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Phone: 79 30 11 50

Danish Philharmonic Orchestra

Alsion 2, 6400 Sønderborg

Book concert: Anna's Song

When Annas Sang is performed at concerts in June 2025, three generations of the musician Koppel family will be present in their own way: Benjamin Koppel, composer and saxophonist with his quartet; Anders Koppel, musician, composer and Benjamin's father, who arranged the music for symphony orchestra – and then Anna, the great-aunt, whose story Benjamin Koppel used when he debuted as a writer in 2022. It became a bestseller and the novel has received many awards.

The book itself is full of music, so it was only natural that it threw in songs as well. So, at the same time as the book was published, an album of nine songs inspired by the story came out. The lyrics were written by the singer Cæcilie Norby over Benjamin Koppel's material, Anders Koppel was behind the string arrangements - and therefore behind the arrangement for a full symphony orchestra, which can be experienced at the concerts in June 2025. It is musical and jazz singer Frederikke Vedel who sings the songs and actor Sofie Gråbøl who reads excerpts from the book when Annas Sang reaches the audience once again, in a book concert where music and narrative intertwine into an engrossing whole.

Benjamin Koppel had several conversations with his great-aunt, and she was happy to tell, and managed to allow her story to come out before she died at almost 100 years old. Anna's story is about a girl who grew up in a Jewish immigrant family in Copenhagen with four brothers, one of them Benjamin Koppel's grandfather, the composer and pianist Herman D. Koppel. The four brothers did not marry Jewish, which definitely did not go down well. In Politiken, in an interview in 2022, Benjamin Koppel says that their mother threatened suicide and "also tore up her photos of the sons and did not speak to them for years." It was the honor of the family and the pride of the traditions that were at stake, and the daughter felt it. Like her brothers, she wanted to be a musician and went to the conservatory where she studied piano. She fell in love with Aksel, but that was put an end to. Anna, whose name in the book is Hannah Koppelman, was to marry Jewish. She had to stop at the conservatory and, of course, flee to Sweden with the family, as the Danish Jews also had to enter the Nazi extermination system.

After World War II, Anna was married to a Jewish man from a fine French family. It was an arranged marriage and it was not a happy one. Her husband must have been something of a tyrant and was e.g. very much against her even touching the grand piano she had been given as a wedding present by her parents. But Anna had an indomitable spirit for life and her constant love for music. And in a way also to her childhood sweetheart Aksel, with whom she continued to correspond, even after she got married.

Anna's Song is both her life story and family anecdotes that she managed to tell Benjamin Koppel. About duty and traditions, about social control, persecution and war, but all something Anna overcame. From her home outside Paris, she followed the life of her large musical family in Denmark, but she did not come to her mother's funeral.

On the occasion of Benjamin Koppel's 50th birthday in February 2024, he was quoted in the daily newspaper Politiken as saying that he has never had a working day in his life because writing and playing music is so much fun. Recordings, music festivals and concerts - and then a book that was written during the pandemic, when concerts around the world were canceled and Benjamin Koppel could put his great-aunt's life into words. And with the ease with which he seems to do most things, he wrote a book that was both read and awarded - and now also for a concert with the Sønderjylland Symphony Orchestra

🕒 Approx. 2 hours with a break


B. Koppel and A. Koppel: Anna's Song


Ole Faurschou


Sofie Gråbøl


Frederikke Vedel, song


Wednesday, 04 June 2025




Alsion 2, 6400 Sønderborg