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Harmony from 
the Darkness

Not forgotten. This project presents the music of composers who were victims of National Socialism During the dark times of World War II and tells their story. These musicians were persecuted, banned, silenced, or killed by the Nazi regime due to their ethnicity, religion, sexuality, or political beliefs.

Their contributions to the world of classical music, often remained unheard, their legacies were tragically cut short.

Interviews & Articles

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Leitmotif. This is the story of my great aunt, Betsy, in Amsterdam. Her story, as well as of my family, is told by relatives, who's lives were intertwined with hers.

After the holocaust, Betsy became a sculptor and created countless heavy bronze figures of children, in her attempt to process her tragic loss.

This is a reflection on remembrance, grief and art.

The Composers

MARIUS FLOTHUIS led an eventful life. Early on, he was politically aware and left-wing orientated. He lost his job at the Concertgebouw Orchestra for his refusal to register with the Kultuurkamer, a regulatory cultural agency installed by the German occupying forces during World War II. He was arrested for his resistance work, imprisoned in Camp Vught and deported to Sachsenhausen in 1944. Meanwhile, he continued composing and survived the hardships. In the postwar Dutch and international music worlds, he held numerous positions.

by Joyce Kiliaan

LEO SMIT His music sounds thoroughly French, with bright and blithe notes that seemingly flow easily from his pen. In reality, it took many years before his musical ideas were incorporated into his compositions. And however French it may sound, Leo Smit was in heart and soul hooked to Amsterdam and the Netherlands.  It also took years before his legacy would reach an international audience.

by Jurjen Vis

FANIA CHAPIRO was born in 1926 in Indonesia (the former Dutch East Indies), on the island of Java, in a carefree musical environment. She had a Russian father, her mother was Dutch. Both parents cherished the exceptional musical talent of their only child, making many sacrifices to support this. Fania was half-Jewish and that would affect the course of her career. When she wrote in her diary in early 1935:  “I have decided to become a composer and a wonderful pianist,” she could not expect the war would get in her way. Despite everything, she persevered; her efforts culminated in a beautiful career as a pianist and composer.

Margaret Krill

AVNER GEIGER.  flutist.

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