For five decades Goethe-Institut Boston has been residing in its wonderful historic building in Back Bay. It has become a distinctive feature of the lively cultural fabric in New England. We are delighted that our beloved historical home will be undergoing renovations soon. Just in time for 50th anniversary, the Goethe-Institut Boston will be getting a complete makeover! Before closing down – the building, not our activities, as we will be operating from “elsewhere” – we look forward to celebrate with our “friends and family”.
Join us for a lively farewell party on September 22. Visit Boston’s smallest gallery – Sound installation and live music – Mini German language class – Poetry – Find out what's happening at the German election – Have a sip in the "Kellerbar" – Secure yourself a piece of history in an auction – Toast 50 years of partnership with a glass of German wine or beer – Toast 50 years of partnership with a glass of German wine or beer and enjoy Germany-inspired delicacies.
We look forward to seeing you!
Generously supported by Aeronaut Brewing Company, Iggy's Bread, Karl's Sausage Kitchen & European Market, and Swissbäkers.
Panel Discussion: German Elections
6:30–7:00 pm / Auditorium
Karl Kaiser, Center for European Studies, Harvard
Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook, Harvard Kennedy School
© Kennedy School, Harvard
© CES, Harvard
How will Germany vote on September 24th? The panel discusses possible results of the upcoming Federal Elections and what they will mean for the transatlantic relationship.
8:45–9:15 pm / Library
With Kurt Fendt, MIT
Bring and read texts that celebrate the local, the small town, the remote place, the backwater.
Readings in German and English, Discussion in English.
Literature: Shared Reading
5:45–6:15 pm / Library
With Barbara Eskin, German Book Club
© Barbara Eskin
An interactive reading experience. Join our book club moderator in a close reading of a text about province here, there and elsewhere.
Exhibition: ELSEWERE – provincial perspectives
5:00–5:30 pm / Auditorium
© Wilhelm Neusser
In thirteen large-format paintings in sober contrast to the Goethe-Institut Boston’s opulent décor, Cambridge-based painter Wilhelm Neusser celebrates the melancholic beauty of the so-called province. Guided tour with the artist.
Concert: Lieder Intermezzo
5:45–6:15 pm / Auditorium
Emily Marvosh, contralto
Tanya Blaich, piano
© Tanya Blaich
© Emily Marvosh
A short program of Lieder takes the listener on a ‘stroll’ through pastoral landscapes. Works by Brahms, Schubert and Vaughn-Williams, among others.
Concert: Jazz Interlude
8:45–9:15 pm / Auditorium
© Julian Moehring
Julian Moehring, piano and voice, unites the depth of world music with the freedom of jazz and the lyrical beauty of folk and chanson. Born in southern Germany and a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music, he will share his latest compositions before moving to the Big Apple to seek his fortune.
8:45–9:15 pm / 4th Floor Director's office
9:30–10:00 pm / 4th Floor Director's office
Emily Marvosh, contralto & Dave McLellan, guitar
Nancy Hair, cello
© Emily Marvosh
© Nancy Hair
© Dave McLellan
Take a breather on the fourth floor — our ‘Liegekonzert’, a well-established format in Germany, invites you to relax and enjoy live music while getting cozy on provided mats, pillows and chairs. Featured artists are Emily Marvosh, contralto and Dave McLellan, guitar in a program of courtly and folksy songs from Dowland to Lorca, followed by Nancy Hair, cello, with excerpts J.S. Bach’s cello suites.
Performance: Kafka’s The Trial
© Carissa Halston
© William Pierce
Carissa Halston, founder of the press Aforementioned Productions
, as the Whipper; William Pierce, editor of the literary magazine AGNI
as one of the clerks of the court.
Reading and Performance
5:15–5:45 pm / Garden
A rollicking reading of their own work by The Back Porch Collective
, centering on the evening’s theme of “Elsewhere.” Front porch and garden.
© The Back Porch Collective
Built on Wooden Piles — A History of Back Bay
5:45–6:15 pm / Room Berlin
With Christian Simonelli, Boston Groundwater Trust
© Christian Simonelli
When the Puritans first settled in Boston, the area quickly became too small. Residents from an early date began to expand it by making new build-able land. This "made land" was formed by dumping sand and gravel on top of the mud flats that originally existed. Pilings were driven through the made land. So the city was able to grow, but changing groundwater levels face a threat to the pilings of the old Boston neighborhoods. A historic overview.
7:15–7:45 pm / Library
A modernist / WWII reading of works by Paul Celan in the original and in English translation by Kurt Klopmeier and Randolph Pfaff respectively.
© Randolph Pfaff
7:15–7:45 pm / Room Düsseldorf
© Anna Mayer
German is easy, give it a try at your first playful German language lesson With Anna Mayer.
America as Elsewhere
6:30–7:00 pm / Library
Readings by three American women. Simone John’s debut poetry collection, Testify
, was released last month. Carissa Halston’s novel-in-progress, Conjoined States
, examines racial tension and “moral” violence in the U.S. And Shuchi Saraswat’s novel, Prema
, tells the story of an Indian woman in her early forties who, after decades of living in the States, leaves for India, meaning never to return.
© Carissa Halston
© Simone John
© Shuchi Saraswat
Sound Performances & Installations: Sonic Adventures
7:15–7:45 pm / Michael Rosenstein (field recordings and electronics) & Chris Strunk (solo percussion)
8:45–9:15 pm / Luke Martin (no-input mixing board) & José Rivera (electronics)
9:30–10:00 pm / Kevin Micka (guitar, electronics) & TBD
Non-Event, our trusted partner for over 10 years in electronic and experimental music, presents a selection of local artists with diverse performances and sound installations throughout the building:
Michael Rosenstein uses amplified surfaces, oscillators and home-made electronics, distressed field recordings, harmonics and overtones, exploiting and feeding off of the resultant unstable sonic events.
Chris Strunk is an experimental percussionist, librarian, and concert organizer based in Jamaica Plain.
Luke Martin is an experimental composer, performer, and poet whose work focuses on the concepts of silence, blandness, and community and is primarily interested in exploring limits of perception.
José Rivera (aka Proxemia) is a multimedia artist, researcher, and architectural designer who explores the intersections of aural and spatial experience through multichannel installations and performances, sound design for film, visual art, and cartography.
Kevin Micka plays music under the name Animal Hospital and has worked in this field as a composer, conductor, live performer, recording artist/engineer and film scorer.
Screening: Province on Film
9:30–10:00 pm / Auditorium
Das offenbare Geheimnis/ An Apparent Secret
Director: Eva Könnemann
German with English subtitles
Award winning short film, 29 min., Germany 2015
© Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen
Emmelsum – a small town in North Rhine-Westphalia without any attractions. Even the town’s website states: "There is not much to say about Emmelsum". The filmmaker portrays the village anyway because there’s no place on earth where there’s just “nothing”.
Screening: Saving Pop Culture
7:15–10:15 pm / Basement
© Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen
A collection of cutting edge, experimental, award-winning German music videos.
Projected on Blu Ray in our sound-proof basement.