With this week’s Q&A we are beginning a new series, pulling from a very special lecture that was staged in Nuremberg, Germany on June 4th, 1995. In this first clip, Billy performs “Souvenir” from his album “Streetlife Serenade,” and describes the nature of the program.
It was 50 years after the end of World War II and the resulting Nuremberg Trials, and 60 years since Germany had imposed the anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws of 1935. Facing its past and responsibilities, The City of Nuremberg was commemorating these anniversaries with various cultural events and issuing its first International Human Rights Prize.
A native of Nuremberg, Billy’s father Howard Joel, was asked by the city to help with the events of 1995 and in turn asked his sons to participate as well. “It was a family reunion of sorts,” Billy said, with his father and brother Alex in attendance for “An Evening of Questions and Answers.” Pianist and conductor, Alex Joel would help with the translation of questions, but would take center stage in December of 1995, conducting the operetta Die Fledermaus. The Nuremberg lecture was produced by and first aired on Bayerischen Rundfunks (Bavarian Radio).
Sadly, Howard Joel died this winter on March 7th, 2011, in Vienna, Austria.
You can watch the video below, and view past clips from our Billy Joel “Questions & Answers” lecture series.