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Concert series "Pioneers in Exile"

In person
Elysium Between Two Continents Logo

Concert series "Pioneers in Exile"

Please note there are three events in this series, all based in Germany.

Monday, April 29, 2024, at 7 pm CET

Austrian Cultural Forum

Stauffenbergstraße 1

10785 Berlin

Register Here

Thursday, May 2, 2024, at 7:30 pm CET

Admission: € 30,- (€ 20,- reduced for students, senior citizens, and handicapped people)

Munich Künstlerhaus (ballroom)

Lenbachplatz 8

80333 Munich

Register By Email

Monday, May 6, 2024, at 7pm CET

Campus Westend of the Goethe University

PA building (foyer)


60323 Frankfurt

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It all began with a photo from 1922. 13 men gather in front of a house wall around a woman in the center of the picture and look seriously into the camera. The 14 composers from different countries were part of a group of composers who were organizing the first International Chamber Music Festival in Salzburg at the time. At the end of this festival, they founded the International Society for New Music, which still exists today and promotes the presentation of modern music worldwide.

The photo is one of the few testimonies to this historic meeting, as the move towards modernism was soon torpedoed: Arch-conservative critics reviled those gathered there as "musical Bolsheviks" and when the National Socialists came to power, several of those pictured had to leave their homeland.

The concert series Pioneers in Exile focuses on nine composers expelled by the National Socialist terror regime and offers a stage for the rediscovery of their often unjustly forgotten works.

Among them are compositions by the almost completely forgotten composer Charlotte Schlesinger, whose string quartet was awarded the Beethoven Scholarship of the City of Berlin in 1929. The student of Paul Hindemith emigrated to America via Prague and Kiev. In addition to Charlotte Schlesinger and Paul Hindemiths, there will also be string quartets, songs and piano pieces by Wilhelm Grosz, Hugo Kauder, Egon Lustgarten, Paul Pisk, Rudolf Reti, Karl Weigl and Egon Wellesz.

The pieces were discovered in archives and libraries and have so far only been performed in New York. Pioneers in Exile offers German audiences the unique opportunity to experience these rarely performed works live.

The pieces by the nine composers will be performed by the Diplomatic Quartet, consisting of Matthias Hummel, Felix Klein, Waltraut Elvers, Gabriella Strümpel - as well as the Austrian pianist Gottlieb Wallisch and the American soprano Alexis Rodda.

The concert series was organized by the theater company Elysium - between two continents in cooperation with the Leo Baeck Institute - New York|Berlin, musical reanimate and local partners in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich.