viktor ullmann • his writing inspires our program.
Viktor Ullmann was born in 1898 in Teschen and became a rising star in the circle of Arnold Schönberg, Alexander Zemlinsky, and Alban Berg: he was among the most gifted composers of the Second Viennese school of classical music. By September 8, 1942, when Ullmann was deported to Terezín, his oeuvre had reached forty-one opus numbers plus three piano sonatas, song cycles on texts by various poets, operas, and the piano concerto Op. 25, finished in December 1939, nine months after German troops entered Prague. In Terezín, he was a composer, critic, accompanist, and organizer of contemporary concerts. He was murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz on October 18, 1944.
Ullmann's 26 concert critiques and other writings—newly translated by Mark Ludwig with the help of Terezín survivors—are the heart of Our Will to Live, the new book published by TMF/Steidl Verlag. Hear music by Ullmann here.