Berlin Carillonneur Jeffrey Bossin given
in exhibition marking the 775th anniversary of the founding of Berlin in 2012
The exhibition opposite the Berlin cathedral
In 1987 the city of Berlin celebrated its 750th anniversary and Daimler-Benz commemorated the event by sponsoring the installation of a grand carillon codesigned by the American carillonneur Jeffrey Bossin and cast by the Royal Eijsbouts bellfoundry. 25 years later the city is marking its 775th anniversary with an open air exhibition entitled Mach Dir ‚nen Plan von Berlin. Stadt der Vielfalt. A large map of the city on a scale of 1 to 775 was drawn on what will become the site of the reconstructed city palace whose ruins were torn down by the East German government after the Second World War. It is opposite the Berlin cathedrale and the Lustgarten in the old city centre of Berlin. The exhibition takes as its theme the diversity of Berlin and its population and its origins in the many people who migrated there and brought new things to the city with them. 150 people and things were chosen from the 775-year history of the city to represent this aspect of its development including Hannah Höch, who cofounded the Berlin Dada movement, the peasant families from the Palatinate who accepted Frederick the Great’s call to move to Berlin in the 18th century, and the Swiss brewer Daniel Josty who invented the typical Berlin white beer. The American carillonneur Jeffrey Bossin was also selected as one of these 150 immigrants. Tall poles representing huge pins were stuck in the map to mark the place where each person made his contribution and each one bears a placard showing a portrait of the person and a short text describing their achievement. A pink one representing music is placed in the Tiergarten and is dedicated to Jeffrey Bossin as the American who brought the art of carillon playing back to Berlin in 1987. He is also given a prominent place as one of only fourteen chosen to be displayed on the map of Berlin on the brochure accompanying the exhibition and as one of only four picked to be displayed on the brochure in English. The exhibition was opened on August 24th by the mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit and runs until October 28, the date marking the earliest recorded mention of the city of Berlin.
Part of the exhibition brochure. The pink pin highlights the contribution made by Jeffrey Bossin to Berlin.
„An American brought the art of the carillon playing back to Berlin. The first bell tower, installed in 1717 in the Parochial church in the Mitte district, was destroyed during World War II. For many years, no bells rang out across the city. Then Jeffrey Bossin, a trained carillonneur from California, came to study in Berlin. In his hometown in the USA, the tradition of the Flemish carillon tower has been maintained since 1883. High towers in parks and open spaces make the sound, which is generated using fists and feet on a keyboard of at least two octaves, resonate far and wide. Bossin lobbied for a similiar tower to be built in the Tiergarten to celebrate the 750th anniversary of the founding of the city, and he still plays regular concerts on the carillon’s 68 bells.“ The placard shows the carillon in Berlin-Tiergarten at the top, then Jeffrey Bossin at its keyboard. Underneath him is a photo of the lifting of the 7,8 ton bourdon bell into the tower with the German parliament building, the Reichstag opposite the carillon tower, in the background and to the right is a photo of the Parochial Church which housed the first Berlin carillon.