The Babylon Orchester Berlin was founded in 2019 on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the BABYLON cinema in Berlin-Mitte. As the only cinema since the end of the silent era, the Babylon has an own cinema orchestra. Now it is possible to experience the art of live accompanied film screenings as regularly as opera or concert.
The Babylon Orchester aspires to perform silent film music at the highest musical level and in masterful synchrony with the film. Depending on the film, the orchestra consists of 16-21 professional musicians with years of professional experience in renowned orchestras.
In the anniversary year 2019, the foundation of the orchestra will be celebrated with a number of live orchestra performances not reached since the 1920s. From January to July 2019 alone, the Babylon Orchester Berlin played 35 sold-out shows with more than 17000 visitors. The repertoire includes Metropolis, Nosferatu, Berlin - Symphony of a Great City, Rosita and Battleship Potemkin.
Founding members are the composer and pianist Hans Brandner and the conductor Marcelo Falcão, who lead the orchestra together. Both share their interest in cinema and in particular their love of silent film.
Hans Brandner studied musicology at the Humboldt University in Berlin and piano with Prof. Natalia Guseva. He graduated from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in London with a degree in Piano Performance.
At the center of his interest is the connection of music and visual media. He played Béla Bartók's Mikrokosmos to images of photomicrography and published books and articles on the work of Alexander Truslit and his visual depiction of musical movement.
Hans Brandner came to silent film and composition in 2010 with the order of the Humboldt University to arrange and perform Berlin - Symphony of a Great City for chamber ensemble, as part of its 200th anniversary. In 2018 he also arranged the music of Edmund Meisel for orchestra.
In 2017 he arranged the music for Nosferatu for piano solo, wrote an overture for it and published together with Marcelo Falcão the basis of this film music, the Fantastic Romantic Suite for Orchestra by Hans Erdmann.
In 2019 he edited Edmund Meisel's music to Battleship Potemkin for the Russian premiere version of the film.
Silent film concerts brought Hans Brandner to Kunming in China in 2012 and to Brazil in 2014, where he performed in Belém, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro as part of the German-Brazilian Year organized by the Goethe-Institut. In 2018, together with Marcelo Falcão, he played the Brazilian premiere of Nosferatu's original music in São Paulo in partnership with the Instituto Moreira Salles and the Goethe-Institut São Paulo.
Marcelo Falcão first studied composition and double bass in Rio de Janeiro.
In Berlin, he received his bachelor's degree in musicology from the Humboldt University and studied orchestral conducting with Alexander Gelovani.
He then studied contemporary music at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana with Arturo Tamayo. At the Royal College of Music and Drama in the UK, he completed his master's degree in orchestral conducting with David Jones with merit.
He has participated in conducting classes with Abel Rocha, Marin Alsop, Pedro Neves, Sian Edwards, Kenneth Kiesler, Colin Metters and Douglas Bostock, conducting the Russian National Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Youth Orchestra, the Divertimento Ensemble, the Argovia Philharmonic and the Orquestra Sinfônica da USP.
As a guest conductor Marcelo Falcão directed the Georgian National Philharmonic Orchestra in Tbilisi, Georgia. In Berlin he assisted Kristiina Poska.
During his studies in Wales, he assisted the conductors David Jones in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro and Carlo Rizzi in Verdi's Falstaff.
In 2014, Marcelo Falcão conducted silent film productions of Berlin - Symphony of a Metropolis in Brazil as part of the German-Brazilian Year. He edited and published with Hans Brandner Nosferatu: Fantastic Romantic Suite for Orchestra by Hans Erdmann.
In 2018 he conducted the Brazilian premieres of the original music of Nosferatu in São Paulo, in partnership with the Instituto Moreira Salles and the Goethe-Institut São Paulo.
Paul J. Roßmann
Cezar Salem (CM)
Viola Meinecke (CM)
Sebastian Casleanu (CM)
Wagner Rodrigues (CM)
Alba San Quirico
Tornike Ugrekhelidze Lucas Bienzobas