Musical audio-visual program for the 110th anniversary of Joseph Schmidt´s birth
(lyric and dramatic tenor, 1904-1942)
A collaboration of:
Hungarian Cultural, Scientific and Informational Centre (Balassi Institute), Austrian Cultural Forum Moscow
Main program by music historian and author Leonid Fleiderman
To which country does this brilliant singer belong? This issue is up for debate. Austria, Hungary, Germany, Romania and Ukraine all consider him their own. His repertoire was immense, from Monteverdi to Richard Strauss. Joseph Schmidt sang lead roles in German, Italian, French, Czech, Hungarian and Russian operas. His work also included operettas, Neapolitan, German and Spanish songs, musical numbers in movies, as well as prayers.
Curiously, despite about 200 recordings in pristine condition, artistic and documentary films, three books about the singer and numerous publications on the Internet, Joseph Schmidt is nearly unheard of within the former Soviet Union. It is rare for even professionals to know of him, not to mention music lovers and regular listeners.
Nevertheless, this singer was possibly the greatest lyric-dramatic tenor in the world. Such is the opinion of professionals that have become familiar with the work of this acclaimed singer through audio and video recordings.
The hardships of wartime, deprivation and wandering affected his health. His early and senseless death was an irreparable loss to the musical world. He died in an internment camp in Switzerland, where he was denied qualified medical attention.
4th of March 2014, 7 pm
Balassi Institute, Hungarian Cultural, Scientific and Informational Centre
Moscow, Povarskaya 21
Tel.: (495) 691-37-47, (495) 691-31-34