Ostracized Music

'Ostracized Music' is a German-Israeli project, as well as a continuation of the 'Czech-German Relations and their reflections in Music' realized in the Czech Republic. The aim of both projects is to cultivate the memory of composers imprisoned in the Czech Terezin, Nazi camp for Jews from Czechoslovakia and Moravia. During many meetings organized in Germany, Poland and Israel young people from Europe and Israel perform the works composed in Terezin. I am the only Pole participating in both projects.

Volker Ahmels, the director of Jeunesses Musicales Landesverband Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania who was with German youth in the Czech Republic invited me to take part in the project 'Ostracized Music: History, Music and Remembrance'. I obtained a grant for participation in the 4th International Master Course in October 2002 in Schwerin.

The festival 'Ostracized Music' took place together with the project. There were lectures, exhibitions and concerts of pieces composed in Terezin and other death camps. Among the teachers were: Edith Kraus, Emilie Berendsen and Allan Sternfield (Israel), Lisa Ballschmieter (Germany).

In summer 2003, thanks to Axel-Springer-Stiftung, I participated in the 5th International Master Course 'History, Music and Remembrance'. Twenty-six participants developed their musical abilities in Kibbutz Givat Hajim Ichud and in Tel-Aviv. We heard lectures about the holocaust, music in Terezin, a presentation made by R. Wagner's great grandson - Dr. Gottfried Wagner. It was titled: 'From Richard Wagner to Adolf Hitler'. We also visited Jerusalem, Tel - Aviv and Galilee.

Later there were concerts commemorating the Day of Memory of Nationalism Victims in Germany and the Festival 'Ostracized Music' in Schwerin in 2004. Michael, Charlie Chaplin's son was a lecturer. In summer 2005 the 7th International Master Course took place in Jerusalem. It was titled: "History, Music and Remembrance". It finished with a concert in the Music Center in Jerusalem.

In 2006 were 2nd International Competition 'Ostracized Music' and Festival 'Ostracized Music: History, Music & Remembrance' with concerts, speeches, presentations, exhibitions. The program was focus on the life stories of musicians and their families who survived the Warsaw Ghetto.

One very special encounter took place with Andrzej Szpilman who talked about his father - pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman. After Szpilman's death, the world - famous director Roman Polanski made the film 'The Pianist' about his life.

During competition Milena and Katrin Burghardt came 2nd prize in a category of duos - singing and piano. Concerts of winners took place in Staatliches Museum Schwerin (Germany), Goethe - Institute in Prague (Czech Republic) and in Jewish Museum Berlin (Germany).