New temporary exhibition, Only the Violins Remain. Alma and Arnold Rosé, marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau

-Posted on 21.02.2020

The Royal Academy of Music marks the lives of Austrian Jewish violinists Arnold Rosé (1863-46) and his daughter Alma (1906-44) in a special museum exhibition, Only the Violins Remain. Alma and Arnold Rosé (9 March - 30 May). The display is accompanied by a series of concerts and talks by Academy students, alumni and invited guests.

Both icons of Viennese music musical life in the 1930s, Arnold and Alma’s careers were cut short following the annexation of Austria by the Nazis in 1938. The exhibition, which contains violins similar to those played by Arnold and Alma, is held in partnership with the House of Austrian History and contains some additional items from the Jewish Museum, London.

Arnold and Alma, the brother-in-law and niece of Gustav Mahler, suffered severe persecution under Nazi rule. Alma was captured whilst on a music tour of the Netherlands and died at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944. During her time as a prisoner she directed the Auschwitz Women’s Orchestra. Arnold sought asylum in UK and died in London in 1946.

Their violins are still in active use today and are played by performers across the world. On display at the museum are instruments by the same makers and of a similar age: the ‘Maurin’ Stradivari, 1718 and a Guadagnini, 1755.

Alongside the exhibition, Academy students will perform a number of tribute concerts: a chamber recital based on the music performed by the Rosé Quartet on 27 April, lectures featuring live and recorded music on 28 April and 15 May, and a programme inspired by the repertoire of the Auschwitz Women’s Orchestra conducted by alumna Karin Hendrickson on 4 May. Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, musician in the Auschwitz Women’s Orchestra, speaks to her son and fellow cellist Raphael Wallfisch at a special talk on 14 May. These events are free of charge, you can reserve a ticket by registering online.

Only the Violins Remain: Alma and Arnold Rosé forms part of the worldwide commemorations in 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

For full event listings and more information visit:

Photo credit: Studio Willinger

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