Fourth lunchbreak concert in Sydney's Out of the Shadows Festival, August 2017.
In 2014 as Musical Director for the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies' Yom Hashoah commemoration at Moriah College, I lobbied to program the poignant and reflective second movement of Gideon Klein's Trio as an instrumental interlude. One of the players I had recruited to perform this was the violinist Benjamin Adler, at the time a student at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. I had known Ben for over 10 years, working with him on other communal events. Although unsuccessful in my attempt to have the Klein at the event, from that point Ben and I made an agreement to try to get the work performed in the future. After the Performing the Jewish Archive grant was successful in 2014, one of the first works I programmed for Sydney was Gideon Klein's Trio, and I asked Ben to put together an appropriate ensemble of players. He sourced three terrific fellow instrumentalists: Joseph Eisinger (cello), Charlotte Fetherston (viola) and Noam Yaffe (violin).
Initially this work would have formed part of David Fligg's Gideon Klein: Portrait of a Composer, but the theatrical production did not make it to Sydney. Undeterred, Ben and I discussed programming other works written by Jewish composers in extremis, and found resonant stories in Georg Tintner's Fugal Moods, Walter Wurzburger's String Trio and Boas Bischofwerder's Phantasia Judaica. The first movement of Tintner's work (entitled Grief) was written as a refugee in London. Wurzburger's trio was written as a prisoner (enemy alien) in the Tatura detention camp in Victoria in 1941, where the musician had been forcibly interned along with all other German nationals who were living in Singapore at the outbreak of war. Bischofswerder's Phantasia Judaica (written in 1940) was the only surviving work written on HMT Dunera, a ship that transported over 2000 Jewish men of German/Austrian origin who had sought refuge in the United Kingdom prior to the outbreak of war. Originally written for cantor and three male voices, with the permission of the Archive of Australian Judaica, I rearranged the voicing for string quartet, with the cantorial line in the Violin I part. The concert concluded with a full performance of Gideon Klein's Trio. The concert was generously sponsored by Peter Weiss AM.