Chamber Music

PLEA – The Trial against Sokrates

Plädoyer: the trial against Sokrates

The trial and the sentencing of the philosopher Socrates were the Fall of Man in the dispensation of justice in Attic democracy. In the Plädoyer Summing Up series, lawyer and writer Ferdinand von Schirach will pursue central issues that arise from the scandalous sentencing of Socrates in a lecture and reading. The Philharmonic Capriccio will provide the musical entertainment.

Ferdinand von Schirach Lecture and Reading

Philharmonisches Capriccio:

Alessandro Cappone Violin

Eva-Maria Tomasi Violin

Ulrich Knörzer Viola

Walter Küssner Viola

Solène Kermarrec Cello

Dietmar Schwalke Cello

Works for string sextet by Louis Glass, Julián Carillo and Andrzej Panufnik

Dates and Tickets

Tue, 12 Apr 2016 8 p.m.

Chamber Music Hall

Serie Non-subscription concert chamber music


In the fourth century before Christ it was the Fall of Man in the dispensation of justice in Attic democracy: the trial and sentencing of the philosopher Socrates, who profoundly influenced western thinking as the ideal of European philosophy. “Socrates,” Cicero wrote in his Tusculanae Disputationes, “was the first who brought down philosophy from the heavens, placed it in cities, introduced it into families, and obliged it to examine into life and morals, and good and evil.” In 399 B.C. he was accused of impiety – a charge with which conservative Athenian society had already for a long time been persecuting individuals who threatened to upset the traditional structure of the local community.

That Socrates was truly executed in 399 B.C. provoked many of his adherents to defend him after the fact – not for nothing did Plato in his Apology of Socrates have the philosopher lead all the charges ad absurdum, whereas in so doing he attributed the cause of the trial (which Socrates did not flee out of respect for the prevailing law) to him showing the Athenians their errors and weaknesses and in that way antagonising them. At this season’s event in the series called Plädoyer (Final Speeches), lawyer and writer Ferdinand von Schirach will pursue in a lecture and reading central issues that emerge from the scandalous sentencing of Socrates. Members of the Berliner Philharmoniker will provide the musical framework.

(c) Paul Schirnhofer