Many composers died in concentration camps in the Second World War. This programme is dedicated to that lost generation, as represented by three Czechs and an Austrian who could have constituted the new musical vanguard had they not been murdered at such a young age. Perhaps the best-known is Pavel Haas, the most talented student of Leos Janáček's, who died at Auschwitz seventy-five years ago. Dating from 1938, his String Quartet No. 3 is a highly original combination of modernism and influences from Czech folk music.
His later fellow prisoners at Theresienstadt included Viktor Ullmann, an enthusiastic disciple of Arnold Schoenberg's, and Hans Krása, who was more inclined to French music. While in the camp, both composed many works, only some of which have survived. The driving force behind musical life in the camp was their fellow inmate Gideon Klein, a composer in his twenties who wrote an energetic string trio shortly before his death.
For fans of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Close-up concerts given in the Recital Hall provide a fantastic opportunity to get acquainted with individual musicians. In this concert series, they perform chamber music in small ensembles, allowing you to enjoy their unique musical personalities and abilities.