Austria was the home of many of Hitler’s most important musical victims, the best known of whom have already become established culturally historic figures. Yet others still await their discovery or, more often, their re-discovery. Gaping holes exist where they have not been incorporated into rightful positions within Austrian musicology or performance-practice.
“The society exil.arte lets us hear voices again that were silenced, bringing music that was brutally suppressed to our ears – and thereby also to our heart”Thomas Angyan (Artistic director of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, 2005 – 2020), quoted from his laudation at the awarding of the 2010 Bank Austria International Art Prize to exil.arte
Exilarte operates as a centre for the reception, preservation, research and presentation of composers, performers, musical academics and theatre artists who, during the years of the ‘Third Reich’ were branded as ‘degenerate’. Only within recent decades has Austria started to address this issue. The assessment and restitution of such a multi-facetted cultural inheritance, extending from the 19th century through, operetta, film music and ‘chanson’, cabaret, and the developments of the ‘Second Viennese School’, ‘Jugendstil’, ‘New Objectivity’ and much more is an enormous, multi-disciplinary undertaking.
Exilarte’s purpose is to restore these important missing links to the chain of Austrian music-history.