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Orchestra of Exiles: The Story of Bronislaw Huberman, the Israel Philharmonic, and the One Thousand Jews He Saved from Nazi Horrors Hardcover – April 5, 2016
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“I hate to think what the cultural situation in Israel would be today without the tremendous effort of this great human being who was Bronislaw Huberman.”—Zubin Mehta, Music Director, The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Praise for Josh Aronson’s documentary Orchestra of Exiles
“The remarkable story of the Holocaust-era formation of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra by famed, Polish-born violinist Bronislaw Huberman is engrossingly recounted.”—Los Angeles Times
“It was dangerous to be a good person in central Europe when Hitler was darkening the skies. Orchestra of Exiles salutes one of the people who dared to take that course, Polish violin virtuoso Bronislaw Huberman. In doing so, [it] reminds us that just as we must never forget the darkness, we also must never forget those who refused to let all the light go out.”—New York Daily News
“Orchestra of Exiles will interest anyone who’s concerned with European Jewry or classical music in the first half of the 20th century.”—NPR
“Richly researched...Orchestra of Exiles aspires to a level of primary research that other historical documentaries could take a page from.”—The New York Times
About the Author
Denise George is an author, teacher, and world-traveled speaker who has written or co-written twenty-seven books, including Behind Nazi Lines, The Secret Holocaust Diaries, While the World Watched, and The Gentle Giant of Dynamite Hill. Denise has a heart for teaching and helping new writers. She is married to author Dr. Timothy George.
Josh Aronson is an Academy Award-nominated writer, producer, and director of films and documentaries, including Orchestra of Exiles, his documentary about Bronislaw Huberman, released in 2012. He has worked with Showtime, PBS, Discovery Channel, and others, and his films have won awards at festivals all over the world. He is also a concert pianist and regularly plays chamber music in New York and at the Telluride Musicfest, the chamber music festival he founded in 2002 with his wife, violinist Maria Bachmann.
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Top Customer Reviews
I had never heard of Huberman until that night in January 2017. Aronson’s description of the great violinist birth reverberated in my soul. It seems that the elder Mr. Huberman had always dreamed of being a violinist. When his dream was thwarted, he decided that one of his sons would play. Immediately after Bronislaw’s death, his father looked at his hands and declared him a violinist.
Beginning when the lad was five or six years old, his childhood ended. His father demanded that he practice four to five hours a day. Luckily from him, Bronislaw was a prodigy. Be the time he was 14, he was playing concert stages around the world to great applause. He was making the money that his father demanded.
Bronislaw was a quirky, sickly little dude, but that didn’t stop his father from pushing him, and pushing him, and pushing him. Abuse takes many forms, and Bronislaw endured the verbal attacks of his father. But this is more than just a tale of child. It’s the story of how being that driven created its own dreams.
I think Bronislaw was a tad psychic. He felt that the Great War would happen and was sure that another one would occur. As he watched Adolph Hitler ascend in Germany, he keenly felt the upcoming horrors Hitler would impose on the Jews. Interestingly, Bronislaw considered himself first a violinists, second a Pole, and third a Jew.
As he watched Hitler deconstruct Germany’s culture. He vowed to create an orchestra in Palestine, a place where Jews were fleeing to at such an alarming rate that the world should have noticed that something evil was occurring in Germany.
Bronislaw worked tirelessly to get money, certificates, a rehearsal hall, and the musicians Hitler had fired get out of Germany. He pushed himself on world tours, speeches; he would do whatever it took to get someone to listen. He pushed himself to the brink of a breakdown several times before December 26, 1936, when the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra played its first concert in Tel Aviv, conducted by Maestro Arturo Toscanini.
One thing I didn't understand was how the number 1,000 wsa chosen. On opening night of the IPO, there were 71 musicians who had abandoned Nazi Germany. Not sure how the authors arrived at that figure, but Orchestra of Exiles: The Story of Bronislaw Huberman. The Israel Philharmonic, and the One Thousand Jews He Saved from Nazi Horrors is a fascinating look at a story that had been largely forgotten, but shouldn’t be. This work receives 5 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world.