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Apollo and Mercurius
(Premiere of composition by Thomas Hennig for two pianos)


Wednesday, 14 March, 18:00 - 19:00, Concert Hall of the University of Arts (UdK), Universität der Künste, Hardenbergstr. 33

Piano: Thomas Hennig, Jakub Sawicki


The idea of this concert project was born after a concert on the occasion of Nobel Laureate Gerhard Ertl’s Birthday in 2014 under the motto “Music meets Science  -  Science meets Music” organized jointly by the Cluster of Excellence “UniCat” and the Collaborative Research Center SFB 910 “Control of Self-Organizing Nonlinear Systems” at TU Berlin.

The title "Apollo and Mercurius" alludes to the painting on the ceiling of the Royal Box in the Opera La Fenice in Venice, which has the apotheosis of arts and sciences as a topic.  The god Apollo is joined by Mercurius, the messenger of gods, associated with transmission and mediation of information.

The first movement is entitled “Transformations” and addresses the topic of transformations, metamorphosis and variations of motifs in music itself, the second and the third movement refer to physical (“Magnetic fields”) and chemical (“Catalysis”) phenomena, respectively, which are transformed into musical representations, and are dedicated by the composer to Eckehard Schöll and Gerhard Ertl, respectively.  The polarity of magnetic fields, the attracting and repelling patterns of motion, may be compared to tonal centres (foci) which similarly induce motions, which repel each other or attract each other without coalescing. Catalysis, on the other hand, is thought to describe the chemical principle of molecular transformation. The catalyst here plays the role of musical sound mediation, which bridges between two different motifs in both ways. A musical reaction is induced, while at the same time the "catalyst" is left behind without change.


The entrance is free for all conference participants.