Los Angeles, CA (November 2, 2021) – Recovered Voices 2021: Schulhoff and More, an original multimedia series featuring James Conlon, premieres on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. Presented by the Colburn School’s Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices, the online series delves into the life and music of Erwin Schulhoff (1894-1942), a fascinating, prolific, and multi-faceted composer who embraced a full panoply of styles and influences from his era.
Inspired by LA Opera’s groundbreaking Recovered Voices project, and with the support of Los Angeles philanthropist Marilyn Ziering, the Colburn School and James Conlon established the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices in 2013, with the purpose of championing composers such as Schulhoff whose lives were disrupted—or even ended—during the years of the Nazi regime in Europe. In collaboration with Robert Elias and with the critical support of individual philanthropists, the Initiative continues to bring this important repertory back to life for generations to come through performances, classes, competitions, symposia, recordings, and more.
For the past seven years, the Ziering-Conlon Initiative offered an annual semester-long course, “Recovered Voices: An Examination of Lesser-Known Composers and Works of the Early Twentieth Century,” with weekly lectures by Mr. Conlon, Mr. Elias, and other experts. Due to COVID, the annual in-person course was reimagined for digital platforms. This free series will consist of four 45-minute multimedia presentations by Mr. Conlon exploring the life and legacy of composer Erwin Schulhoff, including musical examples—most performed and recorded by Colburn musicians—in each installment.
All episodes will be available at colburnschool.edu/schulhoff.
“The ‘Recovered Voices’ series at Colburn is designed to communicate the importance of continuing to bring attention to the volumes of music that were banned by the Nazi regime. Their voices still need to be heard,” said Mr. Conlon. “I am thrilled that we have found a way to push through the pandemic-related challenges and continue our mission through the streaming of our discussions. Reviving and nurturing the music of the victims of totalitarianism, like that of the extraordinarily innovative Erwin Schulhoff, is of vital importance. These efforts deny those regimes any posthumous victory, while also serving as a reminder to resist any contemporary or future impulse to define artistic standards on the basis of racist or exclusionary ideologies. My hope is that with the expanded, now-virtual reach of this year’s series, we can reach an even larger audience to draw attention to the composers like Erwin Schulhoff, whose lives were shortened but whose music can live on through all of us.”
“Since 2014, Recovered Voices has been an essential part of the Colburn School experience for students and public audiences alike,” said Sel Kardan, President and CEO. “It is a special privilege to not only continue James Conlon’s mission to illuminate the works of composers suppressed by the Nazi regime, but also to bring this important initiative into the digital sphere, further lifting the voices of those who were silenced.”
Erwin Schulhoff’s life and career are emblematic of the vitality not only of his own work, but that of two generations of composers whose lives, careers, and legacies were profoundly disrupted during—and following—the years 1933–1945 as a result of Nazi repression. Schulhoff (1894–1942), like all Jewish composers and many non-Jewish composers, was branded by the regime as “degenerate.”
Like Kafka and Mahler, a German Jew in a Czech cultural milieu, Schulhoff used his “outsider looking in” status to forge a compelling musical personality. One of the earliest and most successful exponents of art music drawing on jazz, Schulhoff refracts multiple approaches of his time, from Dada to Expressionism, and from a distanced self-mockery to the stolid seriousness of Socialist Realism. Recovered Voices 2021: Schulhoff and More tracks these influences through the course of Schulhoff’s life.
Colburn Conservatory graduate student Adam Millstein has assumed a leadership role as student curator for this project, assembling Colburn artist-colleagues to perform and video-record many of the works heard in the course of the series.
The Recovered Voices online series will continue with episodes featuring Mr. Elias (“What and Why ‘Degenerate’ Music”) and Dr. Lily E. Hirsch (“Jewish Women Composers During the Nazi Regime: Twice Censored”) to be released later this season.
