EVERLASTING HOPE: Gustav Mahler & Terezín Composers

international music festival


Final Report 2019

“For the third time, an international music festival dedicated essentially to the music of the Terezín composers took place in Prague and Terezín. Again at a high artistic level and with increased interest of the music community and expert critics. Hereby we present information about the history of the festival and foremost about this year’s festival edition.
We look forward to meeting you at next year’s festival concerts in 2020! ”

Jiří Polák, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Endowment Fund ETERNAL HOPE

Final Report 2019 – download here

Photo Gallery 2019 – here

The concept of the festival EVERLASTING HOPE: Gustav Mahler & Terezín Composers

The intention is to establish a prestigious festival with an emphasis on exceptional artistic quality.
The basis of the festival is the synthesis of the well-known works of Gustav Mahler and the neglected works of the Terezín artists.
Still today there is no European festival dedicated to Gustav Mahler and the works of the Terezín composers such as Viktor Ullmann, Gideon Klein, Hans Krása and Pavel Haas remain undervalued. The idea is to link these oversights and cherish the creative milieu of multicultural environment of Central Europe prior to the Second World War The festival will be an annual event showcasing Czech and other world-famous musicians, and will pertain to other contemporary anniversaries and events. One of the main objectives of the festival is to highlight the newly-founded Terezín Composers Institute. The aim of the Institute is to support research, organise lectures and live concerts where the works of the Terezín composers will be performed. The festival will offer performances in both Prague and Terezín, thus accentuating the connections that exist between these two places.

The essence of the festival is to emphasise the extraordinary humanity and hope stemming from Central European cultural heritage.
The festival embraces the shared coexistence of Czechs, Germans and Jews in the last two centuries and reflects on their mutual
influence and on collaboration among these communities. The festival will inspire audience with its artistic values, often created
under immensely demanding conditions. As an integral part of the festival there will be conferences, exhibitions and readings.
These will reflect on our shared humanity, and collaboration and emphasize historical legacy that remains highly relevant to our
contemporary world.

The mission of the festival is to present remarkable musical performances to the public.
The festival will be a prestigious cultural event and aims to stage creatively significant interpretations of the musical pieces written
by ‘our’ festival composers.

The wealth of the festival is the idea of everlasting hope.
The music legacy of Gustav Mahler, Viktor Ullmann, Gideon Klein, Hans Krása and Pavel Haas (and others) brings us infinite hope
and accentuate our wish that history shall not repeat itselt.

The key elements of the festival are Gustav Mahler, Terezín Composers, Terezín and Prague

Gustav Mahler

GUSTAV MAHLER (7th July1860 Kaliště – 18th May 1911 Vienna)
is one of the world’s most successful composers with lifelong right of domicile in Jihlava. His genius is partly attributed to his natural
ability to straddle the subtle domains of both composition and interpretation. He was the chief conductor of orchestras
in Budapest, Prague, Vienna and New York.

Terezín ComposersViktor Ullmann (1898 – 1942), Gideon Klein (1919 – 1945), Hans Krása
(1899 – 1944) and Pavel Haas (1899 – 1944) were acclaimed musicians and
are forever connected by the place where, despite awaiting deportation to the
extermination concentration camps, they were able to continue composing.
This place was the Ghetto at Terezín. Music theorists are full of praise for
them and appreciate their works as very distinctive; however, their works are
less well known and are rarely performed in live interpretation.

Is a city with exceptional music tradition and has all the prerequisites for being the ideal venue for the festival EVERLASTING HOPE. Gustav Mahler was an opera conductor here from 1885 to 1886. Hans Krása introduced his opus No. 1 in Prague in 1921. Gideon Klein studied in Prague under professor Hába. Viktor Ulmann served as a conductor at the New German Theatre of Prague from 1919 to 1927.

Is an unconquerable fortress originally designed for 5.000 soldiers which the Nazis have transformed into a Ghetto for more than 60.000 Jews in 1940s. Terezín was not primarily an extermination camp, it was a transit camp; a temporary halt on the road to other extermination camps. Consequently, in rare moments of freedom, even in the midst of persistent humiliation behind the prison walls and the submachine guns of the guards, it was possible to enjoy concerts of classical music and operas. Here the composers, realizing their end was near, worked as hard as they could to create their music. Terezín represents a venue where music was composed for the future despite the constant encompassing presence of death.