He was a celebrity in his own lifetime and today is among the most frequently performed composers—but until his music was rediscovered approximately 100 years ago, Antonio Vivaldi was all but forgotten. Peter Schneider’s new novel Vivaldi und seine Töchter (“Vivaldi and His Daughters”) tells the story of a particular chapter of the composer’s biography in early 18th-century Venice: for more than 30 years, Vivaldi was employed at an orphanage, where, working with the musically talented girls, he created Europe’s first women’s orchestra, which would go on to premiere many of his works.
Coinciding with the book’s publication, the Pierre Boulez Saal welcomes Peter Schneider for a conversation with publisher Helge Malchow. Actor Ulrich Matthes will read from the novel. Details on the musical program will be announced later.
Born in 1940 in Lübeck, Peter Schneider studied German Literature, History, and Philosophy. He has written short stories, novels, screenplays, and feature articles as well as essays and speeches. His major works include Lenz (1973), Der Mauerspringer (1982, published in English in 1984 as The Wall Jumper), Rebellion und Wahn (2008), Die Lieben meiner Mutter (2013), and Club der Unentwegten (2017). Since 1985 he has been a guest lecturer at several U.S. universities, among them Stanford, Princeton, Georgetown, and Harvard. He lives in Berlin.
Berlin-born Ulrich Matthes has been an ensemble member of his native city’s Deutsches Theater since 2004, following engagements at the Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel in Munich und Berlin’s Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz. He has won numerous awards, including the Gertrud Eysoldt Ring and the German theater prize “Der Faust” for his performance in the title role of Jürgen Gosch’s production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Theater heute magazine named him Actor of the Year twice. For his film and television work he has received the Bavarian Film Prize and the Grimme Prize, among others. He is president of the German Film Academy and a member of Berlin’s Academy of the Arts and of the European Film Academy.