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A Celebration of Walter Spies in Berlin

Walter Spies Society to Host Commemorative Lecture and Concert in Berlin on May 19, 2007.

(5/5/2007) Born in Moscow in 1895, German musician-artist Walter Spies, landed in Ubud in 1927 where he lived until shortly before his death in 1942. A Renaissance man by any standard, Spies' limitless artistic energy managed to have a lasting impact on Balinese art, dance, music, documentary film-making and early anthropological studies of the Island.

Photos of Walter Spies in Bali (Click to Enlarge)


Walter Spies was a musician, gifted painter, composer, choreographer, filmmaker and, above all, a keen observer of his adopted home of Bali. During the approximate 15 years he lived in Bali, Spies shared his unbridled enthusiasm for all things Balinese via his participation in landmark early film works on Bali and while playing host to the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Barbara Hutton, Noel Coward and Margaret Mead at his Ubud Home.

Born of German parentage in Moscow, Spies' early musical experience included Rachmaninoff and Scriabin encountered at house concerts held in his family's residence. Interred in the Urals during World War I, Spies eventually made his way to Berlin where he continued his musical education, seeking out avant-garde performers, encounters with whom were recounted in his diaries: "There in the house of my great friend Eduard Erdmann I met all the 'giants' - Busoni, Pfitzner, Schnabel, Hindemith, Krenek, Petyrek, and Haba."

A Celebration of Walter Spies

Walter Spies Society Germany is organizing a day of music and lectures to honor the memory of their namesake on Saturday, May 19, 2007, in Berlin.

The following program has been set for the Vivaldi-Saal, Lehrter Strasse 57, Berlin, Germany:

4:00 p.m. Professor Dr. Volker Scherliess, MHS Luebeck - "Walter Spies and His Musical Environment in Berlin in the 20s."

5:00 p.m. Professor Dr. Dieter Mack, MHS Luebeck - "Indonesia's Contemporary Music."

8:00 p.m. Hans-Joerg Koch, MHS Freiburg - Piano Concert including Stefan Wolpe: "Stehende Musik" ; Slamet A. Sjukar: "Svara" ; Dody Satya E.: "Langendria"; Dieter Mack: "Chedi" ; Pierre Boulez: "Notations" ; Paul Hindemith: "Exercise in three parts".

The concert and lectures are made possible through the cooperation of the Indonesian Embassy in Germany and the Walter Spies Society Germany.

Admission to the Concert is 10 Euro, with a special price of 5 Euros for students.