Monthly Archives: October 2010

Carol Kahn Strauss: Keynote Address at Launch of Ruhr Center for American Studies

Carol Kahn Strauss with students at the Ruhr Universität Dortmund

As the university celebrated the launch of a PhD program where scholars from across the world will study American history, politics, and culture from a transatlantic perspective, Mrs. Strauss focused on the impact of German-Jewish emigres on America’s intellectual and cultural development.

Exhibition: The Art of the Book, Illustration and Design

George Salter's cover for "Berlin Alexanderplatz" by Alfred Döblin

This exhibition features a number of recently acquired books designed by George Salter, who revolutionized the art of book design over a career that spanned decades in Berlin and New York, lending iconic images to works by Kafka, Mann, and Faulkner. It also showcases a wide and diverse range of other books from the LBI collections.

Ernest Bloch, Composer, 1880-1959

Ernest Bloch to Arno Nadel, August 12, 1934 (Ernest Bloch, left, and Alexander Weissborn, right)

Today, the Geneva-born composer Ernest Bloch is primarily known for the neo-romantic cello rhapsody “Schelomo,” which has been performed by nearly every major cellist. His relative obscurity today belies his tremendous impact on American classical music as both a teacher and composer.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Composer, 1897 – 1957

Photograph of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, undated

Before Erich Wolfgang Korngold was first called to Hollywood by his fellow Austrian émigré, the actor and director Max Reinhardt, he was a celebrated child prodigy and an up-and-coming composer of serious orchestral music who had had works premiered by artists including Artur Schnabel

William Steinberg, Conductor, 1899 – 1978

Conductor William Steinberg, LBI Photography Collection

Famous for his tenure with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, William Steinberg was already an important conductor before he left Germany. At the Frankfurt Opera, Steinberg had conducted the premiere of the first 12-tone opera, Arnold Schoenberg’s “Von Heute auf Morgen.”

Otto Klemperer, Conductor, 1885-1973

"Max Kowalski, In Memoriam," signed photograph of Otto Klemperer from the Max Kowalski Collection.

Though the conductor Otto Klemperer’s career in the United States lasted just six years before complications from an unnecessary surgery forced him temporarily from the podium, he had an enormous impact on classical music in America.

Artur Schnabel, Pianist and Composer 1882 – 1951

Postcard from Artur Schnabel to Max Kowalski, April 16, 1921. “Dear Kowalksi, will you be in Wiesbaden when Therese will sing Mahler Lieder and my own, 'Notturno'?”

Known more for his communicative and emotional playing than technical mastery, Artur Schnabel eventually made recordings of all 32 Beethoven piano Sonatas which are still prized for their musicality despite inaccuracies. As a composer, he embraced a much more modern aesthetic.

Ernest Drucker: 1909-1993

Ernst Drucker Brochure

Violinist Ernest (Ernst) Drucker’s papers in the LBI archives reflect the rich pool of talent associated with the Jüdischer Kulturbund during the 1930’s. Unlike many artists of his generation, whose careers were completely derailed by oppression and exile, Drucker was able to continue a successful career in America.

Leo Baeck Memorial Lecture: Michael Brenner: “The politics of Jewish historiography: How to construct a usable past”

Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner, of the University of Munich discussed research from his new book “Prophets of the Past.” “Prophets” is the first book to examine in depth how modern Jewish historians have interpreted Jewish history. Brenner reveals that perhaps no other group has used their shared history for so many different ideological and political purposes as the Jews.

Arnold Schoenberg, Composer, 1874 –1951

Drawing by Emil Orlik

Arnold Schoenberg is recognized as one of the most important composers of the 20th century, and he appears again and again as a correspondent and topic of discussion in the papers of prominent musicians in the LBI archives.