Author: Madeleine Fremuth

Academic Day at the Forsaken Music Festival in Schwerin, Germany I November 10, 2023

This year’s 6th International Music Symposium as part of the Forsaken Music Festival in Schwerin, Germany, was dedicated to film music, under the title:

“Music is music. Whether it’s for the stage, the conductor’s stand or for the cinema.”

(Erich Wolfgang Korngold, 1946)

In the 1930s, numerous composers emigrated from Europe to the west coast of the USA, where they found a new field of activity in Hollywood: film music. Among the composers who would shape this genre for the coming decades are, among others: Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Franz Waxman, Max Steiner, Hanns Eisler, Ernst Toch and Alexandre Tansman should be mentioned. Although many of the composers were very successful in Hollywood, their film music received little attention in Europe – or it was degraded as a commercial product of a ‘culture industry’.

Gerold Gruber gave the lecture:

Ernst Toch – the “most forgotten” composer of the 20th century

The Vienna-born composer Ernst Toch (1887-1964) was an important representative of New Objectivity in the 1920s. When the National Socialists came to power in 1933, he left Berlin and tried to earn a living in Paris and London, but ultimately emigrated to Hollywood via New York in order to survive as a film composer. George Gershwin invited him to a film project, but it was not realized. He scored 11 films for Paramount and earned Oscar nominations for “Ladies in Retirement” (1941) and “Address Unknown” (1944). Like Korngold, he tried to regain a foothold in Europe after the Second World War, but failed for similar reasons. He cynically said that he was the “most forgotten” composer of the 20th century.

Courage – Music in Resistance Against National Socialism I June 3, 2024

© The Herbert and Trudl Zipper Archives Collection , Colburn School (LA, USA)

Courage – Music in Resistance Against National Socialism I June 3rd, 2024

The Exilarte Center makes what has been silenced resonate again and makes what has been forgotten visible again.

During the dark times of National Socialism, using music to send a sign of resistance was for many Jewish composers the only way to accuse, rebel or find hope again in desperate situations. Many of them were persecuted, murdered or forced into exile. But their works, which were sometimes created under the most adverse circumstances, still bear witness to unparalleled courage and remind us of the power that music radiates. Music helped to survive and endure what was immediately happening. But the sounds created also made it possible to denounce the injustice of the perpetrators with hidden musical messages. Viktor Ullmann composed his Emperor of Atlantis in the Theresienstadt ghetto, mercilessly holding up a mirror to the terror regime before he was murdered in Auschwitz; Herbert Zipper secretly wrote a resistance song in the Dachau concentration camp and Hans Gál ironically presented the morning wake-up call in the internment camp in Great Britain as a refugee in his Huyton Suite. Some of the still undiscovered works from this program are in the archives of the Exilarte Center of the mdw.

Monday, June 3, 2024 at 8 p.m.

Musikverein Wien

Glass Hall / Magna Auditorium
Musikvereinsplatz 1,
Bösendorferstrasse 12,
A-1010 Vienna
Admission: tickets@musikverein.at

Artists:

Adrian Eröd, baritone
Raimund Lissy, violin

Clemens Flieder, violin
Ulrike Anton, flute
Armin Egger, guitar
David Hausknecht, piano
Gerold Gruber, lecture

Program: 

RICHARD FUCHS
Das Kaddisch

HERBERT ZIPPER
Dachaulied

HANS WINTERBERG
Theresienstadt Suite

RICHARD FUCHS
from: Vom Jüdischen Schicksal 
Stimme der Vorzeit

VIKTOR ULLMANN
Der Kaiser von Atlantis – Auszüge

WILHELM GROSZ
A Song in Exile

HANS GÁL
Huyton Suite

WILHELM GROSZ
Great Times

“Arnold Schoenberg´s 150th Celebration” I International Conference I November 3-5, 2023 I Shenzhen, China

From November 3 to 5, 2023, an international conference in honor of Arnold Schoenberg’s 150th birthday will take place at the School of Music, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen.

Gerold Gruber will be presenting a lecture titled “The Life and Work of Wolfgang Fraenkel and Julius Schloss – Composers in Shanghai Exile.”

