Digital program booklet

Fr Feb 03. Mensch, Musik #6

Return to the Unknown – an exploration through text, dance, symphonic and electronic music

07:30 pm Haus des Rundfunks

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
„Heimkehr aus der Fremde“ – Ouvertüre op. 89

Bohuslav Martinů
Toccata e Due Canzoni for the Chamber Orchestra H 311

Ursula Mamlok
Concertino for woodwind quintet, percussion and string orchestra
3rd movement: Elegy

George Walker
Concert for Trombone and Orchestra
1st movement: Allegro

Dai Fujikura
„Entwine“ for Orchestra

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Excerpts from „Oder soll es Tod bedeuten“ – Eight songs and a fragment after poems by Heinrich Heine,
arranged and combined with six intermezzi for soprano and string quartet by Aribert Reimann

Richard Scott
Electroacoustic interlude

The event takes place without a break.


Ruth Reinhardt, Conductor

Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin

Philipp Mathmann, Countertenor/ Soprano

David Nebel, Violin

Nadine Contini, Violin

Alejandro Regueira Caumel, Viola

Hans-Jakob Eschenburg, Violoncello

Mohamed Gamal, Trombone

Richard Scott, Modular Synthesizer

Gustavo Llano, Choreography and dance

Inka Löwendorf, Voice

tauchgold, Text, concept and scenic arrangement

Catalyst – Institute for Creative Arts and Technology, Cooperation partner

Mensch, Musik!

The RSB is committed to making music not for its own sake, but explicitly for people, also for those who until now have hardly had an ear for classical music and symphony orchestras.

To this end, the orchestra invites artists who are able to reach our senses beyond hearing with images, texts and optical visions. Directing team “tauchgold” together with students, tutors and alumni from Catalyst, a higher-education institute for creative arts and technology, unite creative practices, disciplines, genres visions from diverse artistic and cultural backgrounds.

Icon Tickets Tickets


Gustavo Llano
„El camino” (The path) –
„El instrumento es mi casa.“ (The instrument is my home.)

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
(1809 – 1947)
The Return Home from Abroad - Ouvertüre op. 89
Andante – Allegro di molto – Andante come I.

Richard Scott
Electroacoustic interlude

Ursula Mamlok
(1923 – 2016)
Concertino for woodwind quintet, percussion and string orchestra
3rd movement: Elegy

Richard Scott
Electroacoustic interlude

Gustavo Llano
„El viento mueve mi cuerpo.“ (The wind shakes my body.)

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy / Aribert Reimann (geb. 1936)
„... oder soll es Tod bedeuten? Acht Lieder und ein Fragment von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy auf Gedichte von Heinrich Heine, für Sopran und Streichquartett bearbeitet und verbunden mit sechs Intermezzi von Aribert Reimann“ –( ... or should it mean death? Eight songs and a fragment by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy on poems by Heinrich Heine, arranged for soprano and string quartet and combined with six intermezzi by Aribert Reimann.)
„Leise zieht durch mein Gemüt“ – (Quietly moves through my mind)
Intermezzo I
„Der Herbstwind rüttelt die Bäume“ – (The autumn wind shakes the trees)

Richard Scott
Electroacoustic interlude

George Walker
(1922 - 2018)
Concerto for trombone and orchestra
1st movement: Allegro

"Return to the Unknown" Part 1

Gustavo Llano
„La Luz es mi camino.“ (The light is my path.)

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy / Aribert Reimann
"On Wings of Song" and Intermezzo IV

Bohuslav Martinů
(1890 - 1959)
Toccata and Two Songs for Chamber Orchestra H 311
Toccata. Allegro moderato

Richard Scott
Electroacoustic interlude

Gustavo Llano
„De regresso a la tierra“ (Back to earth)

Bohuslav Martinů
Toccata e Due Canzoni
Canzona I. Andante moderato

"Return to the Unknown" Part 2

Richard Scott
Electroacoustic interlude

Dai Fujikura
(geb. 1977)
„Entwine“ (Embrace) for orchestra

Gustavo Llano
„El silencio anda en mi.“ (The silence wanders inside me.)

