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. In 2019 alone, the Babylon Orchester Berlin played 48 sold-out shows with more than 24000 visitors. The repertoire includes Metropolis, Nosferatu, Berlin - Symphony of a Great City, Rosita and Battleship Potemkin.
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 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 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.
Miguel Pérez Iñesta, born in Valladolid (Spain), studied ballet, piano and clarinet at the Conservatorio Superior de Música del Principado in Asturias, and conducting at the University of Alcalá de Henares, Madrid. He continued his studies in Berlin at the HfM “Hanns Eisler” and at the “Karajan Academy” of the Berlin Philharmonic, where he had the great opportunity to work closely with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Christian Thielemann, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa or Bernhard Haitink. In the past years he has received important musical impulses from Peter Eötvös, Titus Engel, Matthias Pintscher and Vladimir Jurowsky.
With a broad repertoire, from baroque to contemporary music, and always at home in the opera or theater, Miguel has so far worked as a conductor with the ensemble Kaleidoskop, Zafraan Ensemble, vocal ensemble Phoenix16, Junge Norddeutsche Philharmonie, Chamber Academy Potsdam, Basel Symphony Orchestra and several times with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich. Together with the Podium Festival Chamber Orchestra, he has played at renowned concert halls such as Berlin Konzerthaus, Radialsystem, Pierre Boulez Hall or Lucerne Hall at the KKL at the Lucerne Festival. He has worked with composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, Hèctor Parra, György Kurtág, Tristan Murail, Chaya Czernowin and Pierre Boulez.
A few years ago he came into contact with the practice of making music with a film, of accompanying a film, which is basically a form of chamber music. He conducted the short film “Regen” (1927) by Joris Ivens with Hanns Eisler’s score “14 ways to describe the rain” at Podium Festival Esslingen. Since then he has repeatedly worked on various projects with films, be it with old recordings and new compositions (e.g. for “Kino Pravda”), or new films for old pieces (e.g. Mahler's “Wunderhorn” songs with the silent film of the same name by Clara Pons, or Stravinsky's “Story of the Soldier” from 1917 with the interactive animation video by the Motionfruit collective).
Paul J. Roßmann
Cezar Salem (CM)
Viola Meinecke (CM)
Sebastian Casleanu (CM)
Wagner Rodrigues (CM)
Alba San Quirico
Tornike Ugrekhelidze Lucas Bienzobas
Miguel Pérez Iñesta