Schoenberg’s ideas and music had a profound influence on contemporary musicians, composers, philosophers, and painters. He taught composition in Vienna, Berlin, and Los Angeles. Wolfgang Fraenkel and Julius Schloss were two German composers who, due to their Jewish heritage, were deported to Nazi concentration camps but eventually found refuge in Shanghai. Fraenkel was a follower of Schoenberg in Berlin, and Schloss had the opportunity to study with Alban Berg in Vienna before leaving Europe. Both became composition teachers in Shanghai and created twelve-tone compositions incorporating  Chinese music and texts. This lecture offers insights into their compositional work.

Book Presentation ” Music of Exile”

We are pleased to announce the book presentation of “Music of Exile – The Untold Story of Composers Who Fled Hitler” (Yale University Press, 2023) by the renowned author and researcher of “exiled music” Dr. Benjamin Michael Haas.The presentation will take place on 27 September at London’s Reform Club.
  
Wednesday, 27 September 2023, 6 pm
104 Pall Mall
St. James’s
London SW1Y 5EW
UK
 
Free Admission!

Presentation

Benjamin Michael Haas


Discussion:


Benjamin Michael Haas and James Jolly

About the Book:

What happens to a composer when persecution and exile means their true music no longer has an audience?
 
In the 1930s, composers and musicians began to flee Hitler’s Germany to make new lives across the globe. The process of exile was complex: although some of their works were celebrated, these composers had lost their familiar cultures and were forced to navigate xenophobia as well as entirely different creative terrain. Others, far less fortunate, were in a kind of internal exile—composing under a ruthless dictatorship or in concentration camps and ghettos.

Michael Haas sensitively records the experiences of this musical diaspora. Torn between cultures and traditions, these composers produced music that synthesized old and new worlds, some becoming core portions of today’s repertoire, some relegated to the desk drawer. Encompassing the musicians interned as enemy aliens in the United Kingdom, the brilliant Hollywood compositions of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and the Brecht-inspired theater music of Kurt Weill, Haas shows how these musicians shaped the twentieth-century soundscape—and offers a moving record of the incalculable effects of war on culture.
 
About Autor:
Benjamin Michael Haas, PhD was for many years a recording producer with Decca and Sony. 1994/5 he was appointed Vice President of Sony Classical in NY. He has won a number of Grammys, initiated and led Decca’s recording series “Entartete Musik”. From 2002 – 2010, he worked as Music Curator at Vienna’s Jewish Museum. From 2000 – 2015 he was director at London University’s Jewish Music Institute and in 2015/16, he was a Research Associate at the University College London’s School of Jewish and Hebrew Studies. Since 2016 he has acted as Senior Researcher at mdw’s Exilarte Center, which he co-founded.
 

Legacies of the Exilarte Center of the mdw at the Long Night of Research I Lecture, Documentary, Exhibition I May 24, 2024

© New York Times / Redux

The Exilarte Center will present the documentary about Julius Bürger and the current Exilarte exhibition at the Long Night of Research on May 24, 2024.

Lecture & Documentation: Julius Bürger – expelled and rediscovered. A Viennese composer returns.

7 p.m., ARTHOUSE-KINO,
campus of the mdw
University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna
Anton-von-Webern-Platz 1,
1030 Vienna

The documentation provides insight into the life and work of the Jewish Viennese composer Julius Bürger, who had to leave Austria in 1938. He was able to gain international success in the USA, where in 1984, 39 years after its creation, he received the composition prize from the University of Indiana for his “Variations on a Theme by C. Ph. E. Bach”.

The film documentation was created in connection with the first performance of Julius Bürger’s orchestral works in Vienna, in August 2023 in the ORF’s large broadcasting hall with the RSO under the direction of Gottfried Rabl.

Exhibition: TRIANGEL OF THE VIENNA TRADITION | ZEMLINSKY – SCHÖNBERG – HOFFMANN

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.,
Exilarte Center
Lothringerstraße 18 / 1st floor,
1030 Vienna

At 5 p.m. guided tour of the exhibition

Admission free!