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy / Aribert Reimann
Intermezzo VI und „Why are the roses so pale?“

Bohuslav Martinů
Toccata e Due Canzoni
Canzona II. Allegro (poco)

Gustavo Llano
„De regreso en tierra extranjera“ (Back in a foreign land)


Return to the Unknown

"Which person belongs to which place? Who says 'I' when I say 'me'? When is a German a German, a Jew a Jew, a Colombian a Colombian, a Muslim a Muslim or a Berliner a Berliner ...? What is homeland? What does foreign mean? When am I a stranger to my homeland, when am I at home in a foreign land?" - Tonight's sixth evening in the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin's "Mensch, Musik!" series is an interdisciplinary search for clues to questions of origin and homeland. It leads from symphonic and chamber music with song to dance, language and electronic music.

Berlin 1743

Ha-katan Mausche mi-Dessau - little Moses from Dessau - enters the city through the Halle Gate. There is nothing to indicate that the shy, diminutive Talmud student will one day become the famous Enlightenment philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. His "Return to the unknown" in Berlin marked the beginning of a development for Germany, and indeed for Europe, that is still ongoing today - on the one hand, in the sense of the emancipation of so-called minorities, by no means only Jewish minorities. On the other hand, as a claim of individuals to no longer let their own lives and thoughts be determined by religious or social prejudices.

Berlin 1829

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, a grandson of Moses who converted to Protestantism, performs the Singspiel "Heimkehr aus der Fremde". A cheerful, light piece, composed without too many ulterior motives for his parents' silver wedding anniversary. Nevertheless, the title seems like a metaphor for the optimism of its time: Germany is opening up to the Jewish minority. Never before did the path to the centre of society seem so free. One wants to and can leave being a foreigner behind!

Berlin 1935

The siblings Francesco and Eleonora von Mendelssohn, both successful artists and direct descendants of Moses Mendelssohn, leave Germany forever. Although they are no longer Jews, even in the third generation, their homeland has become a foreign country for them, especially intellectually: Philosophical enlightenment and social openness, for which their ancestor Moses Mendelssohn had so successfully campaigned, have failed in an incomprehensible way.

Could such a reversal of liberal development happen again today, after almost another hundred years?

Searching for clues

The idea for the evening comes from Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy with his overture to the Singspiel "Heimkehr aus die Fremde". It is also Mendelssohn Bartholdy who sets a counterpoint with his songs on poems by Heinrich Heine. Aribert Reimann has added preludes and postludes to the songs with arrangements for voice and string quartet and, by name, with disturbing commentaries for the string quartet.

A Jewish composer, who emigrated in time before the Nazis seized her, experienced her return to Europe painfully. Ursula Mamlok's "Elegy" (1987) tells of this in reproach-free silence. It was only in 2006 that she returned to Berlin after almost 70 years in the USA.

When the Czech refugee Bohuslav Martinů began work on the orchestral work "Toccata e Due canzoni" in Massachusetts in 1946, he thought of a light, optimistic piece. The war is over. A new era begins. But for Martinů, health problems make the recovery of his own creative power, of his own expressive ability, a special form of the "Return to the unknown". Moreover, he is denied the longed-for return to his homeland. The returnee is not wanted because he is not prepared to bow to the new political rulers.

In 1957, the US composer George Walker - with almost the same life span as Ursula Mamlok - composed music as a late descendant of enslaved Africans that transforms the loss of their genuine origins and the tiring struggle for equal rights into a new, self-confident sound. His "Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra", inspired by both Western classical music and jazz, is considered one of the first to focus on the expressive possibilities of the modern trombone from the second half of the 20th century.

The search for traces of origin and home is different again for the composer Dai Fujikura, who was born in Japan and has lived in Great Britain since the age of 15. He feels neither really at home here nor there, nor really foreign. And yet everything interlocks. His orchestral work "Entwine" (2021), written under the impression of the social deprivations of the pandemic, passes the musical material from one instrument to another - as if from one hand to the other.

