German concert hall unbans German flag

German concert hall unbans German flag


norman lebrecht

April 15, 2021

Following a huge fuss over his ban on a concert poster that showed a German flag, the director of the Düsseldorf Tonhalle has turned tail and permitted the poster to be hung on his hallowed walls.

Insiders tell us he had asked for the concert to be renamed, but pressure from national media and the city mayor forced a climdown in 24 hours.

Regardless of what one thinks of the poster, it is not the job of a hall manager to act as political censor. Right?


  • La belle plus voix says:

    Heino is an old hand at this game. The PR recipe is: Dabble in repertoire that is associated with right wing politics, i.e. deliberately provoke, expect an outcry, then retreat a little, and wait for ticket sales to go through the roof. In 1981 he released an LP “Die schönsten deutschen Heimat- und Vaterlandslieder”; some of these songs, but not all, were standard fare for the Nazi propaganda machine, even if they were not penned during those dark times, but “merely” hijacked for its purposes. Heino always knew what he was doing.

  • Düsseldorfer says:

    There was nothing about the flag mentioned, nor anything about political censorship…. at all. With the support of the Mayor of the city the corrected program title suggested by the Tonhalle Düsseldorf will be used for billing, not the original suggestion of Heino.

  • Gustavo says:

    Note the ring around his neck!

    Looks like a die-hard Wagnerian.

  • JohnB says:

    What else is the job of a “hall manager” (as you call it, Intendant or Artistic Director would be more correct) than deciding which event should take place at his venue and which not, which event fits to the hall and which doesn’t.

    An artistic director is responsible for the artistic profile of a theatre and for its public perception. To be of the opinion that an event called “Ein deutscher Liederabend” does not fit the house is perfectly legitimate and the decision not to promote this event is clearly covered by his competences as artistic director.

    If you like to call that political censorship – ok, but an artistic director who wouldn’t think about content would be redundant, you could put a less paid business economist at his place.