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Screening and Lecture: A Father's Music

Date: 9/20/2013
Time: 6:30 PM

Deutsches Haus at NYU
42 Washington Mews
New York, NY

Deutsches Haus at NYU presents the acclaimed documentary film Nach der Musik (A Father’s Music), followed by a lecture by and conversation with its director, Igor Heitzmann.

Shortly after the Wall came down, the Austrian conductor Otmar Suitner ended his long-standing career at the State Opera in East Berlin. Parkinson syndrome was causing his hands to tremble. A conductor who had achieved world fame at Bayreuth could not control the baton. Music disappeared from his daily life. But the fall of the Wall brought something new: changes to his family life. For decades Suitner had two private lives, one with his wife in East Berlin, the other one with his mistress and their son, Igor, in the west of the divided city. 

In A Father's Music filmmaker Igor Heitzmann tells the story of a rapprochement: with his father, the distant conductor; with a vanished country, the German Democratic Republic; with the exceptional paths of his parents’ lives; and with music. He shows the great moments of Suitner's life as a musician, celebrated concerts and concert tours, but also common orchestra rehearsals or the work with students of the conductor's class at the University of Music in Vienna. Through the music recordings Igor Heitzmann's own, fragmented memories of his rare encounters with the father are tied together. He reconstructs the family story between East and West through interviews, archive footage, and original scenes. A Father's Music is the portrait of a man whose life was an incredible balancing act—between communism and the West, private life and career, wife and mistress. A film about a great conductor, told by his son who seeks out music in order to find his father.

The film is 105 minutes long and will be presented in German with English subtitles.

A Father's Music is a DAAD-sponsored event.

Events at Deutsches Haus are free of charge. Please let us know which event you would like to attend by sending us an email to deutscheshaus.rsvp@nyu.edu. Space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive ten minutes prior to the event. Thank you!