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RIAS Kammerchor Berlin is one of the "ten best choirs in the world" (Gramophone, Classical Music Magazine). This concert continues the line of commisioned works for the RIAS Kammerchor Berlin. Das Mädchen ohne Hände [The Girl Without Hands] by Frank Schwemmer combines motifs from the Grimm fairytale of the same name with texts from Des Knaben Wunderhorn among others.

Symbolbild RIAS Kammerchor Berlin
Symbolbild RIAS Kammerchor Berlin © M23

Frank Schwemmer, born in Berlin in 1961, is well-versed in fairy tales. He has been a full-blooded devotee of vocal music for four decades, composing for the stage, the concert hall and the church.

After Der kleine Muck [Little Muck], premiered twenty years ago by the ensemble of the Berliner Kammeroper, and Der Froschkönig, an oratorio setting of ‘The Frog Prince’ from 2005, this internationally sought-after artist will be diving into the realm of fantasy once again.

Pure fantasy? Not necessarily; his new work, Das Mädchen ohne Hände [The Girl Without Hands] for choir and chamber ensemble, commissioned by the RIAS Kammerchor and currently in preparation, will combine motifs from the Grimm fairy tale of the same name with texts from Des Knaben Wunderhorn as well as poems by Elisabeth Borchers and Marie Luise Kaschnitz to form a mosaic-like psychogram on the subject of traumas and their personal, historical and social causes and consequences, with more connections to reality than one might expect.

And, as is usually the case with Schwemmer, this interweaving of different literary levels will undoubtedly be mirrored once more in the rapidly-changing guises of his musical expression. Anyone who discusses questions of genre as openly as he does, who juggles with opposing styles, develops surprising imaginative worlds, fuels associations and knows how to use shifts of perspective to create meaning, is ideally positioned to dissolve the hard border between fiction and truth. This is where fairy tale meets reality.


Frank Schwemmer

Das Mädchen ohne Hände [The Girl Without Hands]

(Premiere, Commissioned work for the RIAS Kammerchor Berlin)

  • RIAS Kammerchor Berlin
  • Sheridan Ensemble
  • Denis Comtet Conductor

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Additional information
T +49.(0)30.20 29 87 25


Parking and access to the Philharmonie

West side
There are a limited number of designated disabled parking spaces in the public parking areas on the west side of the Philharmonie/Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße.

East side
Disabled concert goers and their assistant companions can stop short term at the Potsdamer Platz entrance (stage entrance on the east side of the Philharmonie) via the Scharounstrasse entrance for picking up or dropping off. The porters will open the barrier when you call from the entrance gate. This is also available to taxis. Underground car park The underground car park under the Chamber Music Hall (entrance via Scharoun-Straße) is not suitable for disabled visitors as there is no lift from there to the foyer.
Participating artists
RIAS Kammerchor Berlin
Justin Doyle
Sheridan Ensemble