The Colombian-born dancer Gustavo Llano left his home country at the end of the 1990s because of the ongoing violence there. "Return to the unknown" - that is the connection of the musical works with his life story, a search for traces of his former self.

The work of the British composer and electroacoustic musician Richard Scott has always moved in the border areas of various musical genres from jazz and free improvisation to new music. The interaction with a large symphonic orchestra as well as with chamber ensemble, dance and voice therefore follows his artistic concern to bring about unexpected encounters between different musical worlds and artistic disciplines.

© tauchgold and Steffen Georgi

Sung poems

by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)

Sweet chimes are softly
filling my soul;
Ring, little springtime-song
Ring out: far and wide.

Go forward till you reach the house,
where the violets bloom;
And if you see a rose,
give her my greetings.

The Autumn’s shaking the branches
With night-time’s icy breeze;
I wrap my cloak around me,
Riding alone through the trees.

And as I ride, there before me
Ride my desires and my needs;
So buoyant and light, they bear me
Where passion always leads.

The dogs are barking, the servants
Appear and their candle-light flares;
I rush the spiral staircase,
My spurs ring out on the stairs.

And there in her tapestried chamber,
How fragrant and glowing the place!
She waits, my only beloved --
I fly to her keen embrace.

The wind in the leaves starts to rustle,
The oaktree's voice is heard:
You have it, foolish young rider!
You see that dreaming’s absurd.

On wings of singing,
my love, I'll carry you away
to the fields of the Ganges
Where I know the most beautiful place.

There lies a red-flowering garden,
in the serene moonlight,
the lotus-flowers await
Their beloved sister.

The violets giggle and cherish,
and look up at the stars,
The roses tell each other secretly
Their fragant fairy-tales.

The gentle, bright gazelles,
pass and listen;
and in the distance murmurs
The waves of the holy stream.

There we will lay down,
under the palm-tree,
and drink of love and peacefulnes
And dream our blessed dream.

Why are the roses so pale?
o speak, my love, why?
Why in the green grass
are the blue violets so silent?

Why with such a lamenting voice
does the lark sing in the sky?
Why from the balsam weed does there rise
the scent of wilting …


Ruth Reinhardt

Born in Saarbrücken, conductor Ruth Reinhardt composed and conducted a children's opera in her hometown at the age of 17. She studied conducting in Zurich with Constantin Trinks and Johannes Schlaefli. In addition, she took part in master classes with Bernard Haitink, Michael Tilson Thomas, David Zinman and James Ross, among others. After completing her Master's degree in conducting at New York's Juilliard School with Alan Gilbert, Ruth Reinhardt earned conducting fellowships for orchestral work in Boston/ Tanglewood and Seattle. From 2015 to 2017 she was Associate Conducting Fellow of the Taki Concordia programme, then Dudamel Fellow of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 2018 and 2019, she assisted with the Lucern Festival Academy Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Highlights of recent seasons include debuts with the Cleveland, San Francisco, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Orlando, Milwaukee and Portland symphonies, the summer festivals at Blossom Music Center and Wolf Trap in Virginia. In Europe she has made debuts with the HR Symphony Orchestra in Frankfurt, the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, in Graz, Gävle and Kristiansand, with the Stockholm Philharmonic, in Berlin, Leipzig and Paris. She will conduct the RSB for the first time in 2023.


Since 2007 tauchgold (Heike Tauch and Florian Goldberg) have been producing plays at the interface of radio and stage. Their works include social satires, historical dramas and philosophical material. However, specially composed music always plays a central role. In 2019, her stage work "Das Gläserne Meer - Ein Narratorium für Streicher und Stimmen" (The Glass Sea - A Narratorio for Strings and Voices) premiered in Munich, with a composition by Cathy Milliken based on the radio play "Metamorphoses". For "Borrowed Landscape - A Narratorio for Piano Trio and Voices", composer Dai Fujikura wrote the music (2022). In June 2022, tauchgold already realised the RSB's "Mensch, Musik!"#4 project under the title "Wanderer". The two following "Mensch, Musik!" projects in February and April 2023 ("Return tot he Unknown" and "Cities Land (in) Oceans") will also be created together with tauchgold.

