Organ matinee: Jean Guillou accompanies the silent movie “Nosferatu”

Jean Guillou is one of France’s leading organists. Already in 2009 he demonstrated his stupendous artistry to Philharmonic organ fans. This time he will place his abilities in the service of the silent movie, accompanying Wilhelm Murnau’s legendary horror film Nosferatu from 1922. A “Symphony of Horror” in the true sense of the word!

Jean Guillou Organ

Nosferatu, A Symphony of Terror, Silent Movie, Germany 1922, Directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau

Jean Guillou Organ

Dates and Tickets

Sun, 14 Feb 2016, 11:00

Philharmonie – Karl Schuke Organ | Introduction: 10:00


Film history was written on 4 March 1922 in Berlin – namely in the Zoological Garden. The marble hall of the zoo, which had opened ten years earlier and was destroyed in the Second World War, served as the site of the premiere of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s expressionist film drama Nosferatu – A Symphony of Horror. The first attempt to capture elements of Bram Stoker’s gothic novel Dracula, published in 1897, on celluloid was acclaimed by critics as a “sensation” and a “masterpiece”, but as a groundbreaking artistic achievement had to put up with spiteful derision as well.

The later history of the film was no less spectacular than Murnau’s cinematic staging of the tragic fate of a revenant who subsists on human blood: though Murnau transferred the setting from Great Britain to Germany and gave all the characters new names, Stoker’s widow Florence sued for breach of copyright – and won! In 1925, a Berlin court decided that all copies of the film were to be destroyed.

More than half a century later, a reconstruction of Nosferatu succeeded on the basis of archive material – the immortal godfather of the horror film had been brought to life again. The 1922 premiere of Nosferatu was musically accompanied by a Berlin entertainment orchestra. At this organ matinee, Murnau’s eerily beautiful images will be accompanied by the French organist Jean Guillou – a grand master of his craft – on the Karl Schuke organ in the Great Hall of the Philharmonie.

(c) (promo)

Karl Schuke Organ

The specifications of the organs in the Philharmonie