Renowned Silent-Film Musicians to Perform Live Score for The Hands of Orlac

Film still from The Hands of Orlac
April 30, 2024

Please note that this event, originally scheduled for April 25, has a new date: Thursday, May 23!

Internationally renowned silent-film musicians Donald Sosin and Joanna Seaton will perform a live score for the classic silent film The Hands of Orlac on Thursday, May 23 at 7:30 pm in HQ L02. Robert Wiene’s 1924 film The Hands of Orlac (Orlacs Hände) follows a concert pianist who, after a train crash, wakes to find that a surgeon has replaced his severed hands with transplants from a recently executed murderer. Watch—and listen!—in horror as this awareness plunges the musician into paranoia and madness.

Donald Sosin, hailed by film critic Leonard Maltin as the “top of the line of silent film pianists,” and Joanna Seaton, lauded by the New York Times as “a silvery soprano,” bring their unmatched musical talents and fifty years’ experience performing silent-film music to this haunting example of German Expressionism. Together, they create a unique blend of music that enhances the film’s chilling atmosphere and gripping narrative. 

This special event is the second in our “Two Milestones in German Expressionism” series, presented by Films at the Whitney in partnership with the Yale University Art Gallery. Lorenz Hegel, Ph.D. candidate in Film and Media Studies and German Studies, curated the film series to accompany the YUAG exhibition Munch and Kirchner: Anxiety and Expression.

Don’t miss this opportunity to experience The Hands of Orlac scored live by two of the most celebrated musicians in the world of silent films. See you at the Humanities Quadrangle!