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Past Events

Past EventsSunday, March 2

Jews and Music under Nazi rule

Michael Haas, Raphaël Jerusalmy
Chair: Norman Lebrecht

Update Friday 28 February: More tickets are now available for this event, which will be held in Hall One of Kings Place.

Michael Haas’s Forbidden Music looks at the Jewish composers and musicians banned by the Third Reich and the consequences for music throughout the rest of the 20th century. Because Jewish musicians and composers were, by 1933, the principal conveyors of Germany’s historic traditions and the ideals of German culture, the isolation, exile and persecution of Jewish musicians by the Nazis became an act of musical self-mutilation.

Raphaël Jerusalmy’s debut novel Saving Mozart takes the form of the journal of Otto J. Steiner, a former music critic of Jewish descent suffering from tuberculosis in a Salzburg sanatorium in 1939. Steiner is horrified to learn that the Nazis are transforming a Mozart festival into a fascist event. Steiner feels helpless at first, but an invitation from a friend presents him with an opportunity to fight back. Under the guise of organizing a concert for Nazi officials, Steiner formulates a plan to save Mozart that could dramatically change the course of the war.  

Haas and Jerusalmy explore with Norman Lebrecht how music both suffered and served as a powerful form of resistance. 

Michael Haas was initiator and executive producer of Decca’s “Entartete Musik” series. He was also music curator at Vienna Jewish Museum and is head of research at the Jewish Music Institute’s International Centre for Suppressed Music based at Royal Holloway College. His book Forbidden Music is published by Yale University Press.

Raphaël Jerusalmy was born in Montmartre, France in 1954. After receiving diplomas from the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Sorbonne, he worked with Israeli military intelligence. He currently sells antique books in Tel Aviv.

Norman Lebrecht has written 12 books about music, which have been translated into 17 languages. His first novel The Song of Names won a Whitbread Award in 2003 and is presently being cast as a major feature film. His blog, Slipped Disc, has become the world’s most-read cultural site in English, drawing more than 800,000 readers every month.

Sponsored by the Institut Francais, London

To buy books featured in this event please click hereTen per cent of all sale proceeds will go to Jewish Book Week, supporting the festival for future years.


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