Final work of pianist killed in Auschwitz to be performed at the U of I

The final composition of a pianist who died at the German concentration camp at Auschwitz will be the focal point of a concert held at the U of I Wednesday, Feb. 17.

Austrian-born pianist Viktor Ullmann’s??“Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornet Christoph Rilke” (“The Chronicle of Love and Death of the Flagbearer Christoph Rilke”): A Melodrama From the Concentration Camps” will be performed by ethnomusicologist Philip Bohlman and pianist Christine Bohlman, faculty members from the University of Chicago.

Philip Bohlman is one of the world’s leading authorities on Jewish music.

The half-hour piece is based on a poem by poet Rainer Maria Rilke and is one of many works Ullmann composed during two years at the concentration camp at Terezín in the Czech Republic. Ullmann was later taken to Auschwitz, where he died in the gas chambers on Oct. 18, 1944.

The lecture and concert are co-sponsored by The Program in Jewish Culture and Society and the Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies Initiative.

The event is free and open to the public and will begin at 7:30 p.m. in room 2100 of the Music Building Auditorium located at 1114 W. Nevada St. in Urbana.