Mark Ludwig: Our Will to Live

The Terezín Music Critiques of Viktor Ullmann



ISBN: 9783958299597 Category:

Mark Ludwig


In Terezín, a Nazi camp where 33,000 people died, imprisoned musicians and artists created a remarkable cultural community that persevered against all odds. Our Will to Live brings us into this astonishing world. It presents the first full translation of concert critiques written by accomplished musician, scholar-and Terezín prisoner-Viktor Ullmann. He describes Terezín performances by ensembles, youth choirs and solo artists including luminaries of European cabaret and opera, plus works by a generation of promising composers silenced too soon: Gideon Klein, Pavel Haas, Hans Krása and others. Paired with Ullmann’s critiques are more than 250 rarely seen concert posters, programs, portraits and scenes rendered by imprisoned artists; these are from a trove of hidden artworks recovered after liberation. Our Will to Live also offers an original collection of vintage and modern recordings performed by Terezín survivors and contemporary masters. Essays and annotations by scholar Mark Ludwig set the historical context, introduce the artists and deepen what we know of this extraordinary chapter in World War II history. Terezín survivors helped guide this project, the result of more than 30 years of research and writing. Shortly after Ullmann authored his final concert critique, Terezín’s cultural community was decimated: nearly all the artists were murdered in Auschwitz. Our Will to Live is a tribute to their creative will.

Additional information

Weight 1412 g
Dimensions 22.5 x 27.3 cm
Publisher name Steidl
Publication date 31 March 2022
Number of pages 328
Format Hardback
Contributors Selected by Siegfried Schäfer
Dimensions 22.5 x 27.3 cm
Weight 1412 g


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Mark Ludwig is a Fulbright scholar of Terezín, a member of the Pamatník Terezín Advisory Board and director of the Terezin Music Foundation. He produces recordings, concerts and Holocaust and genocide education programs worldwide. Ludwig is a violist emeritus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, adjunct professor of Holocaust music at Boston College and editor of the poetry anthology Liberation (2015).