Innovators in Exile (April 20th, 21st, 24th)

Innovators in Exile

Innovators in Exile, © The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive

03.04.2023 - Article

A music festival bringing back to life the music of forgotten exiled composers

Innovators in Exile

Three-Day Music Festival Celebrating the Exiled Composers who helped found the International Society for Contemporary Music 100 Years ago in Salzburg

under the patronage of Thomas Hampson

In August 1922, composers from around the world gathered in Salzburg to present their new works. At the end of this avant-garde festival, the International Society for Contemporary Music was founded, an institution that still operates world-wide today. Of the German and Austrian composers present at the time, eight were forced to emigrate under the Nazi regime:

Egon Wellesz fled to England, Wilhelm Grosz, Paul Hindemith, Hugo Kauder, Egon Lustgarten, Paul A. Pisk, Rudolf Reti and Karl Weigl came to the United States. Their careers cut short, they continued to write beautiful music under difficult circumstances. Their musical idioms were partly shaped by what they found here; in turn they contributed in manifold ways to the musical scene here, tremendously enriching the culture of the country that granted them asylum. Their styles vary, ranging from late romanticism and moderate modernity to twelve-tone and jazz-infused music. Today most of them are totally forgotten – unjustly so.

100 years later, Elysium between two continents and The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive wants to change that. This festival, featuring 17 award-winning instrumentalists – including two string quartets – and singers - will shine a spotlight on these little-noticed composers, giving them a voice again after decades of neglect. Some of these pieces are world premieres, and many have not been performed again since they were written and premiered. The idea of the program is to perform such works by these composers that were written after emigration to reflect their American careers, unless a work was influenced in some way by American music before 1938.

The Festival is presented in collaboration with the Leo Baeck Institute New York, the American Society for Jewish Music, and the Austrian Cultural Forum New York.

Admission to all three concerts is free but reservations are required.

April 20 at 6.30 pm:

Leo Baeck Instiute at Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011

April 21 at 7.00 pm:

Marc A. Scorca Hall at Opera America, 330 Seventh Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001

April 24 at 6.30 pm:

Austrian Cultural Forum, 11 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

More information

Top of page