erwin schulhoff

Erwin Schulhoff (1894-1942).

Erwin Schulhoff was a Czech composer and pianist. He was one of the figures in the generation of European musicians whose successful careers were prematurely terminated by the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany and whose works have been rarely noted or performed.

In the 1930s, Schulhoff faced mounting personal and professional difficulties. Because of his Jewish descent and his radical politics, he and his works were labelled degenerate and blacklisted by the Nazi regime. He could no longer give recitals in Germany, nor could his works be performed publicly.

His communist sympathies, which became increasingly evident in his works, also brought him trouble in Czechoslovakia. In 1932 he composed a musical version of The Communist Manifesto (Op. 82). Taking refuge in Prague, Schulhoff found employment as a radio pianist, but earned barely enough to cover the cost of everyday essentials. When the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939, he had to perform under a pseudonym. In 1941, the Soviet Union approved his petition for citizenship, but he was arrested and imprisoned before he could leave Czechoslovakia.

In June 1941, Schulhoff was deported to the Wülzburg concentration camp near Weißenburg, Bavaria. He died there on 18 August 1942 from tuberculosis.

String Quartet #1 (1924) (with score)


Sting Quartet #2 (1925) (with score)


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