Links: https://langenachtderforschung.at/station/4106

The catalogue to the exhibition “Fritz Kreisler” has arrived!

The catalogue to the exhibition: Fritz Kreisler – a cosmopolitan in exile. From child prodigy to ” King of Violonists”

The exhibition at the mdw’s Exilarte Center shows the different stages of life of one of the greatest violin virtuosos of the 20th century, whose success story started in Vienna and ended in New York. Fritz Kreisler was cosmopolitan on the one hand and affected by the fate of exiles on the other.

On the occasion of the 10th International Fritz Kreisler Violin Competition, which has been held at the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna since 1979, the new exhibition of the Exilarte Center of the mdw was developed – to present the life and importance of Fritz Kreisler to the public.

After the Nazis had banned all of his performances and recordings due to his Jewish origins, he emigrated to the USA in September 1939 and became an American citizen in 1943. In addition to his spectacular successes from childhood to the end of his career, the exhibition sheds light on him as a Jew and exile. The exhibition also shows Kreisler’s philanthropic and charitable activities. Material newly discovered in the course of the research complements the difficult research situation.

Authors: 

Ulrike Anton 
Amy Biancolli 
Albrecht Dümling 
Gerold Gruber 
Michael Haas 
Nobuko Nakamura 
Matthias Schmidt 
Eric Wen

Editor:

Prof. Dr. Gerold Gruber (Chairman of the Exilarte Center)

Publisher: 

Verlag Böhlau

If you are interested in buying, please contact: info@exilarte.org

“The path through Paradise”I Exilarte in cooperation with Bösendorfer Salon I April 05, 2024 I Walter Bricht

© Arash Amiri

Gustav Klimt’s golden era in Vienna combines resonant images from Liszt, Mahler and Richard Strauss. The young woman from his expectation – is she the mysterious beauty that Arnold Schönberg describes in his early opus? And the Garden of Eden from the Tree of Life – is that the place where Elisabeth from Walter Brich’s Hesse setting has already been?

The atmospheric figures from Gustav Klimt’s works that adorn the new Tree of Life wing are the starting point for a journey through the ups and downs of love – the path through paradise!

The soprano Arabella Fenyves and the pianist David Hausknecht interpret the still unknown musical treasures of the exiled composer Walter Bricht, returning them to the Viennese art song repertoire.

Friday, April 5th, 2024, 7 p.m.
Bösendorfer Salon
Bösendorferstraße 12 | Canovagasse 4,
1010 Vienna

Admission free!
Pre-registration: Eventbrite

Artists:

Arabella Fenyves, soprano

David Hausknecht, piano

Works by:

Walter Bricht, Arnold Schönberg, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Franz Liszt

“Music in Auschwitz”I Exilarte in cooperation with Michigan School of Music, Theater & Dance I May 13, 2024

© Chris Boyes

Dance band arrangements by members of the Auschwitz Men’s Orchestra played by musicians from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater & Dance under the baton of Oriol Sans.

Monday, May 13, 2024, 8 p.m.
Jewish Museum of the City of Vienna
Dorotheergasse 11
1010 Vienna

The ten short pieces on this program were arranged by Polish political prisoners who were members of the Auschwitz Orchestra. They used popular German hits of the 1930s and 40s – tangos, waltzes and foxtrots arranged and orchestrated for a dance band that played Sunday concerts for the Auschwitz garrison near the villa of Commandant Höss. The resulting manuscripts, which I began researching in May 2016, are stored in the collections department of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Occasionally the prisoners signed these manuscripts with their prisoner number, e.g. B. Antoni Gargul, a viola player and Polish soldier (5665), or Maksymilian Piłat (5131), a bassoonist with a conservatory diploma who played in the orchestra of the State Opera and the Baltic Philharmonic in Gdansk after the war.

In the musical realization of these manuscripts for tonight’s performance, we retained the original instrumentation as much as possible and made only very small changes in the event of obvious errors. You hear these works, silent for over 70 years, as close as possible to how they sounded in 1942 or ’43 when they were performed at Auschwitz 1. The lines spoken by our singers are taken from testimonies and interviews with members of the Auschwitz Orchestra conducted in the post-war period.

