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
Free Admission!


Benjamin Michael Haas


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.