Photo: Boosey & Hawkes Bote & Bock


Torso of a Life. The Composer and Pianist Gideon Klein (1919–45)

musica reanimata e. V., Berlin, Germany

It remained a torso – the life of the brilliant, gifted young Gideon Klein, who at the age of 20 was already a renowned pianist in Prague, as well as a highly cultured conversationalist. But the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939 cut short his musical studies and concert activities a year later. Two days before his 22nd birthday, he was deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto which he was forcibly involved in setting up. He spent almost three years in Theresienstadt where he became very musically active developing further compositions, organizing concerts and working as a passionate teacher. On October 16, 1944, Gideon Klein was deported to Auschwitz, where he survived the selection process but was then sent to the Fürstengrube concentration camp, where he was murdered shortly before the camp was dissolved at the end of January 1945.

On his 100th birthday in December 2019, musica reanimata is planning the first comprehensive tribute to this musician. In focus here will not just be his musical work but also its diversity. As part of the two-day event “Torso of a Life. The Composer and Pianist Gideon Klein”, that is organized by musica reanimata in cooperation with the State Institute for Music Research (Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung), British musicologist David Fligg will present the first biography on Gideon Klein. The musical-literary program “Gideon Klein. Portrait of a Composer” will make its debut in Germany at the symposium, which is supported by the EvS Music Foundation. An exhibition will showcase the already existing Klein book, score and CD publications, while lectures will focus on various aspects of his work and its reception. Most of the works covered will be performed in a final concert. The German premiere will be accompanied by a previously unpublished melodrama. This will highlight the importance attached to the dovetailing of theory and practice.

The Berlin association musica reanimata was founded in 1990 in the belief that musical history of the 20th century would be incomplete without the contribution of those composers who fell victim to National Socialism. The association's work has been recognized with the German Critics' Prize in 2006.

December 13, 2019
Curt-Sachs-Saal, Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung, Berlin, Germany

December 14, 2019
Curt-Sachs-Saal, Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung, Berlin, Germany

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