Completeness is certainly not our ultimate objective here and, in any case, that would be well-nigh impossible. Neither is this series of concerts restricted to works composed in wartime conditions (such as the tragic pieces written in the “model” Theresienstadt – Terezin concentration camp -, which was the Nazis’ artistic and human poster child between 1941 and 1945).
Thankfully, many composers branded as ‘degenerate’ lived on long after the holocaust but the influence of the psychological terror inflicted by National Socialism is apparent in much of their output.
We set out to bring all this together in an eclectic and even vulgarized programme. As the curator of this series of concerts, particularly in these polarizing times when the political climate is all too quick to label religious, social and artistic beliefs as non-conformist, this initiative seemed to me to be a solicitous way of paying tribute to the “degenerate composers” who simply wanted to connect with their music. So it is to them that I would like to dedicate this festival.
Piet Van Bockstal, curator