We would like to thank the Copernicus Institute, the Exilarte Center, Dean David Gier, the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater & Dance, and the Global Tour Fund of the School of Music, Theater & Dance for making this concert possible.

Patricia Hall, 2020

Artists:

Oriol Sans, conductor

Musicians from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater & Dance

Moderation:

Gerold Gruber

Exilarte in cooperation with HOLOCAUST MUSIC LOST & FOUND I Book presentation & concert in New York I May 9, 2024

We are pleased to present the musical treasures from Exilarte Zentrum as well as the book “Music of Exile – The Untold Story of Composers Who Fled Hitler” (Yale University Press, 2023) by the renowned exile researcher and author Dr. Benjamin Michael Haas will now be presented in New York.

We would like to thank our supporters from the USA: Schirmer – Wise Music Group, American Society for Jewish Music, Hebrew Union College, Heller Museum, Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, among others.

Thursday, May 9, 2024,
7:00 p.m.Hebrew Union College
1 West 4th Street (at Broadway)
New York, NY10012

Registration under: info@hmlf.org

Greeting:

Janie Press, Holocaust Music Lost & Found
Gerold Gruber, founder of exil.arte and head of the Exilarte Center of the mdw

In conversation:

Benjamin Michael Haas, author
John Mauceri, conductor

Interpreters:

Theodora Nestorova, soprano
Josipa Bainac, mezzosoprano
Ulrike Anton, flute
Alex Fowler, violoncello
David Hausknecht, piano

About the book:

What happens to a composer when persecution and exile mean that his true music no longer finds an audience? In the 1930s, composers and musicians began fleeing Hitler’s Germany to build new lives around the world. The process of exile was complex: although some of their works were celebrated, these composers had lost their familiar culture and were forced to confront xenophobia and a completely different creative terrain. Others, far less fortunate, found themselves in a kind of internal exile – composing under a ruthless dictatorship or in concentration camps and ghettos. Michael Haas sensitively records the experiences of this musical diaspora. Torn between cultures and traditions, these composers created music that was a synthesis of old and new worlds, some of which are core to today’s repertoire, while others have disappeared into the drawer. From the musicians who were interned in Great Britain as enemy aliens to the brilliant Hollywood compositions of Erich Wolfgang Korngold to the Brecht-inspired theater music of Kurt Weill, Haas shows how these musicians shaped the sound world of the 20th century – and offers a moving documentation of the war’s unpredictable impact on culture.

About the author:

Benjamin Michael Haas, PhD was a record producer and recording manager at Decca and Sony for many years, and was vice president of Sony Classical in NY in 1994/5. He is a multiple Grammy winner and initiated and directed the Decca recording series “Degenerate Music”. From 2002 to 2010 he worked at the Jewish Museum Vienna as a music curator. In 2013, Yale University Press published his book “Forbidden Music – the Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis.” From 2000 to 2015 he was Director of the Jewish Music Institute at the University of London and in 2015/16 Research Associate at University College London, School of Jewish and Hebrew Studies. Since 2016 he has been a senior researcher at the mdw’s Exilarte Center, which he co-founded.

Parliament Austria I Commemorative event against violence and racism in memory of the victims of National Socialism I May 3, 2024

© Parlamentsdirektion/Johannes Zinner

On the occasion of the anniversary of the liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp, the Austrian Parliament will remember the victims of National Socialism on Friday, May 3, 2024. The event will be accompanied by music from the Exilarte Center and broadcast live on ORF 2.

Friday, May 3, 2024; 11:00 a.m.
Parliament Austria – Federal Assembly Hall

Dr.-Karl-Renner-Ring 3
A-1017 Vienna

Opening words:

Wolfgang Sobotka, President of the National Council

Musical program:

Walter Arlen (1920-2023): Sonnet for violin and piano

Walter Bricht (1904-1970): Intermezzo from Four Pieces for piano, for the left hand (1933)

Wilhelm Grosz (1894-1939): Eastern Jewish folk songs for a singing voice and piano

Artists:

Aleksandra Dimić, vocals
Karla Križ, violin
Anastasija Richter, piano

Link to event here.