Philipp Mathmann

His voice surprises with its bright clarity and fascinates with its intensity: Georg Rudiger has acclaimed its “radiance about which one can only marvel…” (Badische Zeitung) and Richard Lorber has celebrated its “irritatingly-beautiful, bell-clean naivety” (WDR3 Opernblog).

Soprano Philipp Mathmann is one of the most sought-after countertenors in the world today. During the course of his still-young career he has taken on numerous leading roles in highly-acclaimed productions such as Anastasio in “Giustino” (Handel), Abel in “Cain and Abel” (Scarlatti), Mirtillo in “Il pastor fido” and La Bellezza in “Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno” (Handel). These productions attracted national attention and were nominated for notable prizes, such as the Faust Prize and the Golden Mask Award. Mathmann’s opera engagements have taken him to the Teatro Real Madrid, the Aalto-Theater Essen, the Theater an der Wien, the Stanislawski Theater Moscow and numerous other renowned music festivals.

Mathmann does not just limit himself to baroque repertoire. In 2021/22, for example, he sang the part of the Angel at the Semperoper Dresden in the world premiere of Thorsten Rasch’s “Die andere Frau”, and the part of the Scorpion Man in Jörg Widmann’s opera “Babylon” at the Staatstheater Wiesbaden. Mathmann has worked in concert with some of the most renowned early music ensembles, such as the Freiburger Barockorchester, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Concerto Köln and conductors such as Christophe Rousset, Gianluca Capuano and Diego Fasolis. His first CD (“La deposizione dalla croce di Gesu Cristo” by F. X. Richter) was released in 2017 and was followed in 2020 by his first solo CD (“Tormenti d’Amore”) which featured 3 world premiere recordings.

Mohamed Gamal

Mohamed Gamal is an Egyptian trombone player. He is a graduate of the Cairo Conservatoire in Egypt and the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin. At the early age of 17, while completing his studies, he joined the Cairo Symphony Orchestra as a Co-Principal Trombone. In 2010 he won the First Prize at the 9th International Summer Festival in Egypt. He toured extensively throughout the Middle East, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia During 2011 to 2015 he played several solo concerts with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra. 2013, he was honoured to join the West Eastern Divan Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, and he has since been playing with West-Eastern Divan Orchestra around the world. In 2015, he joined the Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin where he studied with Prof. Stefan Schulz and Filipe Alves and graduated in 2019.

Gustavo Llano

Gustavo Llano was born in Medellín, Colombia. He studied theatre at the EPA (Escuela Popular de Arte de Medellín, now ITM) and visual arts at the University of Antioquia before finally turning to dance. His dance teachers included Jorge Holguín, Álvaro Restrepo, Beatriz Gutiérrez, Peter Palacio, Silvia Rolz.
Since 1998 Gustavo Llano has been living in Berlin in self-exile, as he calls it. Like many other dancers of his generation, he left the country because of the violence. The final straw was the murder of his friend and teacher José Manuel Freidel, a visionary of socially critical Colombian theatre.
In Germany, Gustavo Llano first danced in Ismael Ivo’s company. Through him he met Johann Kresnik, with whom he worked for several years, first as a dancer and later as artistic assistant. With Kresnik he staged, among others, Plan Vía in Bogotá, a choreographic reflection on Colombia’s present, and Die Fledermaus for the Wuppertal Opera. His own choreographic works include Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades for the Los Angeles Opera as well as the pieces Agua, Zeitlos, Cinco Danzas Cotidianas , Nadie en el Mundo es Eterno, La Fiesta and many others, which he has staged in Europe, the USA and Latin America.
Gustavo Llano’s work is oriented towards the idea of choreographic theatre, which differs from dance theatre in its political motifs as well as its socially critical content and seeks the greatest possible expression with the simplest, most everyday means.

