JMI has been deeply involved in developing and promoting the research, recording, and performance of works by classical composers who were stopped from working, forced into exile or killed by the Nazis.


The International Centre for Suppressed Music (ICSM), a forum of JMI, is as a platform for bringing together those working in the field of suppressed music. The aim of the ICSM is to re-examine the work of composers whose careers were affected: to recover music suppressed by totalitarian regimes and later neglected and to restore, publish, perform and record the music. ICSM is also collecting an archive of interviews with surviving composers, musicians, their families and friends as well as manuscripts, scores and other documents showing how composers and musicians tackled both their musical and their political challenges.

In 2008, JMI with Michael Haas, Director of the ICSM, presented a conference on ‘Music, Oppression and Exile: The Impact of Nazism on Musical Development in the 20th Century’. The ICSM has also produced many significant recordings of suppressed works and presented concert series to celebrate the works across the UK, Europe and America including the Aurora Orchestra’s ‘From Vienna to Weimar’ residency) at King’s Place, London and ‘Thwarted Voices – Music Suppressed by the Third Reich’ at the Barbican Centre. The ICSM publishes an online music journal in response to the growing interest in the music affected by the policies of the Third Reich and other political interference with the natural growth of music and culture.

Listen here

The classic film soundtracks of the Golden Age of Hollywood feature some of the most quintessentially American music you’re likely to hear. But the music for King Kong, Casablanca, High Noon and many other movies was actually written by Europeans – exiled classical composers, many of them Jewish, arriving in the USA in the 1920s and 30s.

Opera singer Julia Kogan was forced to leave the Soviet Union with her parents. Fascinated by the impact of exile on other artists, she goes in search of the songs many of these composers wrote away from the Hollywood spotlight, which until recently remained unpublished, hidden away in family archives.

What can these songs tell us about the emotional impact on these musicians, of being uprooted from their homelands and starting anew in a culturally alien world?

Kogan visits Los Angeles, to unearth and perform songs by multiple Oscar-winning composer Dimitri Tiomkin and by Erich Zeisl, a little-known composer whose fortunes took a rather different turn after leaving Europe. And she meets the last surviving exiled composer in Hollywood, Walter Arlen. At his 95th birthday celebrations, Kogan asks how a lifetime away from his native Austria is reflected in the songs that are only now seeing the light of day for the first time.

We hear Julia performing Tiomkin’s ‘Sweet Surrender’ (with Alan Steinberger at the piano), Eric Zeisl’s ‘Prayer’, and ‘Es geht wohl anders’ and ‘Wiegenlied’ by Walter Arlen (all with pianist Edan Gillen).

For more information on the music and contributors, please visit For more information on Walter Arlen and Eric Zeisl, visit

Presenter: Julia Kogan
Producers: Chris Elcombe, Dave King and Julia Kogan

A Somethin’ Else production for BBC Radio 4.

Michael Haas (Director of the ICSM) has published his new book “Forbidden Music; The Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis” on Yale Press. Michael Haas looks at the actual contribution of Jewish composers in Germany and Austria before 1933, at their increasingly precarious position between then and 1939, at the forced emigration of composers and performers before and during the war, and at the emaciated post-war musical life of Germany and Austria, while many of the exiled composers and musicians flourished in Britain, the United States, and elsewhere. These composers were at the leading edge of Europe’s pre war and interwar avant-garde and Michael Haas examines and celebrates their contributions to the making of the modern classical repertoire we enjoy today.


Forbidden Music Seminar 

Peter Gellhorn Cultural Engagement Project

The cultural engagement project ‘Exile Estates – Music Restitution: The musical legacy of conductor/composer Peter Gellhorn (1912-2004)’ commenced operation in February 2016 and is now well under way.

Project Supervisor Norbert Meyn and Cultural Engagement Fellow Terence Curran have recruited a team of research assistants to conduct archival research and to transcribe manuscript scores of works by Gellhorn for performance in a series of workshops being conducted at the Royal College of Music.

