One of the world’s leading human rights lawyers, Philippe Sands, will bring his critically acclaimed music and spoken word recital – East West Street: A Song of Good and Evil – to Arts Centre Melbourne in February, 2018.

The remarkable work, based on Sands’ bestselling novel, ‘East West Street’, presents images, words and music to explore conflicts between the men at the heart of the Nuremberg war crimes trial at the end of the second World War: Cambridge academic Hersch Lauterpacht, Polish prosecutor Raphael Lemkin, and Hitler’s notorious lawyer Hans Frank. It also interweaves the story of his grandfather and the origins of international human rights law.

Remarkably, as Sands’ book reveals, music played a central role in this major moment in history, as Lauterpacht and Frank both sought relief from the Nuremberg trial in the music of St Matthew Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Frontrow, Sands explained: “All of a sudden, the light started blinking. How extraordinary that prosecutor and defendant, on opposite sides in the same room, should find solace in the same musical space?”

“It’s a very personal exploration of the origins of modern human rights law,” he said.

Directed by one of Britain’s leading young director of operas, Nina Brazier, German actress Katja Riemann and Sands narrate the story with accompanied music by Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Aragon, Mizraki and Leonard Cohen, performed by acclaimed bass-baritone Laurent Naouri and renowned jazz pianist Guillaume de Chassy.

East West Street: A Song of Good and Evil will also be touring to Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see this thought-provoking piece of theatre this February at Arts Centre Melbourne.


East West Street – A Song of Good and Evil

Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall

Wednesday 21 February, 2018

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