Staff Reporter

TORONTO – German and Jewish composers who were driven into internal and external exile by the Nazis are the subject of a weekend of concerts and lectures at the Royal Conservatory of Music on Oct. 14 and 15.

Music in Exile will be held at the Glenn Gould Studio in the Canadian Broadcasting Centre on Front Street.

The concerts will be performed by the Artists of the Royal Conservatory, a resident ensemble of the conservatory.

Simon Wynberg, the artistic director of the Artists of the Royal Conservatory, said that Music in Exile comes on the heels of a 2003 Music Reborn series that examined the lives and music of Jewish composers and musicians murdered during the Holocaust.

Of Music in Exile, he said, “Many émigré composers, who previously enjoyed the esteem, influence and security of belonging to German and Austrian institutions, faded from view once they left, and much of their music sank into oblivion after their deaths.â€?

Yet the composers who survived Nazism and the Holocaust suffered through a second period of discrimination after the war.

Their traditional works were rejected by “a modernist and unforgiving music establishment,â€? he added.

The purpose of Music in Exile is to expose them to a new generation of music lovers and restore their reputations.

“We hope that their musical spirit, craftsmanship and ability to engage and entertain make a clear case for the reassessment and more regular inclusion.â€?

The program is divided into four parts.

The first segment, Inner Migration, turns on three anti-Nazi German composers who stayed in Germany during the Third Reich and were persecuted by the regime. They are Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905-1963), Heinrich Kaminski (1886-1946) and Walter Braunfels (1882-1954).

The second part, Mahagonny Songspiel, is a tribute to Kurt Weill, the most successful émigré composer.

It also includes the Canadian première of Through Roses, a musical drama featuring Canadian actor Saul Rubinek and eight soloists.

The third program is a showcase for the works of three émigré composers who fled Nazi-occupied Europe and settled in the United States – Alexander Zemlinksy (1871-1942), Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968) and Alexander Tansman (1897-1986) – and one composer, Philipp Jarnach (1892-1982), who exiled himself on a remote island off the German coast.

It is performed by students from the Glenn Gould School and members of the Artists of the Royal Conservatory.

The fourth program concentrates on the music of composers Mieczyslaw Weinberg (1919-1986), Karl Weigl (1881-1949) and Tansman.

German musicologist Albrecht Dumling will deliver a lecture on German composers who remained aloof from the musical scene during the Nazi era.

Brett Werb of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will speak about the 1943 American musical pageant staged by writer Ben Hecht to raise awareness of the mass murder of European Jews by the Nazis.

Lectures are free. Concert tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for seniors and students.

For more information, call 416-408-2824.