Skip links

Pál Hermann playing cello
Pál Hermann

Other Minds presented a screening of the work-in-progress documentary film Following Pál on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 at 7:30 pm at the Goldman Theater, David Brower Center in Berkeley, California. The filmmaker, Hanh Nguyen, held a feedback session with the audience following the screening, as she worked to refine the final version of the film.

Following Pál tells the story of Pál Hermann, a virtuoso cellist and composer of much promise in the 1920s and 30s. Hermann was born in Budapest, Hungary, on March 27, 1902, and came from a Jewish family. He studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest and taught at the Musikschule Paul Hindemith Neukölln in Berlin from 1929 to 1934, later moving to Brussels and then Paris due to the rise of the Nazis in Germany. Despite his potential to make a mark on the music scene in Europe, his life, and his work, were cut short when he was deported under the Vichy France regime in 1944 and sent to a concentration camp. His only daughter, who is in her 80s now, recently discovered the sheet music to his unfinished masterwork, a cello concerto. Her son, Paul van Gastel, has been working with the Liszt Franz Academy of Music in Budapest and the Colburn School in Los Angeles to complete Hermann’s concerto and re-present his music to the world. Though they never got the chance to meet, it has become Paul’s mission to honor his grandfather by finishing his story and recovering his legacy.


Credit: Mark Abramson and Charles Amirkhanian

Close Search

Start typing and press Enter to search