Vanished Musicians Author in Australia

August 11, 2016 by Roz Tarszisz
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German musicologist and music critic Albrecht Dumling will be in Australia later this month to launch the English language version of his book The Vanished Musicians: Jewish Refugees in Australia.

The book traces the experiences of German orchestral performers, soloists, singers, conductors and composers who sought refuge here  There is a wealth of detail, often poignant, as he uses primary sources to highlight Jewish musical history.


Albrecht Dumling

He will give six different lectures in Melbourne and Sydney, some including recitals of the work of musicians included in the book.  Details of events below.

After completing his doctorate, he published the first comprehensive book on Bertold Brecht’s collaboration with composers. His exhibition on Nazi music policies, Degenerate Music:  a Critical Reconstruction, travelled around the world, including London, Los Angeles and Tel Aviv.

Since 1990 he has been chairman of “musica reanimata”, a Society for the Promotion of Composers persecuted by the Nazis.   For his work with the society, Dümling was the first recipient of the European Cultural Prize KAIROS.

When J-Wire spoke with him, the author said he was excited to be returning to Australia and was looking forward to catching up with some of the musicians and their families who are subjects in the book.  After it was published in German in 2011, more information came to light which he has included in this English version.

In the lecture-recital at Emanuel Synagogue some of Werner Baer’s music will be played, complemented by compositions of Boas Bischofswerder and George Dreyfus. Baer served as the Emanuel Synagogues organist for more than 30 years. The fates and experiences of Dreyfus and jazz musician Sydney John Kay, who both also fled from Berlin to Australia, will be discussed, supplemented by anecdotes from George Dreyfus and Kay’s son, Anthony.

At the Goethe Institut book launch, Dumling will give a lecture on musical contributions of foreigners in Germany and Australia, followed by a panel discussion with Diana K. Weekes, the book’s translator, John David (Australian Music Centre), Joseph Toltz (Sydney University Conservatorium) and Andrea Bandhauer (Sydney University).

21 August — 4 pm @ Emanuel Synagogue

22 August — 5 pm @ Sydney Conservatorium of Music
23 August — 6 pm @ Goethe-Institut


28 August — 2.30 pm @ Jewish Museum

31 August — 12.15 pm
East Melbourne Synagogue

01 September — 12 pm @ Melbourne University Conservatorium



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