(photo: Filmmuseum Berlin - Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek)


Battleship Potemkin, Silent Film by Sergei Eisenstein (1925)

Organ Matinee: silent film with live accompaniment by Jean-Baptiste Monnot

Once a year, the Berlin Philharmonie transforms into a giant silent film cinema. This season’s programme includes an icon of film history: Sergej Eisenstein’s 1925 masterpiece Battleship Potemkin. The music for the film will be played live on the great organ of the Philharmonie by Jean-Baptiste Monnot, one of the “rising stars” among organists – and a keen cineast. This matinee is also a homage to the great French organist Jean Guillou, Monnot’s teacher, who died in January 2019.

Jean-Baptiste Monnot organ improvisations

Organ & Silent Film

In memoriam Jean Guillou (1930-2019)

Battleship Potemkin, Silent Film by Sergei Eisenstein (1925)

Dates and Tickets

Sun, 13 Oct 2019, 11:00

Philharmonie | Introduction: 10:15


Once a year, Berlin’s Philharmonic Hall transforms into a giant silent movie theatre. This season, the programme is dedicated to an icon of cinematic history: Sergei Eisenstein’s magnum opus from 1925, Battleship Potemkin. The film score will be played live on the Philharmonie’s large organ.

Spring 1905: Russia is in turmoil. Losing the Russo-Japanese War and the economic crisis stoke rage and anger among the people. There is a mutiny on the “Potemkin” battleship because the crew refuses to eat rotten meat. Faced with the threat of execution, the sailor Grigory Vakulinchuk incites an uprising against the officers which he pays for, however, with his life. His body is laid out in Odessa, with great interest from the people. Shortly thereafter, Czarist Cossacks perpetrate a massacre on the harbour steps. Only the “Potemkin”’s battleship guns can halt the murdering. In the end, the entire approaching fleet shows solidarity with the ship: the revolution has triumphed.

The intention was for Jean Guillou to have been seated at the organ, but France’s most famous organist passed away in January 2019. What could be more appropriate than inviting Guillou’s declared favourite student, Jean-Baptiste Monnot, and dedicating the concert to the master? The 35-year old musician is a “rising star” among organists, a passionate movie buff and generally a musical all-rounder. Enjoy the show!

(photo: Filmmuseum Berlin - Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek)

Jean-Baptiste Monnot (photo: Jean-Baptist Millot)

(photo: Heribert Schindler)