Music, Fascism, and the Holocaust
Europe and the United Nations commemorate the victims of the Shoah each winter on the date of Auschwitz's liberation in 1945; the Italian Academy presents an annual academic event exploring issues of discrimination and crimes against humanity. In previous years, the Academy broadened its focus to explore groups that were targeted in the racism and xenophobia of the Nazi and Fascist regimes, and that suffered and died along with the millions of Jews: the Roma and Sinti (known as Gypsies); homosexuals; women; and the disabled. This year, our Holocaust Remembrance will focus on music, Fascism and the Holocaust.
Michael Beckerman is Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music at New York University and Distinguished Professor of History at Lancaster University. He has written articles on such subjects as film scoring, music of the Roma (Gypsies), Mozart, Brahms, exiled composers, as well as many studies and several books on Czech topics, including Dvořák and His World (Princeton University Press, 1993), Janáček as Theorist (Pendragon Press, 1994), New Worlds of Dvořák (W.W.Norton, 2003), Janacek and His World (Princeton, 2004), and Martinů’s Mysterious Accident (Pendragon, 2007). For many years he was a regular contributor to the New York Times. He has appeared on Live from Lincoln Center and other radio and television programs in the United States, Europe and Japan; lectures nationally and internationally and has organized many concerts and symposia. He was awarded the Janáček Medal by the Czech Ministry of Culture, and he is a recipient of the Dvořák Medal and a Laureate of the Czech Music Council. He has twice received the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award and in November he received an honorary doctorate from Palacký University in the Czech Republic. He is currently working on a variety of projects related to music in Terezin.
Harvey Sach’s books – of which there are nearly 70 editions in 17 languages – include the standard biographies of Arturo Toscanini and Arthur Rubinstein, Virtuoso, Music in Fascist Italy, Reflections on Toscanini, The Ninth: Beethoven and the Year 1824, and, as co-author, Plácido Domingo’s My First Forty Years and Sir Georg Solti’s Memoirs. He also edited and translated The Letters of Arturo Toscanini. He has written for the New Yorker, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Times Literary Supplement of London, and many other publications, as well as for the BBC, PBS, CBC, Arte, RAI, RTSI (Switzerland), and other radio and television networks. He lectures at universities and cultural institutions worldwide, has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and holds an honorary doctorate from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Sachs, who lived in Europe for many years, is a former Artistic Director of the prestigious Società del Quartetto di Milano. He is currently amplifying and completely rewriting his classic Toscanini biography (for Oxford University Press). He is on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, is music critic of The Hudson Review (currently on leave), and writes frequently for Il Sole-24 Ore in Italy. During the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons he was the New York Philharmonic’s Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence.