Austrian Cultural Forum



September 13, 2017 | 6:00 pm

In 2017 the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra commemorates its foundation 175 years ago. This lecture starts by presenting the distinctive structures of this orchestra which are in effect until today. Based on documents of the orchestra’s Historical Archives a time travel from the 19th to the 21st century will then highlight the orchestra’s relations with the most famous composers and conductors of their times, the role of its musicians that have formed this unique musical body, and its affiliations with the different political regimes between the Habsburg Empire, National Socialism, and the Republic of Austria. In this talk, Dr Silvia Kargl, archivist of the Vienna Philharmonic, and Dr Friedemann Pestel, historian at Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, who have extensively worked on the orchestra’s rich archival collections, will explain how the Vienna Philharmonic became and remained one of the world’s leading orchestras over 175 years.      

When: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 | 6:00 pm
Where: Austrian Cultural Forum, 3524 International Court NW, Washington, DC, 20008
Tickets: General admission is free and open to the public.



Photo | First orchestra photo of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Otto Dessoff, 1864 (c) Historisches Archiv Wiener Philharmoniker





September 17, 2017 | 4:00 – 10:00 PM 

Sonic Circuits is a local promotor of experimental music. This year’s festival takes place at Rhizome in Washington, DC from September 15 to 17, 2017. Sonic Circuits offers artists new platforms to present their music and connect with other artists from around the world. 
Irene Kepl, a renowned Austrian violinist and composer, will be part of this year’s festival lineup. On September 17, 2017 Ms. Kepl will perform her latest work “SololoS” which was released by FOU records in Paris earlier this year. The album shows that she likes to challenge herself by improvising and exploring music, using all different types of sounds including scratching, whistling and singing.

When: Sunday, September 17, 2017 | 4:00 – 10:00 pm
Where: Rhizome, 6950 Maple St NW, Washington, DC, 20012
Tickets: Tickets are available at the door before the show. For more information please visit:


Photo © Peter Gannushkin






LETTERS FROM RUTH by Gisle Kverndokk and Askel-Otto Bull
September 24, 2017 | 3:30 pm 

World premiere staged reading @National Gallery of Art 

Music by Gisle Kverndokk, libretto by Aksel-Otto Bull and Gisle Kverndokk, based on Ruth Maier’s Diary: A Young Jewish Girl’s Life under Nazism, edited by Jan Erik Vold. Commisioned by Musikkteaterforum, Norway

An exceptionally talented writer and painter who kept a diary her whole life, Ruth Maier was born in 1920 and grew up in Vienna, Austria. She immersed herself in the theater, literature, and fine arts. In 1939 Ruth fled to Norway to escape Nazi persecution and lived with a family in Lillestrøm, just outside Oslo. She learned to speak Norwegian fluently, and in 1941 she met the young, budding poet Gunvor Hofmo, who became her intimate friend and lover. They had a stormy relationship that lasted until Ruth was deported with Norwegian Jews in November 1942. Ruth was killed in the gas chamber of Auschwitz upon her arrival. Gunvor became one of Norway’s greatest poets, and kept Ruth’s diaries, which were discovered after Gunvor’s death in 1995. Ruth’s diaries were published in 2007 and edited by the Norwegian poet Jan Erik Vold. In this staged concert the New York Opera Society premieres selections from the new opera in advance of its world premiere.

When: Sunday, September 24, 2017 | 3:30 pm
Where: West Building, West Garden Court 6th & Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20565
Tickets: General admission is free and open to the public.


Photo © Model Day Studios, Oslo



PLAY | I KILLED MY MOTHER by András Visky 

September 16 – 30, 2017 | 8:00 pm

Directed by Natália Gleason starring Erica Chamblee

“Where does the light come from when it’s dark?” asks Bernadette, a fierce, bi-racial orphan girl who has survived abandonment at birth, abuse by institutions, and being marginalized by her society. Inspired by true events, this empowering coming of age story follows Bernadette as she conjures love, purpose, and hope from a barren landscape. This harrowing, hyper-poetic play explores how the most vulnerable need to become the most resilient.
On September 16, 2017 experience the DC premiere of this contemporary Hungarian-Romanian play which brings together a new, dynamic ensemble of local and international theater artists. Join us to meet playwright András Visky, the Tennessee Williams of Transylvania, who will be in attendance at select performances.

When: September 16 – 30, 2017 | 8:00 pm
Where: Spooky Action Theater, 1810 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Tickets: For tickets call 1-800-838-3006. For more information please visit

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