Wednesday 27 January 2021 10:00AM

Dr Agnes Kory - Holocaust Memorial Day Talk

Hungarian Jewish Musicians and the Holocaust; a tribute to murdered Hungarian Jewish composers


This concert was live-streamed as part of the Wigmore Hall Spring Series. The video is no longer online but other concerts are available to watch in full here: Wigmore Hall Concert Video Library


The life and work of the ‘Terezin composers’ – Czech Jewish composers who were interned in the Terezin (Theresienstadt) prison camp and ghetto before they were murdered – is no longer unknown. However, the life/work/fate of murdered Hungarian Jewish composers is still largely unknown.

In my talk I will examine how Jewish musicians lived and worked in Hungary prior to the introduction of the Jewish laws and how they continued to work after the Hungarian Nazi laws of 1938 and 1939 came into effect.

Tragically, great many Hungarian Jewish musicians perished during the Holocaust. I will show how Bartók and Kodály supported or tried to save the lives of their Jewish students – Kodály in particular as Bartók left Hungary in 1940 – and I will pay tribute to murdered composers.

My talk will be accompanied by a Power Point presentation, showing relevant historical documents. My audio examples will include compositions by Ferencz (Franz) Weisz, Sándor Kuti and László Weiner; all three were murdered in the Holocaust.

Dr Agnes Kory, PhD (Musicology)
29th April 2020