Music In ExileEmigre Composers Of 1930s

On Sunday, November 9, the 70 th anniversary of Kristallnacht, and 75 years since Adolf Hitler's rise to power, the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, in association with Canada's Royal Conservatory of Music, will launch "Music in ExileEmigre Composers of the 1930s, " a fiveday series of concerts, talks, and a musictheater piece celebrating the music of Jewish composers forced to flee the Third Reich and German composers who resisted the Nazi regime.

The series takes place in the Museum's Edmond J. Safra Hall located at 36 Battery Place and includes premieres by five different composers and a lecture/talk about "Entartete Musik" by Gottfried Wagner, the greatgrandson of composer Richard Wagner and the founder of the PostHolocaust Dialogue Group, which seeks to reconcile victims and perpetrators of the Holocaust. Featured are the ARC Ensemble (Artists of the Royal Conservatory), who have dedicated themselves to the performance of both the traditional chamber music canon and the rediscovery of repertoire that, through political changes or shifts in musical fashion has been ignored or marginalized, including music written before and during the Holocaust.

Simon Wynberg, artistic director of the ARC Ensemble, is curator of the series, and Stephen Vann is the artistic producer. Other artists include violinist Daniel Phillips, cofounder of the Orion String Quartet and professor of violin at Queens College, Canadian bass Robert Pomakov, and baritone Chris Pedro Trakas. Marc Neikrug conducts his musictheater work Through Roses, featuring veteran actor Saul Rubinek.

Preconcert talks by such authorities as Michael Beckerman, professor of music and historical musicology at New York University, and Bret Werb, musicologist of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, will complement several presentations.

Sunday, November 9 at 2:30 p.m. – Germany: Musical Exile and Resistance

"Music in ExileEmigre Composers of the 1930s" opens with music by two German composers—Walter Braunfels and Adolf Busch—whose opposition to Hitler led them to remove themselves from Germany's musical life. Adolf Busch, stripped of his German citizenship, immigrated to America, but Walter Braunfels remained in Germany as an "internal exile." The Artists of the Royal Conservatory will play the Busch String Sextet in G Major, Op. 40 and the U.S. premiere of the Braunfels String Quintet in Fsharp minor, Op. 63.

Monday, November 10 at 7 p.m. The Continental Britons

The Continental Britons is devoted to the music of composers who fled to Britain during the 1930s. Franz Reizenstein's Piano Quintet in D Major, Op. 23, and the North American premieres of Robert Kahn's Suite for Violin, Op. 69 and Matyas Seiber's Divertimento for clarinet and string quartet are performed by the Artists of the Royal Conservatory. In a preconcert talk at 6 p.m., Michael Beckerman, an authority on Czech music, tells the fascinating story of "A Czech Gershwin in New York": the legendary Jaroslav Jezek, a pianist, conductor, and composer of classical, jazz, and film music, whose antifascist activity forced him to flee Prague for New York, where his life was cut short at age 36.

Tuesday, November 11 at 7 p.m. A Pole Apart

The entire program of November 11 will be devoted to compositions by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, a composer who fled Nazioccupied Poland and, at the invitation of Dmitri Shostakovich, immigrated to Stalin's Russia, where he worked in collaboration with the Russian composer. Two works on the program—the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 28, and the Quintet for piano and strings, Op. 18—were included on a recent recording of his music by the Artists of the Royal Conservatory. The recording, On the Threshold of Hope, was nominated for a 2007 Grammy Award. The program also includes the North American premieres of songs for bass, featuring the leading Canadian bass Robert Pomakov.

Wednesday, November 12 at 7 p.m.

Seventy years after the November pogrom of 1938—Kristallnacht—Gottfried Wagner, discusses entartete ("degenerate") music and its historical, artistic and ethical relevance for a contemporary audience. Following Mr. Wagner's talk, he will answer questions from the audience.

Thursday, November 13, at 7 p.m. American Exile and Through Roses

"Music in ExileEmigre Composers of the 1930s" concludes with a program devoted to European transplants in America. The first half features music by Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco, who worked as a film composer for RKO and Universal, Hanns Eisler, a close collaborator of Berthold Brecht and Walter Arlen, a longtime music critic for the Los Angeles Times.

It will be followed by Marc Neikrug's acclaimed musictheater piece, Through Roses, which features the noted theater, film, and television actor Saul Rubinek as violinist Carl Stern, tormented by his memories of Auschwitz, where through the rose hedges of the camp commandant's garden, he witnessed the horror of the arrival of his fellow prisoners of war, the selection process and the inevitable journey to the gas chambers. Through Roses has been performed hundreds of times throughout the world and translated into 11 languages. When it premiered in New York 27 years ago, The New York Times called it an "extraordinary achievement." This is its first New York performance since then.

At 6 p.m. Bret Werb will speak about the repercussions and influence of We Will Never Die, the massive 1943 propaganda pageant by Kurt Weill and Ben Hecht, which was shown in 1943 at Madison Square Garden to an audience of 40, 000 people. Mr. Werb draws on contemporary photographs, newsreels and a rare broadcast recording to illustrate his talk.

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