Berthold Goldschmidt

Berthold Goldschmidt (b. Hamburg, 18 January 1903; d. London, 17 October 1996) was a German Jewish composer who spent most of his life in England. The suppression of his work by Nazi Germany, as well as the disdain with which many Modernist critics elsewhere dismissed his anachronistic lyricism, stranded the composer in the wilderness for many years before he was given a revival in his final decade. Goldschmidt's musical career began in earnest during the heyday of the Weimar Republic in Germany. While studying philosophy at the University of Hamburg, he was encouraged by the Italian composer Ferruccio Busoni to write music. In 1922, Goldschmidt entered the Berlin Hochschule and joined Franz Schreker's composition class, where his fellow pupils included Ernst Krenek, Alois Hába, Felix Petryek, and Jascha Horenstein. He also studied conducting, played freelance for the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 1923, coached the choir for the Berlin premiere of Arnold Schoenberg's Gurrelieder. In 1925, Goldschmidt achieved his first major success with his Passacaglia, Op. 4, which earned him the prestigious Mendelssohn Prize. Hailed as one of the brightest hopes of a generation of young composers, Goldschmidt reached the premature climax of his career with the premiere of his opera Der gewaltige Hahnrei in Mannheim in 1932. This triumph happened on the eve of the Nazi takeover of Germany, which quickly destroyed Goldschmidt's livelihood. Like many Jewish composers (and other com...

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