logo for the Entartete Musik recording series refers to music
the Nazis' banned. "Entartete" means "degenerate."
conference to give voice to music silenced by Hitler
the early 1940s the Nazis transported 140,000 people to the Theresienstadt
concentration camp in the small town of Terezín, Czechoslovakia.
There they incarcerated some of Europe's most gifted artists,
musicians, composers and writers who, despite the inhuman living
conditions, sustained an active cultural community.
was not only a transit point to the Nazi death camps. It was also
used in the Nazis' carefully constructed propaganda campaign to
deny the existence of the Final Solution. Part of the camp was
transformed into a quaint village with gardens, playgrounds and
an outdoor music
pavilion, where a propaganda film was made to show the place as
a model ghetto. Performances were staged, including one for the
International Red Cross. Nevertheless, almost all of the composers
and artists in the camp were eventually sent to the gas chambers
of Auschwitz. Composers such as Viktor Ullmann, Hans Krása and
Ervin Schulhoff were among some 35,000 artists and musicians who
perished in Terezín. Of the 15,000 children who passed through
Theresienstadt, only 93 survived.
in 1986, the Hawthorne String Quartet includes violinists
Ronan Lefkowitz and Haldan Martinson, violist Mark Ludwig
and cellist Sato Knudsen from the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
They have made several recordings of music from composers
persecuted during World War II and will perform at U.Va.
the course of World War II, the Nazis blacklisted compositions
from Europe's modernism movement, music written by Jewish composers,
music containing explicit sexuality, black jazz and any piece
written in opposition to Nazi ideology. They branded this music
with the term "entartete musik" (degenerate music).
Through their efforts, a generation of musical innovation and
promise was not only abruptly curtailed in Europe, but excluded
from its rightful status in history.
is a clear linear progression of Germanic composers from Mozart
to Mahler into the 1920s that was cut off when the Nazis starting
banning certain music and composers," said fourth-year music
major Benjamin Levy. He began researching the topic last fall
while taking a class on the music of World War II with U.Va. professor
Scott DeVeaux. Some of the composers and musicians managed to
emigrate. Some went to the concentration camps and did not survive.
Some of their music was saved, however.
photo shows the cast of "Brundibar," a children's opera written
by the Czech composer Hans Krása in the concentration camp
of Terezín. The girl in black in the front row is Ela Weissberger,
who will participate in the conference.
has organized an international conference on "The Music Suppressed
by the Third Reich," to be held at U.Va. March 23-25. It
will bring together musicologists, internationally acclaimed musicians
and conductors, researchers from the U.S. Holocaust Museum and
Jewish historians discussing the Nazi impact on the development
of music in Europe and America.
Hawthorne String Quartet and violinist Miriam Kramer from London
will perform in Old Cabell Hall Auditorium Saturday night. The
quartet has recorded all of the Terezín chamber music for the
recent "Entartete Musik" recording series. Other musical performances
will feature works that were performed before World War II and
then banned by the Nazis, while still others have never before
been publicly performed.
participants include Mark Ludwig, director of the Terezín Chamber
Music Foundation; Bret Erb, music researcher at the U.S. Holocaust
Memorial Museum; Michael Haas, executive producer of London/Decca
Records Entartete Musik Series; and Terezín survivor Ela Weissberger,
who lived at Theresienstadt from the age of 11 to 15.
include a discussion between Gottfried Wagner, great-grandson
of the composer Richard Wagner and a musicologist in Milan, Italy,
and Holocaust historian Abraham Peck, who teaches at the University
of Southern Maine, about the relationship between Germans and
Jews after 1945. The two have a book coming out in April on their
dialogue. Also, Martin Goldsmith, founding host and executive
producer of National Public Radio's "Performance Today," will
talk about his new book about his parents, The Inextinguishable
Symphony: A True Story of Music and Love in Nazi Germany.
the past 13 months, Levy raised approximately $40,000 to organize
the conference, with support from the Kurt Weill Foundation for
Music, the Shoah Foundation, the Terezín Chamber Music Foundation,
the Anti-Defamation League, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum,
the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Hillel International.
Other sponsors include the Samuel Bronfman Foundation, the Byck
Foundation, the U.Va. departments of history,
and French, the
Judaic Studies Program, College of Arts & Sciences, the Raven
Society and the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society. The Judaic
Studies Program at George Washington University, plus the music
departments at GWU and the University of Richmond also have contributed.
for a complete list of participants and for registration information.
- 3:30 p.m. The
Rotunda "London/Decca Records' Entartete Musik Recording
Series" "The Third Reich's Musical Road to the
Theresienstadt Concentration Camp"
- 5:30 p.m.
Old Cabell Hall Auditorium "Exiled Composers in England
(including Berthold Goldschmidt)" "Music Research
and the Holocaust"
- 8 p.m.
Newcomb Hall Ballroom Dinner reception with John D'earth
and The Free Bridge Jazz Quintet
- 10 p.m.
Old Cabell Hall Auditorium "Richard Wagner's Political
and Cultural Influences on Hitler" "How to Handle
Family Histories as Part of World History After the Shoah:
The Wagner-Peck Case"
- 10 a.m.
Old Cabell Hall Lobby Breakfast
- 11:45 a.m.
Garrett Hall Commons Room "Kurt Weill and Ernst Krenek"
Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Old Cabell Hall Lobby Boxed lunches available 2 - 3:30 p.m.
n Rotunda "Finding a Voice: Musicians and Terezín"
Old Cabell Hall Auditorium (Lecture/ recital) "Jewish
Musicians in Nazi Germany The Judische Kulturbund"
Old Cabell Hall Auditorium Gala Concert