The first workshop exploring compositions by Peter Gellhorn took place on Thursday 7 April at the Royal College of Music. Composer Toby Young led the workshop, in which he and the Alke Quartet spent three hours exploring Gellhorn’s String Quartet No. 2. The Royal College of Music also had the pleasure of welcoming Mary Gellhorn, Peter Gellhorn’s daughter, as a special guest to observe the workshop. Mary returned to the college on 14 April for an interview in which she discussed aspects of her father’s life and career. Photographs of the project team at a recent training event with film maker Tony Britten, Toby Young working with the Alke Quartet at the first workshop, and of Mary Gellhorn (with the gold medal awarded to her father by the Berlin Akademie in 1933) are attached.

Five more workshops will take place over the coming weeks, three in April and two in May (see details below), exploring further works by Gellhorn.

It has also been confirmed that a special event celebrating Peter Gellhorn and his music will take place on the afternoon of Sunday 3 July at the Royal College of Music. Further details will be announced in due course but listings of all events can be found on the RCM website.

Workshops in April and May

The following workshops exploring compositions by Peter Gellhorn will take place at the Royal College of Music in April and May. A limited number of places will be available for observers. Please note that the workshops will be filmed. For more information and to reserve a place please email:


Sunday 24 April*

Jakob Fichert & Eleanor Hodgkinson piano duet
Ingrid Pearson & Janet Hilton clarinets

Thoughts on a Chinese Tune for Two Clarinets and Piano Duet
Sonata for Two Pianos
Totentanz for Two Pianos

Room 204 | 2-5pm

*Please note that this event is now fully subscribed and a waiting list is in operation.

Tuesday 26 April 26

Alke Quartet

String Quartet No. 1

Opera Room 2 | 5-8pm

Thursday 28 April

Alke Quartet

Male vocal quartet (tbc)

Mooragh for string quartet and male vocal ensemble
Andante 1940
Trio Suite
The Cats Isle of Man 1940

Room 301 | 5-8pm

Wednesday 4 May

Eunsley Park violin
Aleksandar Djermanovic piano
Rebecca Watt oboe
Lucy Colquhoun piano

Cappriccio and Intermezzo for violin and piano
Kleine Suite for oboe and piano

Room 101 | 5-8pm

Friday 6 May

Louise Fuller soprano
Katie Coventry mezzo soprano
Lucy Colquhoun piano

Songs and Duets

Opera Room 1 | 10am-12pm

Barry Humphries’ Weimar Cabaret
with Meow Meow and the Australian Chamber Orchestra
Friday 29 July 2016, 7.30pm – Wednesday 3 August 2016, 7.30pm
Venue: Cadogan Hall
More details here


Hindemith: Kammermusik No. 1, Op. 24
Krenek: Excerpt from Jonny spielt auf (orch. Grandage)
Jaroslav Ježek: Bugatti Step
Spoliansky: Alles Schwindel (arr. Grandage)
Weill: Pirate Jenny (orch. Grandage)
Toch: Geographical Fugue
Wilhelm Grosz: Jazzband
Schulhoff: Suite for Chamber Orchestra: VI. Jazz (arr. Tarkmann)
Weill: Surabaya Johnny (orch. Grandage)
Paul Abraham: Mousie from Victoria and her Hussar (orch. Grandage)
Spoliansky: Ach, er hasst? (orch. Grandage)
Schulhoff: Suite for Chamber Orchestra: III. Tango (arr. Tarkmann)
Schulhoff: Sonata Erotica (arr. Tarkmann)
Brand: Maschinist Hopkins: Black Bottom-Jazz (arr. Tregear)
Spoliansky: Wenn die beste Freundin (orch. Ziegler)
Krenek: Selection from Potpourri
Hanns Eisler: An den kleinen Radioapparat (orch. Grandage)
Weill: Tango-Habanera ‘Youkali’ for string quartet (orch. Grandage)
Holländer: Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte (orch. Grandage)
Holländer: The Ruins of Berlin (orch. Grandage)
  • Australian Chamber Orchestra
Richard Tognetti: director & violin
Barry Humphries: conférencier
Meow Meow: cabaret artist
Rodney Fisher: director

Professr Peter Tregear (Convenor)

Dr David Conway (Secretary)

Martin Anderson

Michael Haas

Professor Erik Levi.

Norbert Meyn

Lloyd Moore

Lada Valesova

Simon Walfisch

Toby Young


Friday 29 July 2016, 7.30pm – Wednesday 3 August 2016, 7.30pm
Barry Humphries’ Weimar Cabaret with Meow Meow and the Australian Chamber Orchestra