To observe International Holocaust Remembrance DayLara Downes will have a special guest on her show Friday, January 27th: violinist Daniel Hope, They’ll explore some of the stories behind composers whose lives were forever changed by the Nazi rise to power – some who were imprisoned, and yet still wrote and played music, and others who emigrated to safety, becoming exiles in the US.

They’ll share works that demonstrate the power of music to offer hope and relief, even when times are darkest. Gideon Klein, a Czech composer and pianist, wrote a string trio while he was a prisoner at Theresienstadt concentration camp; Viktor Ullmann’s String Quartet No. 3 was written there – works that Daniel Hope says are full of movement and energy, and very few rests, because why would you pause when you can sense how short life is?

Many of the composers who were able to leave their homelands amid the devastation came to Hollywood, where they created the sound that became the language of film scores. Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Violin Concerto shares musical DNA with the opera he wrote in Vienna at the age of 23, Die Tode Stadt (The Dead City), but also to his score for 1938’s The Adventures of Robin Hood, Several other displaced Europeans who became celebrated film composers were featured on Daniel Hope’s album called “Escape to Paradise,” including Bronisław Kaper and Franz Waxman. And from Lara’s album “Exiles Café,” we’ll hear an arrangement of Kurt Weill’s “Lost in the Stars.”

Lara and Daniel Hope, in addition to being musical colleagues, have “shared musical parentage” – His mentor and teacher, Yehudi Menuhin, played together with Lara’s teacher Adolph Baller (who was a Holocaust survivor) and we’ll hear one of the recordings they made together playing music of Edward Elgar.

Join Lara and Daniel Hope Friday, January 27th, 8PM as they mark the day with music that stands as proof of the human capacity to honor memory, to strive for peace, and to insist on beauty.

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Lara Downes

Lara Downes is KUSC’s Resident Artist and is currently KUSC’s Evening Host weeknights 8PM-Midnight.

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