Jewish Musicians in Norway, 1930-1945

Lecture by Michael Custodis at the conference „Remembering Lost Music- Jewish cultural heritage in Scandinavia“.

The Grieg Research Centre together with the composition class of the Grieg Academy arranges a concert and seminar led by Dániel Péter Biró will present results of our project on Lost Jewish musical heritage in Bergen, Norway, Scandinavia. Bringing together artistic, historical, and musicological perspectives, the overall aim of this project is to increase the awareness of Jewish cultural heritage in Bergen, Norway, and Scandinavia.

Little is known about the Jewish composers and musicians living in Scandinavia, most of them immigrating during the early 20th century, or driven into exile during World War II. What do we know about their biographies, their social and cultural conditions, their educational or institutional significance and impact? How did their reception as artists and migrants with Jewish background in local and national contexts shape their identity and relationship to the majority?

A further goal of this project is to revisit the history of Jews in Scandinavia in the light of the overall narrative of persecution, trauma, and Holocaust. New compositions based on poetry of Nelly Sachs written by Grieg Academy composition students explore these aspects from different, individual points of departure. These compositions will be juxtaposed by the composition Gvul (Border) by Dániel Péter Biró, which investigates historical memory and trauma via the deconstruction of musical material.

Finally, by inviting projects from visual arts to contribute, the aim is to initiate an interdisciplinary exchange on how historical testimonies and stories of persecution, trauma, exile, and survival can engage new audiences, challenging and complementing traditional forms of historiography by means of participatory methods of storytelling.

External References

Datum: 2-4 May 2022

Ort: Grieg Research Centre Bergen

Mitwirkende: Michael Custodis