RECOVERED VOICES 2021: SCHULHOFF AND MORE
Presented by James Conlon
All episodes premiere at 12pm PT
Nov. 2, 2021
Recovered Voices 101
Nov. 16, 2021
Erwin Schulhoff’s Early Life and Music: Tradition Meets Dada
Nov. 30, 2021
Erwin Schulhoff: A Classical Music Jazz Prophet
Dec. 14, 2021
Erwin Schulhoff: The Twenties and a Turn Toward Socialist Realism
ABOUT JAMES CONLON
One of today’s most versatile and respected conductors, James Conlon has cultivated a vast symphonic, operatic, and choral repertoire. He has conducted virtually every major American and European symphony orchestra since his debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1974. Through worldwide touring, an extensive discography and videography, numerous essays and commentaries, and frequent television appearances and guest speaking engagements, he is one of classical music’s most recognized interpreters.
In addition to serving as LA Opera Music Director, Mr. Conlon is Artistic Advisor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He has previously held the positions of Principal Conductor of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Torino, Italy; Principal Conductor of the Paris Opera; General Music Director of the City of Cologne, Germany, simultaneously leading the Gürzenich Orchestra and the Cologne Opera; and Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also Music Director of the Ravinia Festival, summer home of the Chicago Symphony, and is now Music Director Laureate of the Cincinnati May Festival, where he was Music Director for almost four decades.
As a guest conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, he has led more than 270 performances since his 1976 debut. He has also conducted at leading opera houses and festivals including the Wiener Staatsoper, Salzburg Festival, La Scala, Mariinsky Theatre, Covent Garden, Chicago Lyric Opera, and Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
In an effort to call attention to lesser-known works of composers silenced by the Nazi regime, Mr. Conlon has devoted himself to extensive programming of this music throughout Europe and North America. His work in this area led to the creation of The OREL Foundation, the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School, and a recent virtual TEDx Talk titled “Resurrecting Forbidden Music.”
Mr. Conlon holds four honorary doctorates and has received numerous other awards. He was one of the first five recipients of the Opera News Awards and was honored by the New York Public Library as a Library Lion. He was named Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana by Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic. He was also named Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture and, in 2002, personally accepted France’s highest honor, the Legion d’Honneur, from then-President of the French Republic Jacques Chirac.
ABOUT THE COLBURN SCHOOL
A performing arts institution located in the heart of Los Angeles, the Colburn School trains students from beginners to those about to embark on professional careers. The academic units of the School provide a complete spectrum of music and dance education united by a single philosophy: that all who desire to study music or dance should have access to top-level instruction.
- The Community School of Performing Arts welcomes students of all ages, from seven months old to adults. It offers over 120 classes each year in orchestral instruments, piano, guitar, voice, jazz, music theory, drama, and ensembles including orchestra, choir, and chamber music.
- The diploma- and degree-granting Conservatory of Music is distinguished by a unique all-scholarship model, renowned faculty, and outstanding performance opportunities. It prepares the very highest level of collegiate musicians for professional careers.
- The Trudl Zipper Dance Institute develops performers of all levels, from aspiring professionals in the Dance Academy to beginners starting in Youth Dance. Students of all levels receive training in ballet, tap, musical theater, and modern genres as part of a comprehensive dance education.
- The Music Academy is a highly selective training program for gifted young pre-collegiate musicians, designed to prepare students for conservatory study and performing careers at the highest levels of achievement. This residential program balances performance, musical instruction, and academics.
- Created to serve all units of the School, the Center for Innovation and Community Impact empowers the musical and dance leaders of tomorrow by nurturing students’ passion and ability to serve their communities, preparing them for sustainable careers, and embracing the development of new ideas. The Center embodies Colburn’s commitment to developing young artists with the curiosity, skills, and commitment to make a difference in their field.
Each year, more than 2,000 students from around the world come to Colburn to benefit from the renowned faculty, exceptional facilities, and focus on excellence that unites the community. Learn more at www.colburnschool.edu.