New York: ELYSIUM - BETWEEN TWO CONTINENTS

  • Austrian Cultural Forum New York 11 East 52nd Street New York, NY, 10022 United States

Once again, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York is happy to host Elysium in its theater:

„Are there miracles? There are only miracles!“
EGON LUSTGARTEN: Composer in Exile
A Musical-Literary Portrait under the patronage of Maestro Kurt Masur

ACFBY/ Elysium

ACFBY/ Elysium


Concept & Introduction: Michael Lahr
with: Jeannie Im (Soprano), Dan Franklin Smith (Piano), Gregorij H. von Leïtis (Narrator)

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

Today the Austrian exiled composer Egon Lustgarten (1887 – 1961) is almost totally forgotten – unjustly so. In 1938, the ”Anschluss“ thwarted the planned world-premiere of Lustgarten’s opera Dante in Exile at the Vienna State Opera. Egon Lustgarten fled to New York with his wife and daughter. There, at the age of 50 he had to start from scratch again, giving music lessons and working hard to earn a living. Against all odds he was quite productive and wrote four more operas.

Before his emigration, Lustgarten had intensively participated in Vienna’s musical life. He composed one piano quartet, a violin concerto, a wind quintet, and numerous choral pieces. Many of his songs were published and performed in concerts in Austria and beyond. Lustgarten also wrote articles for various music magazines. As a professor at the New Vienna Conservatory he taught a number of people who later gained fame, among them the conductors Kurt Pahlen and Erwin Leuchter and the pianist Leo Sirota. In Vienna he also got to know Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophical movement. He quickly joined and composed a number of pieces based on Steiner’s eurhythmy. Especially in his New York exile, Lustgarten was very active in the Anthroposophical Society.

After World War II, Lustgarten tried in vain to get his operas produced in Austria or Germany. The musical taste had changed, a new generation of composers had developed a different tonal language, and the society at large didn’t want to be reminded by the returning emigrants of the horrors of the Nazi era. Lustgarten also wasn’t able to see his mother again. All his efforts to get her out of Nazi-occupied Austria were without success. Miraculously, the 76-year-old mother had survived the ghetto and concentration camp Theresienstadt, but died in January of 1947 in an old-age-home in Vienna.

Egon Lustgarten died on May 2, 1961 in Syosset, NY. Not only did he leave a big musical oeuvre, but also numerous diaries and a rich correspondence with his contemporaries. Lustgarten’s daughter Eleanor Paul gave almost the entire estate of her father to Gregorij von Leïtis. Since then, Elysium has been striving hard to resurrect Lustgarten. In 2005, Elysium premiered a shortened version of Dante in Exile. The German daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote: "Rebirth of a forgotten work of opera (...) under Gregorij von Leïtis’ sensitive direction".

With the help of songs, piano solo pieces, letters and diary entries, this program „Are there miracles? There are only miracles!” wants to provide an insight into the life and works of Austrian exiled composer Egon Lustgarten.

ElYSIUM - BETWEEN TWO CONTINENTS

Fostering artistic exchange, creative dialogue, and mutual friendship between the United States of America and Europe. Fighting against discrimination, racism and anti-Semitism by means of art.

THE LAHR VON LEITIS ACADEMY & ARCHIVE

Art and eduction without borders. Education and knowledge as efficient tools to fight against ignorance, discrimination, and hatred. Familiarizing the young generation with the treasures of exiled art, to help them create a meaningful future that incorporates the lessons learned from history.

For more Information visit: www.elysiumbtc.org and www.lahrvonleitisacademy.eu.

Once again, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York is happy to host Elysium in its theater:

„Are there miracles? There are only miracles!“
EGON LUSTGARTEN: Composer in Exile
A Musical-Literary Portrait under the patronage of Maestro Kurt Masur

Concept & Introduction: Michael Lahr
with: Jeannie Im (Soprano), Dan Franklin Smith (Piano), Gregorij H. von Leïtis (Narrator)

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

Today the Austrian exiled composer Egon Lustgarten (1887 – 1961) is almost totally forgotten – unjustly so. In 1938, the ”Anschluss“ thwarted the planned world-premiere of Lustgarten’s opera Dante in Exile at the Vienna State Opera. Egon Lustgarten fled to New York with his wife and daughter. There, at the age of 50 he had to start from scratch again, giving music lessons and working hard to earn a living. Against all odds he was quite productive and wrote four more operas.

Before his emigration, Lustgarten had intensively participated in Vienna’s musical life. He composed one piano quartet, a violin concerto, a wind quintet, and numerous choral pieces. Many of his songs were published and performed in concerts in Austria and beyond. Lustgarten also wrote articles for various music magazines. As a professor at the New Vienna Conservatory he taught a number of people who later gained fame, among them the conductors Kurt Pahlen and Erwin Leuchter and the pianist Leo Sirota. In Vienna he also got to know Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophical movement. He quickly joined and composed a number of pieces based on Steiner’s eurhythmy. Especially in his New York exile, Lustgarten was very active in the Anthroposophical Society.

After World War II, Lustgarten tried in vain to get his operas produced in Austria or Germany. The musical taste had changed, a new generation of composers had developed a different tonal language, and the society at large didn’t want to be reminded by the returning emigrants of the horrors of the Nazi era. Lustgarten also wasn’t able to see his mother again. All his efforts to get her out of Nazi-occupied Austria were without success. Miraculously, the 76-year-old mother had survived the ghetto and concentration camp Theresienstadt, but died in January of 1947 in an old-age-home in Vienna.

Egon Lustgarten died on May 2, 1961 in Syosset, NY. Not only did he leave a big musical oeuvre, but also numerous diaries and a rich correspondence with his contemporaries. Lustgarten’s daughter Eleanor Paul gave almost the entire estate of her father to Gregorij von Leïtis. Since then, Elysium has been striving hard to resurrect Lustgarten. In 2005, Elysium premiered a shortened version of Dante in Exile. The German daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote: "Rebirth of a forgotten work of opera (...) under Gregorij von Leïtis’ sensitive direction".

With the help of songs, piano solo pieces, letters and diary entries, this program „Are there miracles? There are only miracles!” wants to provide an insight into the life and works of Austrian exiled composer Egon Lustgarten.

ElYSIUM - BETWEEN TWO CONTINENTS

Fostering artistic exchange, creative dialogue, and mutual friendship between the United States of America and Europe. Fighting against discrimination, racism and anti-Semitism by means of art.

THE LAHR VON LEITIS ACADEMY & ARCHIVE

Art and eduction without borders. Education and knowledge as efficient tools to fight against ignorance, discrimination, and hatred. Familiarizing the young generation with the treasures of exiled art, to help them create a meaningful future that incorporates the lessons learned from history.

For more Information visit: www.elysiumbtc.org and www.lahrvonleitisacademy.eu.