Juri Andruchowytsch

Elbphilharmonie Talk with Yuri Andruchovich

»A novel with a sound«: The Ukrainian writer talks about his book »Radio Nacht« and the music of the 60s and 70s.

Surely someone who writes about tinnitus with a vividness nothing short of bloodcurdling must be bothered by it himself, at least occasionally. Not at all, answers Ukrainian author Yuri Andruchovich, who portrays the agonising ringing in one’s ears in precise detail and powerful language in his superb new novel »Radio Nacht«. So it’s probably a good idea to be careful about attributing other things to the author that Andruchovich invents in this masterpiece with its complex structure and ribald, sometimes racy language.

 In his »Elbphilharmonie Talk«, Andruchovichtalks about some of the motifs and characters in »Radio Nacht«, about what inspired him to write the book, and about his fabulous German translator Sabine Stöhr, about whom he says: »If I’m a genius, she is congenial«. How did Yuri Andruchovich, who was born in 1960 and grew up in the then Soviet Republic of the Ukraine, get to know the music of all the 60s and 70s bands that plays such an important role in this book, alongside more recent music? After all, this was the music of the class enemy during his youth. And has he managed to do what he set out to in his new novel? (»I’ve always dreamt of writing a novel with a sound,« he is quoted as saying on the cover of »Radio Nacht«.)

Subscribe to the »Elbphilharmonie Talk« podcast on

How important is music to him nowadays? Very. But Andruchovich also explains when and why he stopped listening to music while writing, a fairly recent decision. And he gives an idea of what kind of musical and literary performance people can look forward to when he appears together with the Polish band Karbido in the Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall on 11 September as part of the »Harbour Front Sounds« literature festival. On 9 September he opens the festival together with Simone Buchholz.

Mediatheque : More stories

Jazzrausch Bigband
Play Video

Video on demand from 26 Aug 2022 : Jazzrausch Bigband

Blending jazz with house and techno: the Munich-based big band is getting ready to raise the roof of the Elbphilharmonie.

Alexandre Kantorow im Portrait

»Der wiedergeborene Liszt« – ein junger Pianist aus Paris erobert die Klavierwelt im Sturm.

Anton Bruckner: Der Unfassbare

Nur wenige Komponisten haben der Nachwelt ein so uneinheitliches Bild hinterlassen wie der österreichische Komponist.