Renowned conductor reviving music silenced during the Holocaust

James Conlon to speak about 'Recovered Voices' project Monday evening

“Recovered Voices” – A lecture by conductor James Conlon
Nov. 17, 7 p.m.
Faculty Center, Brandeis University

WALTHAM, Mass. — A modern-day conductor dedicated to restoring prominence to a "lost generation" of 20th-century composers will share his mission at Brandeis University.

James Conlon, a conductor for more than 30 years and currently the music director of the Los Angeles Opera, will visit Brandeis Nov. 17 to speak about his project "Recovered Voices," which celebrates and revives the music of composers silenced during the Holocaust. In his essay “Recovering a Musical Heritage” he wrote, “The Third Reich silenced two generations of composers and, with them, an entire musical heritage. Many who perished in concentration camps and others, whose freedom and productivity were curtailed, were fated to be forgotten after the war. Their music seemed to have passed with them, lost in endless silence.”

“It’s my pleasure to speak at Brandeis University about the importance of the lives and music of composers who were affected by the rise of Nazism and the events of World War II,” Conlon said. “I believe our understanding of 20th-century classic music history is incomplete without the knowledge of the literally hundreds of compositions written by these composers.”

He added that it’s important that “their music is recognized on its own terms as well as being understood in its historical context, and it’s my hope that through lecture, symposia and performance, it will find its place in the standard repertoire.”

“Recovered Voices” is a multiyear project, and Conlon continues to bring the music of composers affected by the Nazi regime to the stage in Los Angeles.

“The spirit of Mr. Conlon’s work is tremendously important,” said Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz. “It honors and enriches everyone, because it reminds us that music and art can outlast even the worst cruelties. The 'Recovered Voices' project has expanded the audience for this music and as a result, it is bringing people together that the composers themselves could never have imagined.”

One of today’s preeminent conductors, Conlon has cultivated a vast symphonic, operatic and choral repertoire, with the world’s most prestigious symphony orchestras and opera houses. In addition to his post with the Los Angeles Opera, he served as principal conductor of the Paris National Opera and has appeared with virtually every major North American and European orchestra and opera company including Teatro alla Scala and the Royal Opera at Covent Garden. He also serves as visiting faculty at the Juilliard School.

Conlon will speak about his project at 7 p.m. in the Faculty Center on the Brandeis campus, located at 415 South St. in Waltham, Mass. The event is free and open to the public. The one-day residency with Conlon is co-sponsored by the Department of Music and the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry.

For more information on attending this event, contact Robin Levine at

Photo: James Conlon (Chester Higgins)

Music: Viktor Ullmann’s Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Allegro
Gürzenich Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker conducted by James Conlon 

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