An evening devoted to music in concentration camps with Francesco Lotoro

Music possessed a wide variety of functions in the “everyday life” of the concentration camps. It could console, give voice to hopes, or send out a signal of solidarity and resistance; at the same time however, it was used as an instrument of repression and torture, for example when the prisoners fell in for roll call, were forced to sing, or helplessly exposed to it for long periods.

The evening begins with the screening of an excerpt from Le Maestro, a documentary that gives an insight into the work of Francesco Lotoro.

Drawing on a number of examples, Francesco Lotoro explains the background to and circumstances surrounding the respective compositions. Frequently the pieces were created in secret – by autodidacts as well as professional musicians. The works reveal a broad spectrum of styles and genres: Francesco Lotoro has found simple songs, but also a complex opera, classical symphonies and examples of jazz, which was banned at the time in Nazi Germany.

Francesco Lotoro
Francesco Lotoro

Francesco Lotoro is an Italian pianist, composer, and musicologist. He is regarded as the world’s foremost collector of musical compositions created in concentration camps, military prisons, and prisoner-of-war camps between 1933 and 1945. He has traveled the world for the last 25 years adding to his collection, speaking with survivors or family relatives of former prisoners.

He has already rediscovered and archived more than 5,000 works, some of which he has recorded on a CD entitled “Music from the Concentration Camps”.

The talk is in Italian and will be translated.

The music evening takes place on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, beginning at 7 pm in the Visitor Center of the Dachau Memorial Site.