A Windfall of Musicians: Hitler's Émigrés and Exiles in Southern California

Overview

This book is the first to examine the brilliant gathering of composers, conductors, and other musicians who fled Nazi Germany and arrived in the Los Angeles area. Musicologist Dorothy Lamb Crawford looks closely at the lives, creative work, and influence of sixteen performers, fourteen composers, and one opera stage director, who joined this immense migration beginning in the 1930s. Some in this group were famous when they fled Europe, others would gain recognition in the young musical culture of Los Angeles, and...

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Overview

This book is the first to examine the brilliant gathering of composers, conductors, and other musicians who fled Nazi Germany and arrived in the Los Angeles area. Musicologist Dorothy Lamb Crawford looks closely at the lives, creative work, and influence of sixteen performers, fourteen composers, and one opera stage director, who joined this immense migration beginning in the 1930s. Some in this group were famous when they fled Europe, others would gain recognition in the young musical culture of Los Angeles, and still others struggled to establish themselves in an environment often resistant to musical innovation.

Emphasizing individual voices, Crawford presents short portraits of Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, and the other musicians while also considering their influence as a group—in the film industry, in music institutions in and around Los Angeles, and as teachers who trained the next generation. The book reveals a uniquely vibrant era when Southern California became a hub of unprecedented musical talent.

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times

"An important contribution . . . the legacy of these survivors transcends their life stories and continues to shape the cultural landscape to this day."--Jonathan Kirsch, Los Angeles Times

— Jonathan Kirsch

Wall Street Journal

"Ms. Crawford, who has spent much of her working life teaching and making music in Southern California, brings a physical familiarity to her narrative and a keen eye for poignant detail, the shock of the new. . . . A Windfall of Musicians is valuable for its account of how the West became a cultural force in America, a rising counterweight to the tradition-stifled East."—Norman Lebrecht, Wall Street Journal

— Norman Lebrecht

Vivian Perlis

"The focus of world culture shifted in the years preceding WWII when the cream of the European artistic population fled from Hitler's Nazism. The dramatic stories of these creative musical emigres in America come alive for the first time in Crawford's carefully researched and fascinating book."—Vivian Perlis, Yale University

Palm Beach Pulse - Scott Eyman

“Stimulating . . . [Crawford] turns up a lot of untold material that proves consistently fascinating.”—Scott Eyman, Palm Beach Pulse
Los Angeles Times - Jonathan Kirsch

"An important contribution . . . the legacy of these survivors transcends their life stories and continues to shape the cultural landscape to this day."—Jonathan Kirsch, Los Angeles Times
Leon Botstein

“Dorothy Lamb Crawford offers valuable material on such individuals as Klemperer, Stravinsky, and Schoenberg and this book does much to highlight lesser-known figures usually forgotten.”—Leon Botstein, president, Bard College

Journal of Jewish Identities

"With its engaging and energetic style, A Windfall of Musicians is accesible and informative reading for anyone with an interest in the roles musicians escaping from Hitler''s influence played in the musical life of Southern California."--Joshua S. Walden, Journal of Jewish Identities

— Joshua S. Walden

Marilyn Horne

"These incredible refugees had a huge impact on Los Angeles and the West Coast. Their contribution, from which I and many others benefited greatly, is incalculable, and I am delighted with this new book."—Marilyn Horne

Steven Stucky

"Dorothy Crawford provides both a wealth of fascinating detail and a convincing narrative sweep. She is ideally positioned to illuminate this crucial strand in American cultural history."—Steven Stucky, Cornell University

William Kraft

"Artistic survival is the underlying story of A Windfall of Musicians. More significant places in history may have been lost to these composers, but the seeds they planted in Southern California continue to bear fruit."—William Kraft, Professor Emeritus of Music, University of California, Santa Barbara

Leon Kirchner

"A necessary and very accomplished story.”—Leon Kirchner, Harvard University

Hermann Danuser

“Using an impressive range of sources, Crawford vividly illuminates the personal destinies of a generation of musicians emigrating from Hitler’s Europe and their contribution to the aspiring musical culture in Southern California.”—Hermann Danuser, Professor of Historical Musicology, Humbolt University
Wall Street Journal - Norman Lebrecht

"Ms. Crawford, who has spent much of her working life teaching and making music in Southern California, brings a physical familiarity to her narrative and a keen eye for poignant detail, the shock of the new. . . . A Windfall of Musicians is valuable for its account of how the West became a cultural force in America, a rising counterweight to the tradition-stifled East."—Norman Lebrecht, Wall Street Journal

Palm Beach Pulse

“Stimulating . . . [Crawford] turns up a lot of untold material that proves consistently fascinating.”--Scott Eyman, Palm Beach Pulse

— Scott Eyman

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) - Deems Taylor Award: the Nicolas Slonimsky Award for Biography in Music

Winner of the 2010 Deems Taylor Award: the Nicolas Slonimsky Award for Biography in Music, given by the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers
Journal of Jewish Identities - Joshua S. Walden

"With its engaging and energetic style, A Windfall of Musicians is accesible and informative reading for anyone with an interest in the roles musicians escaping from Hitler's influence played in the musical life of Southern California."—Joshua S. Walden, Journal of Jewish Identities
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300171235
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothy Lamb Crawford has lived and worked in music throughout her career, teaching and lecturing, performing as a singer, directing opera, and hosting broadcast interviews with musicians. She is author of Evenings On and Off the Roof and (with John C. Crawford) of Expressionism in Twentieth-Century Music.

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Table of Contents

Main Characters

Ch. 1 Europe 1

Ch. 2 Paradise? 23

Ch. 3 Otto Klemperer and the Los Angeles Philharmonic 39

Ch. 4 Performers, and Klemperer's Return 55

Ch. 5 Innovative Teachers in the Performing Arts 79

Ch. 6 Arnold Schoenberg 102

Ch. 7 Ernst Toch 134

Ch. 8 European Composers in the "Picture Business" 162

Ch. 9 Issues of Identity: Ernst Krenek, Eric Zeisl, and Ingolf Dahl 198

Ch. 10 Stravinsky in Hollywood 222

Epilogue 243

List of Archives and Notes 245

Index 293

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