Kepler’s Trial in Tübingen

The astronomer who saved his mother from being burned as a witch.

In January 2019, we visited the beautiful university town of Tübingen in southwest Germany to perform excerpts from Kepler’s Trial alongside a new work written for us by British composer, Tim Watts, ‘Kepler-Motetten’.

In 1615, when Johannes Kepler was at the height of his career, his old, widowed mother Katharina was accused of witchcraft in a Lutheran town in Germany. The proceedings led to a criminal trial, with Kepler conducting his mother’s defence to fight for legal justice – assisted by Tübingen University.

To find out more, visit the Kepler’s Trial website:


Premiere of Kepler-Motets and the presentation of a book about Kepler’s mother at the Pfleghofsaal.
By Martin Bernklau 19.01.2019

“…the phenomenal a cappella ensemble Gesualdo Six who, inclusive of two countertenors, represent the best in English singing.”

“Not only was Tim Watts’ music framed by historical pieces sung by the Gesualdo Six – such as a drinking song by Johann Hermann Schein or a wonderfully intoned motet by Orlando di Lasso – but sound world and techniques of the Renaissance and Early Baroque have also been incorporated into the Opera and the Motets.”

“Excerpts from the Opera, sung by Cerys Purser and accompanied by the Gesualdo Six and, at times, by the composer on the piano, were highly impressive and dramatic.”

Read the full review here.

The premiere of four Kepler-Motets by Tim Watts as part of the Graduate Research Project “Keplers Welten” (Kepler’s Worlds)
By Achim Stricker 19.01.2019

“The tragic chorus (celebrated vocal sextet ‘The Gesualdo Six’)… is anchored in a musical history context, suggestive of the vocal polyphony of Kepler’s time.”

“…four Kepler-Motets were premiered in front of a capacity audience in the Pfleghofsaal.”

“Dissonance gives rise to harmony and vice versa – altogether remarkable, philosophically and compositionally advanced music.”

Read the full review here.

Rehearsing in the Pfleghofsaal at Tübingen University
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