Out in October 2023, “The Music of Exile – the Untold Stories of the Composers who fled Hitler” (Yale University Press)

I hope this is a book that takes the reader further down the road of understanding what it means to view music as a cultural good in need of restitution: a return to audiences of stolen composers and a return to composers of stolen audiences.

Mahler’s Final Journey

There is a legitimate reason I have neglected regular submissions to this blog. I have just completed two books: one is for Yale University Press and can perhaps be seen as a follow-up… Continue reading

Eduard Hanslick on Puccini’s “La Bohème” at Vienna’s Court Opera, conducted by Gustav Mahler

Hanslick, by offering his negative points on La Bohème offers startling insight into early Modernism before departure from tonality began to define Austro-German Modernism from the century’s second decade.

John Mauceri’s book, “The War on Music”

A review of John Mauceri’s history of music post-war

Radu Lupu 30. November 1945 – 17. April 2022

In a previous life, somewhere around 1977, I was brought to Decca, where for the next two years or so, I was the assistant producer on a number of opera recordings. The first… Continue reading

The Winterberg Puzzle’s Darker and Lighter Shades

Banned first by Hitler, then later by the Sudeten German Music Institute – Hans Winterberg, Theresienstadt survivor and the missing link in Czech music

Exilarte in the time of Covid-19

Despite Covid, the work of the Exilarte Centre carries on – a report on what’s been happening over the past year

Jewish Music Identity and the Crisis of Exile: Part 3 “DAS HOHELIED” AND “THE SONG OF SONGS: A CASE STUDY

This follows parts 1 and 2 in dealing with the crisis of Jewish identity by exile composers. In part 3, we take a case study of two composers as they set “The Song of Solomon”, known by one composer as “Song of Songs” and by the other as “Das Hohelied”.


There is another important element that illustrates “inner return”: it’s the concept of “return”, when composers prominent as pre-war modernists return to old-fashioned concepts such as symphonies, sonatas and string quartets. Of these… Continue reading

The Music of Inner Return: Part 1

Apologies are due for having neglected this blog for so many months.  There has been an inordinate amount of activity at the exil.arte Centre with acquisitions of several important estates, a symposium which… Continue reading

“Vom Jüdischen Schicksal” – The Jewish Cultural League, or Der Kulturbund

(Richard Fuchs’ “Vom Jüdischen Schicksal”, written for the Kulturbund. World Premiere in Wellington New Zealand, 2014: Jenny Wollerman, Christian Thurston, Cantoris Choir, NZSM Orchestra, Donald Maurice – conductor) One of the most unsettling… Continue reading

The False Myths and True Genius of Erich Wolfgang Korngold

1897 was an eventful year for music in Vienna: Johannes Brahms died and Gustav Mahler took over the Imperial Opera; the anti-Semitic Karl Lueger was elected mayor; the Eleven-year-old Ernst Toch decided to… Continue reading

Eric(h) Zeisl (1905-1959): The One Who (Nearly) Got Away

My article on Eric Zeisl from 2014 updated with its formerly corrupted audio files replaced.

“Cultural Transfer”: Samuel Barber, Vienna and Austrians in California

The Kirchklang Festival in Salzburg asked me to speak on Cultural Transfer, including Samuel Barber in Austria and Austrians in California.

An International Music Society that was both “New” and “Contemporary”

More Than a “two hit” Wonder: English National Opera’s “The Dead City” otherwise known as “Die tote Stadt”

The performance of The Dead City, better known as Die tote Stadt at London’s English National Opera was a revelation and frankly, a sensation for reasons few critics have mentioned. But then again,… Continue reading

“Don’t Forget About Me” – The Short Life of Gideon Klein, Composer and Pianist -a new biography by David Fligg

An exceptional biography about an exceptional young Czech composer. Gideon Klein was much more than the tragic young man murdered before his prime as David Fligg’s excellent biography explains.

Recording and the Rise of the Performer as “Curator”

the recording business has created a different type of performer: the curator – someone who looks at the composer before looking at the work. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a change in our habits and attitudes towards great music. Does the performer re-create a work in front of an audience, or does the performer “curate” a work?