Forbidden Music – The Book

“Forbidden Music: The Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis” was published in June 2013 by Yale University Press.

Buy the book at and in hardcover.

A new, revised paperback edition is coming out in June and is available for pre-order in and .


Praise for FM:

Chosen by New York Times’ arts critics as one of their books of the year (November 29th, 2013)

“A richly detailed history of Jewish musicians.”— Kirkus

“A tragic and epic story that Haas relates so magisterially well that this book will probably remain definitive on its subject for the foreseeable future.”—Booklist, starred review

“A valuable compendium of untold stories, a corrective to standard histories of music and an essential reference point for anyone engaged in the culture and politics of the 20th century.”—Norman Lebrecht, The Wall Street Journal

“An outstandingly fine piece of work.”—Terry Teachout, Commentary

“[T]his compelling exploration of the role Jewish musicians and composers played in the cultural life of the Prussian and Austro-Hungarian Empire. . . is rich in unexpected facts and quotes. . . Its greatest virtue is the unearthing of composers, critics, conductors and musicians destined for obscurity. Haas makes a pleasingly detailed argument for honouring a treasure trove to which the development of Western music owes a considerable debt.”—Rebecca K Morrison, The Independent

“This is a big and important book…that really must be read by anyone with even a passing interest in the music of this period. One closes it with a mixture of astonishment and admiration.”—Peter Franklin, Opera Magazine.

“Haas writes with insight and intelligence, […] He describes [eloquently] the rich legacy of these tragic times.” – Daniel Snowman, History Today

“This is in essence a beautifully written history book that places the torturous advance of Austro-German anti-Semitism in a musical context” – Rob Cowan, Gramophone Magazine

“This heart-breaking book . . . is eloquently written with an almost poetic sensitivity to the subject . . . its publication is a revelation, packed as it is with an overwhelming amount of documents and facts, enriched with fascinating details about modern music from a distinctively Jewish perspective – justifiably so, as the entire musical period was significantly shaped by Jewish composers . . . Forbidden Music serves as a powerful reminder of what Austria in particular has lost in rich 20th century musical culture.”
—Matthias Wurz, The Vienna Review

“ …Forbidden Music . . . offers an essential supplement to standard histories of music in thrall to big names and vested interests. The trajectory is tortuous and tragic, the future still uncertain.”
—David Gutman, International Record Review