OREL Foundation new site dedicated to music banned by Nazis

Posted on: February 10, 2009

james_conlon.pngThe OREL Foundation has launched a new website, orelfoundation.org, devoted to twentieth-century composers whose music was banned during the years of Nazi oppression in Europe. The list of composers includes Walter Braunfels, Berthold Goldschmidt, Pavel Haas, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Ernst Krenek, Franz Schreker, Erwin Schulhoff, and Alexander Zemlinsky. The site was founded by James Conlon, music director of Los Angeles Opera, the Ravinia Festival, and the Cincinnati May Festival, and a longtime advocate for music of composers whose lives were disrupted and whose compositions were banned by the Nazi regime. The site provides extensive background for scholars and performers and includes a calendar of performances, a discussion forum, and links to important resources. A newly commissioned article or essay will be posted on the homepage each month; the first article at the site, “Out of the Musicians’ Ghetto,” is by Christopher Hailey, director of the Franz Schreker Foundation. The OREL Foundation was recently formed to encourage performance of music suppressed during World War II; in addition to Conlon as founder and artistic advisor, the businessman/arts patron Bruce Kovner serves as chairman of the board and Robert J. Elias, a former executive director of several arts organizations, is executive director.

Photo of James Conlon courtesy of Ravinia Festival