About Edwin Geist
Brandeis University is proud to present the US Premiere of the music of Edwin Geist.
Edwin Geist composed the kind of music Hitler called “degenerate”. Born in Berlin in 1902, Edwin was forced to flee Germany after the Nazis came to power and he was prohibited to compose or work because his father was Jewish. He lived in Lithuania with his Jewish wife, pianist Lyda Bagriansky, and was interned with her in the Kovno Ghetto when the Nazis occupied Lithuania.
He was temporarily released and asked to compose, but he convinced the authorities he could not do so unless his wife would also be freed and she finally joined him, although with cruel limitations imposed on their lifestyle. He was eventually murdered in 1942 and Lyda, unable to live without him, committed suicide shortly after. Friends then broke into their boarded apartment, filled a suitcase with his musical scores whereas the diary he wrote for Lyda while separated from her was already with his friends, Helene and Margarete Holzman. That was all that survived from Edwin.
The lives and love of Edwin and Lyda are described in Dies Kind Soll Leben , (This Child Must Live). This memoir, written by Helene Holzman and edited by Reinhard Kaiser and Margarete Holzman, won the coveted Geschwister Scholl Prize. Reinhard Kaiser then went on to write a biography of Edwin Geist, Unerhoerte Rettung:Die Suche nach Edwin Geist (Amazing Rescue: The Search for Edwin Geist). A CD of Edwin Geist's Chamber Music and Songs was released in 2007 and received an award from the biggest and most prestigious musical publication in Germany.
Panel Discussion and US Premiere Concert!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Panel Discussion Edwin Geist Life and Works
Dr. Bret Werb, musicologist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC
Reinhard Kaiser, Geist's biographer, Frankfurt, Germany
Dr. Klaus Harer, Deputy Director of The German Cultural Forum for Eastern Europe (Kulturforum Östliches Europa)
US Premiere Concert of Edwin Geist Music
Verena Rein, Berlin, Soprano
Irving Fine Society Singers and Ensemble under the direction of Nicholas A. Brown ('10) and a group of Boston Area Musicians
IMPORTANT: This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited so we urge you to reserve a seat in advance. Please call 781-736-3400 and use option 5.
For those not on the Brandeis campus, there will be an alternate event on Saturday, October 25, 2008: Goethe Institut, Boston at 7:30 pm. Admission is free of charge.