Pavel Haas experienced considerable success as author of songs, chamber and orchestral music, choral music, operas and oratorios. He also collaborated with the budding Czech film industry. Out of at least five documented compositions in Terezin, only three have been preserved, and one of them, the Study for Strings (1943), had to be partially reconstructed. This piece was used in a Nazi propaganda film that was ment to show that Jews lived in good conditions; Haas himself is shown in the film conducting the orchestra. A month later most of the musicians including Haas were sent to their deaths in Auschwitz. It is estimated that Haas wrote over one hunderd compositions. His works include: Four Songs to the Text of Chinese Poetry, three string quartets, a wind quintet, Suite for Piano, a suite for oboe and piano and a sonata for flute and piano.
Pavel Haas was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, in 1899. He studied piano and music theory from an early age and later became Leoš Janáček’s best pupil. Being Jewish, at the time of the Nazi invasion he divorced his christian wife to save his family. He was later taken to Terezin, and then to Auschwitz where he was murdered in the same day with Hans Krása and Viktor Ullmann.
(contribution by Guy Rauscher <rauschernetvision.net.il>)
- Czech Republic, Staré Brno, Bezručova 5 — 21 Jun 1899