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Forum Voix Etouffées

Who today remembers Viktor Ullmann, Karol Rathaus or Franz Schreker? To whom do the names of Alfred Tokayer, Stefan Wolpe, Erich Zeisl or Aldo Finzi still speak? Some of these composers, however, played an important role on the European music scene before Nazism came to power, and left some of the most important works in the world's musical heritage. Others, still at the start of their careers, never saw the promise of their talent come true. Among the victims of the Third Reich, the case of these "stifled voices" is in fact unique. Representing very diverse and predominantly Jewish aesthetic currents, they were forced into exile or deported because of the supposedly “degenerate” nature of their music.

However, the work of rehabilitating these composers is only in its infancy. Giving them a voice again requires intense work of rediscovery and dissemination, identification (who are they?) and evaluation (what are their works worth?): beyond the very conditions of their disappearance - however terrible -them-, memorial work only makes sense if it makes it possible to bring forth from oblivion composers whose creative universality should have kept them - had it not been for the circumstances - at the heart of world musical life.


To do them this justice is the whole purpose of the Forum Voix Étouffées, founded in 2003 by the conductor and composer Amaury du Closel.

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Amaury du Closel

General & artistic director, conductor


Viennese by adoption, Amaury du Closel studied composition with Max Deutsch, conducting at the Royal Conservatory of Mons with Alexandre Myrat, and attended masterclasses in Vienna with Karl Oesterreicher and Sir Charles Mackerras. During the 1984/85 season, he was assistant conductor at the Orchester Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy. In 1985, he won the 2nd International Competition for Conductors “Masterplayers” in Lugano.


Since his beginnings, Amaury du Closel has conducted more than 80 orchestras in Europe and Asia. 2022-23 will see him at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and at the Berlin Philharmonie with the Berliner Symphoniker, as well as on tour in many European countries (Italy, Germany, Austria, Lithuania), and in several festivals (Folles Journées de Nantes , Festival of the Chaise-Dieu). With his orchestra Les Métamorphoses – created in 2018 and much acclaimed since by critics – he will give many concerts in France, not to mention the new productions of Giuseppe Verdi's Traviata and Mozart's Marriage of Figaro with his opera company Opéra Nomade.

Amaury du Closel is also pursuing a career as a composer: his catalog includes some thirty opuses, including works for orchestra, various pieces of chamber music, melodies, etc. For the cinema, he composed the music for the silent films The Tenth Symphony by Abel Gance and Michel Strogoff by V. Tourjansky. His last piece Stolpersteine, composed in 2021, will be released on CD in autumn 2022.


Musical director of the opera company Opéra Nomade since 2000, Amaury du Closel has also been musical director of the Académie Lyrique since 2006. and in 2005 published The Stifled Voices of the Third Reich by Actes Sud, Best Essay Prize from the Syndicat de la critique musicale. It is for this memorial work that he was honored by the Goldenes Ehrenzeichen of the Federal Republic of Austria in 2005, and by the Verdienstkreuz am Bande of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2021.


The European Center for the Study of Music and Totalitarianism (CEMUT), an organization based in Strasbourg, is an offshoot of the Forum Voix Etouffees (FVE) whose work, originally centered on the rediscovery of composers who were victims of Nazism, is recognized and rewarded by the European Union.

Its objective today extends to the study of the consequences of all the European totalitarianisms of the XXth century on musical creation, and for missions the rediscovery, the study and the diffusion of the works of the composers who were victims of it.


Rejecting a compassionate practice of memory, the Forum Voix Étouffées - CEMUT wishes to build a "positive memory", in the words of Alfred Grosser, Honorary President  of the FVE, which is a tool for reflection on the disasters of the past, and their overcoming in today's Europe.

In this regard, music is a particularly relevant tool for action in this direction: by disseminating the works of creators who are victims of totalitarianism, it promotes the constitution of a common memory. By mixing the actors of this diffusion (musicians, researchers, audiences of all kinds), it creates  between them positive links and the reflexes of a continental action, constitutive of a real European citizenship . It is no coincidence that the European aid received since 2008 by the FVE is under action 4 of the “Europe for citizens” programme.

Composers presented as part of the

Forum Voix Etouffées-CEMUT:

Paul Arma (Imre Weisshaus 1905-1987)

Max Brand (1896-1980)

Walter Braunfels (1882-1954)

Julius Burger (1897-1995)

Emil Burian (1904-1959)

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1965)

Max Deutsch (1892-1982)

Hans Eisler (1898-1962)

Aldo Finzi (1891-1944)

Hans Gál (1890-1987)

Norbert Glanzberg (1910-2001)

Berthold Goldschmidt (1903-1996)

Wilhelm Grosz (1894-1939)

Pavel Haas (1899-1944)

Bernhard Heiden (1910-2000)

Paul Hindemith (1895-1963)

Erich Itor Kahn (1905-1956)

Rudolf Karel (1880-1945)

Gideon Klein (1919-1945) 

Joseph Koffler (1896-1943)

Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957)

Max Kowalski (1882-1956)

Hans Krasa (1899-1944)

Ernst Krenek (1900-1991)

Szymon Laks (1901-1983)

Herman Leopoldi (1888-1959)

Ursula Mamlok (1923-2016)

Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959)

Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)

Alexander Mossolow (1900-1973)

Arvo Pärt (born in 1935)

Karl Rathaus (1895-1954)

Louis Saguer (Wolf Simoni 1907-1991)

Arthur Schnabel (1882-1951)

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)

Franz Schreker (1878-1934)

Erwin Schulhoff (1894-1942)

Matyas Seiber (1905-1960)

Leone Sinigaglia (1868-1944)

Mischa Spoliansky (1898-1985)

Wladislaw Szpilman (1911-2000)

Alexander Tansman (1897-1986)

Mikis Theodorakis (1925-2021)

Ernest Toch (1887-1964)

Alfred Tokayer (1899-1943)

Viktor Ullman (1898-1944)

Vladimir Vogel (1896-1964)

Ilse Weber (1903-1944)

Karl Weigl (1881-1949)

Kurt Weill (1900-1950)

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