Australia's Got Talent 2008' and as they say, his feet have not touched the ground since.
On camera he explains " I lived in the Australian jungle. There was nothing else to do but play the guitar" And boy does he play!
Joe's site lists his world tour which has just kicked off and includes a gig this Friday as: "Leverkusen (w/Paco De Lucia and Al di Meola), Germany":
Yes, on Friday this incredible young man supports guitar icons Paco De Lucia and Al Di Meola at the Leverkusen Jazz Days, (Leverkusen is also just a short train journey from Düsseldorf). This year the festival, in its 31st year, features an international guitar extravaganza. Legends such as Johnny Winter will take to the stage as well as the first gig with Paco de Lucia and Al di Meola since 1996.
It's an extraordinary line up including Billy Cobham and Salif Keita who also perform later in the week.

What another fabulous achievement! Congratulations Joe. We cannot wait to hear and see you play on Thursday!

Joe Robinson 
Am Schulzentrum 16
41564 Kaarst - Kaarst

Tickets €18 at 8pm