Reflektor André Heller

André Heller curates a week of amazement at the Elbphilharmonie.

André Heller is a director, chansonnier, painter, radio broadcaster, author, international multi-media artist and a creative mastermind. Over the course of his career, his projects have ranged from garden artworks, cabinets of curiosities, literary bestsellers, large flying and swimming sculptures, and the avant-garde leisure park »Luna Luna«, which was realised on Hamburg’s Moorweide in 1987. In addition to directing shows, theatre plays, circuses, films and operas, and a multi-award-winning career as a singer and songwriter, he has also created fire shows, labyrinths and museum buildings. Heller, who lives in Vienna, Marrakesh and on the road, doesn’t speak of himself as an artist. He sees himself rather as a student who is trying to fill in the white spots on the map of his knowledge. André Heller is now curating a major festival in the Elbphilharmonie.

An extensive accompanying programme, including a selection from the film series »Menschenkinder« created by Heller over recent decades and the impressive room installation with paintings by the artist Xenia Hausner, rounds off the musical programme.

»Foreign is the foreigner only in a foreign land« is the theme, which is taken from a half-Dadaistic, half-philosophical text by Karl Valentin. Heller’s vision is to amaze people, on and off the stage. To achieve that, he has invited an incredible variety of artists across all genres. On almost every evening, the audience has an opportunity to enjoy performances by multiple, very different musicians in one concert – and possibly discover unexpected connections.

The acclaimed Finnish opera singer Camilla Nylund, with songs from the Great American Songbook, meets Angélique Kidjo, who follows up on the great success of her own Reflektor festival in March 2023. A Finnish choir of screaming men performs with a traditional Bulgarian women’s vocal ensemble. Powerful gnawa music from Morocco is combined with spiritual Sufi singing from Pakistan, and three different cantor traditions offer insights into the diversity of Jewish sacred music. There are also projects about the great Maria Callas, songwriting legend Jimmy Webb’s first concert on German soil, and of course plenty of Viennese song from Heller’s home city.

Events of the festival

Supporting Programme