Italian Jewish Musicians and Composers during Fascism

Alessandro Carrieri Announcement
Subject Fields
European History / Studies, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, Italian History / Studies, Jewish History / Studies, Music and Music History


International Conference

Italian Jewish Musicians and Composers during Fascism

Trieste, 26th  October 2015

Venue: Sala del Ridotto del Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi, Trieste


There are voices of musicians that still remain unheard but will remain alive forever. This is the case of Italian Jewish musicians and composers in Fascist and Nazi-Fascist Italy. At that time, their specific situation gradually worsened: they were excluded by theatres, orchestras and music conservatories and Jewish authors compositions were banned as they were considered as degenerate music. The aim of this International Conference is to explore, through critical perspectives and innovative methodological approaches, the events that led to the exclusion of Jewish musicians and composers from Italian theatres and conservatories, to their persecution and then, in some cases, to their emigration. Furthermore, the musical relationships between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy from 1933 to 1945 will be analysed. We will bring together scholars from different disciplinary fields to gain a clearer insight of the racist phases of Fascism in relation to the lives and works of these composers and musicians. The conference will host a round table with some relatives and students of the persecuted musicians and composers, who will offer their direct testimonies and memories.

The International Conference is organized by the Festival Viktor Ullmann and the University of Trieste – Department of Humanities with the collaboration of Fondazione Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste.




WELCOME - 9.30am

Gianni Torrenti (Regional Councillor for Cultural Affairs)

Mauro Tabor (Vice-President of the Jewish Community of Trieste)

Lucio Cristante (Director of the Department of Humanities – University of Trieste)


SESSION ONE (10am – 12.30pm)

Music facing Antisemitism and Persecution

Chair: Tullia Catalan (DISU - University of Trieste)


Michele Sarfatti (Foundation Jewish Contemporary Documentation Center), Italian Jews and the racial laws of 1938.

Annalisa Capristo (Center for American Studies of Rome), La Scala, the Jews and Erich Kleiber. An Antisemitic episode of December 1938.

COFFEE BREAK (11am  - 11.15am)


Luca Lévi Sala (Yale University), «Free us from culture»: cultural purification and antisemitism between music and politics.

Alessandro Carrieri (Monash University, Melbourne), The emigration of Italian Jewish musicians and composers.


SESSION TWO (3pm – 5.30pm)

Music and Resistance

Chair: Alessandro Carrieri (Monash University - Melbourne)


Raffaele Deluca (Music Conservatory of Cuneo), Wir treffen uns am Schluss – We shall rejoin in the end. Kurt Sonnenfeld (1921-1997), the years of imprisonment and music in the concentration camp of Ferramonti in Calabria.

Eleonora Carampella (Musicologist and pianist), Aldo Finzi witness of styles and contradictions during the twenty years of Fascism. Sonata for violin and piano.

COFFEE BREAK (4pm  - 4.15pm)


Round Table (4.15pm – 5.15pm)

Memories and Testimonies

Chairs: Davide Casali (Associazione Musica Libera), Tullia Catalan (DISU - University of Trieste)

Speakers: Relatives and students of the Italian Jewish composers and musicians including Guido Alberto Fano, Alberto Gentili Aldo Finzi, Vittorio Rieti, Renzo Massarani, Kurt Sonnenfeld.


KEYNOTE ADDRESS (5.30pm – 6.45pm)

Speaker: Erik Levi (Music Department, Royal Holloway, University of London), An expedient alliance? Musical relationships between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in the period between 1933 and 1945.


CONCERT (7pm – 8pm)

Piano: Pierpaolo Levi, music by Aldo Finzi, Renzo Massarani, Vittorio Rieti, Vito Levi.


Attendance at the International Conference is free and open to all. To register, please email Alessandro Carrieri (


Contact Information

Dr. Alessandro Carrieri

Visiting Research Fellow - Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation - Monash University - Melbourne, Australia

Contact Email