Between 1933 and 1941, 18,000 to 20,000 Jews fled Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe to Shanghai in order to escape the Nazi regime terror. 6,000 of these refugees were from Austria, mainly Vienna and Graz. As entry was possible without a visa, this destination remained the only and last resort for many Jews.
An artistic and scientific collaboration with the Exilarte Center has been established following an invitation by the China Conservatory of Music. This valuable partnership led to concerts at the China Conservatory of Music in Beijing in 2018 and 2019. On two evenings, works by two composers who had found refuge in Shanghai, Wolfgang Fraenkel (1897 – 1983) and Julius Schloss (1902 – 1972), along with several related works by their Chinese students (e.g. Sang Tong, Ding Shande, Duan Pingtai) were performed. Wolfgang Fraenkel and Julius Schloss were the first composers to teach Arnold Schoenberg’s 12-Tone Method in Asia, the instruction of which significantly influenced the compositional development of future generations of musicians in China.
The two concerts formed the highpoint of two scholarly symposia, where Prof. Dr. Gerold Gruber and Dr. Ulrike Anton gave presentations and lectures on the subject of exile music.
Sharing Ideas in Music Theory: A Continuing Colloquy, March 17 – 21, 2018
An International Conference on Wolfgang Fraenkel, March 27 – 28, 2019
As part of this collaboration, Prof. Dr. Gerold Gruber was able to conduct an interview with three former students of Wolfgang Fraenkel, who spoke about their apprenticeship.
Wolfgang Fraenkel and his Chinese Students: Interview with Prof. Duan Pingtai, Prof. Zhou Zuangren and Prof. Wang Zhenya, recorded at the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, March 20, 2018