Richard Scott

Richard Scott is a composer and improvisor residing in Berlin, who has been navigating the nether regions of free improvisation, jazz and avant-garde composition for some four decades. For the last few years he has been mostly focused on developing a personal and quite visceral approach to the compositional and improvisational possibilities of modular synthesis, working with collaborators including Audrey Chen, Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Phil Minton, Axel Dörner, Jon Rose, Shelley Hirsch, Thomas Lehn, Michael Vorfeld, Ute Wassermann, Jan Croonenbroeck and the Seicento Vocale choir, Trio Abstrakt, Pitchshifting Group,Richard Barrett, Evan Parker and Frank Gratkowski. He creates solo electronic compositions and performs in many ensembles, including many performances at international festivals and conferences such as Moers Music, Wels Music Unlimited, Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville, Bratislava Next Festival of Advanced Music, London Jazz Festival, Nickelsdorf Konfrontationen, ICMC (International Computer Music Conference), Impakt Berlin, SMC (Sound Music Computing), Berliner Festspiele Immersion, Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon, Ars Electronica Forum Wallis and the Tokyo Electroacoustic Music Festival.

He is the author of several articles on the subjects of free improvisation, modular synthesis and post-acousmatic music, and he recently edited an issue of eContact! journal dedicated to analogue and modular synthesis. He currently leads the Masters Degree in Creative Production at Catalyst Institute for Creative Arts and Technology in Berlin.

Das RSB in der Philharmonie Berlin, Foto: Peter Meisel

RSB formation

Violin 1

Ofer, Erez
Herzog, Susanne
Neufeld, Andreas
Bondas, Marina
Beckert, Philipp
Drechsel, Franziska
Kynast, Karin
Morgunowa, Anna
Yamada, Misa
Polle, Richard

Violin 2

Kurochkin, Oleh
Simon, Maximilian
Petzold, Sylvia
Seidel, Anne-Kathrin
Bauza, Rodrigo
Bara, Anna
Palascino, Enrico
Heidt, Cathy


Rinecker, Lydia
Adrion, Gernot
Silber, Christiane
Zolotova, Elizaveta
Markowski, Emilia
Livingston, Paul


Giglberger, Stefan
Breuninger, Jörg
Bard, Christian
Kipp, Andreas
Wittrock, Lukas


Wömmel-Stützer, Hermann
Buschmann, Axel
Gazale, Nhassim
Nejjoum-Barthélémy, Mehdi


Schaaff, Ulf-Dieter
Döbler, Rudolf
Schreiter, Markus


Esteban Barco, Mariano
Vogler, Gudrun


Kern, Michael
Korn, Christoph


Kofler, Miriam
Königstedt, Clemens
Gkesios, Thomas


Pförtsch, Norbert
Klinkhammer, Ingo
Hetzel de Fonseka, Felix
Demmler, Frank


Linke, Sören
Sägebarth, Uwe


Manyak, Edgar
Hauer, Dominik


Neckermann, Fabian


Edenwald, Maud


Schweda, Tobias
Tackmann, Frank
Vehling, Hanno


Wahlich, Arndt


Inagawa, Yuki


Deutschlandfunk Kultur

Broadcast on February 7th 2023, 8.03 pm.

Europe-wide. In Berlin on FM 89.6 MHz; cable 97.55; digital radio (DAB), satellite, online and via app - also for re-listening.

Photo rights

Portrait Ruth Reinhardt © Peter Meisel

Portrait Gustavo Llano © Peter Meisel

Portrait tauchgold © tauchgold

Portrait Mohamed Gamal © Peter Adamik

Portrait Philipp Mathmann © Annemone Taake

Portrait Richard Scott © Catalyst - Institute for Creatic´ve Arts and Technology

All further images © Peter Meisel