Ulrich Kessler Archive

The Ulrich Kessler Archive in the Performing Arts department of the Archives comprises about 400 note autograph manuscripts, drawings, letters and a pocket calendar with diary-style entries.

The piano pieces that can be listened to here were played by pianist Corinna Fuhrmann from 2012 to 2015. The music of Ulrich Kessler was to be made available to the public as there had been no previous recordings. The recordings were made in the studio hall of the Akademie der Künste at Hanseatenweg. The project was funded by the Deutsche Tanzarchiv Köln (German Dance Archive Cologne) / SK Stiftung Kultur.

The resulting audio files are managed by the media service of the Akademie der Künste.


Born on 4 July 1905 in Dessau – died on 15 March 1984 in Berlin
1925-1928 trained as a graphic artist at the State School of Applied Arts Berlin; 1929-1938 musical accompanist, teacher, composer for various Berlin teaching institutes for artistic dance, including the Wigman School Berlin, and worked as a dance composer, among others, for Marianne Vogelsang, also for Wigman students after the war, including Karin Waehner; 1938-1942 musical director of the dance department at the Folkwangschule Essen; 1942-1943 dance répétiteur at Stadttheater Göttingen; 1943-1945 musical director of the Deutsche Tanzbühne Berlin; 1945-1947 musical director of the Dresdener Tanzstudio and freelance composer for Dore Hoyer; 1947-1948 teacher and deputy director of the dance department at the State University of Music and Theatre in Rostock; 1948-1953 composer, musical accompanist, teacher at the Wigman Studio Berlin.
As a composer of dance works and concert accompanist, among others for Mary Wigman, Kessler has a decisive influence on developing and shaping modern Expressionist dance.

History of the holdings

The bequest of Ulrich Kessler was donated to the Archives of the Akademie der Künste by his family. There is a partial stock of sheet music at the Deutsches Tanzarchiv (German Dance Archive) in Cologne.


Schriftgut: Akademie der Künste [AdK], Berlin, Ulrich-Kessler-Archiv_Signaturnr.


Audiodateien: Akademie der Künste [AdK], Berlin, AVM_Signaturnr.