UCL Faculty of Laws


The Great Crimes premieres at the Hay Festival 2014

2 June 2014

Hay Festival

At this year’s Hay Festival, UCL Laws Professor of Law, Philippe Sands, joined opera singer Laurent Naouri and pianist Guillaume de Chassy to present a drama about the origins of modern justice in images, words and music.

Speaking to Claire Armistead on the Guardian Books Podcast, Philippe discusses The Great Crimes, a piece of ‘musical archaeology’, which tells the story of prosecutors at the Nuremburg Trials, Hersch Lauterpacht and Rafael Lemkin, and defendant, governor general of occupied Poland, Hans Frank, through their shared passion for classical music.

Describing the project, Philippe said: “what’s very striking about the music is that it underpins an extraordinarily powerful story … in which the music amplifies the words, and the words provide an explanation of the music.”

The Great Crimes premiered on 25 May at the Hay Festival 2014, and will be performed at the Southbank Centre in London on 29 and 30 November, and in Stockholm/Interplay on the 14 July 2015.

Listen to Philippe on the Guardian Books Podcast (starts at 22:24)

Read ‘Why did Richard Strauss write music for a Nazi war criminal?’ by Philippe Sands in the Guardian

Watch Philippe in discussion with Barbara Winton and Simon Schama at ‘Honouring Nicholas Winton’ at the Hay Festival 2014 (£)