Barbara Siesel

Barbara Siesel

BandClassicalWorld

A magical, extraordinary flutist with a golden sound and the technique of a virtuoso. She is also down to earth and connects deeply and emotionally with her audience and fans. Siesel's programs are unique in that they combine classical repertoire with new media in a theatrical setting.

Biography

Now We Can Sing: Home In America

As Hitler and the Nazis came to power in Germany during the nineteen thirties – Jewish musicians were banned from playing the music of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and other great German composers. Now We Can Sing: Home In America is a traditional recital placed in a theatrical setting – the audience arrives at the concert and is transported to the atmosphere of the cultural world of prewar Germany. The lobby evokes the period through artwork, music and the signing of the “Lineage Linen” documenting when and from where their family immigrated to America.

Each piece in the recital has been selected to place in context the jarring cultural dislocation of World War II. The recital will begin with German music, representative of the old culture. Bach and Schubert’s works open the program to remind us of the beauty and cultural history of the preceding era. Hindemith follows to represent the displacement of prominent German composers. Sidney Corbett’s new composition “Lineage” for solo flute and multiple recorded flutes in six movements, is a commentary on displacement. Media artist Bruce Wands incorporates in a dissolving background family snapshots and works by noted photographer Clemens Kalischer. Recorded stories, the reminiscence of Ms. Siesel’s mother, are also incorporated into “Lineage.” “Lineage” conveys both the universal and the particular experience of immigration. The program ends with Duo for Flute and Piano, a work by the quintessential American Composer, Aaron Copland.

This recital is highlighted by readings and interviews with some of the German – Jewish musicians of the period.

Displaced Persons

At the end of World War II, the Allied armies found between 7 and 9 million people living in countries not their own. The majority returned to their native lands but approximately 1 million of these “Displaced Persons” (DPs) refused repatriation. About half, (500,000) were Jews, survivors of the Jewish communities in European countries formerly under Nazi occupation. The other DPs were mostly Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Ukranians, and Yugoslavs. Some of these had collaborated with the Nazis and were afraid of retaliation should the go back to their homes. Others did not want to live under Communist Regimes.

Jewish DPs, unlike the gentiles had no country to which they could return. It is estimated that as many as 2,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors were murdered in pogroms between 1944 and 1947. The most vicious episode of the this type occurred in Kielce, Poland on July 4, 1946, in which 42 Jews were killed and over 50 injured in an attack by local townspeople.

In 1945, living conditions in the DP Camps were very unpleasant. There was never enough food. Inmates were not allowed to work or to leave the camps. Some camps were even guarded by ex-Nazis. For Jewish inmates, living together with people who openly hated Jews did nothing to improve their morale. By early 1946, ten DP camps exclusively for Jewish refugees were established in Germany and Austria. These camps became magnets for Jewish Holocaust survivors fleeing persecution in Eastern Europe.

The greatest obstacle facing Jewish DPs was the search for new, permanent homes. The United States was virtually closed because the restrictive quota system of the 1930’s was still in force. Moving to America meant waiting many years to qualify for admission under the quota system. Palestine was also not an option because Britain, which controlled Palestine under a mandate from the end of World War I, would not allow Jewish immigration. Under pressure from the American Jewish community, the United States government passed bills that increased the immigration quotas for DPs. Between 1945 and 1948, a mere 41,000 DPs were admitted into the United States, two thirds of which were Jews. In 1948, the U.S. Congress passed another bill providing for the admission of 200,000 DPs over four years, and this number was increased in 1950. From 1948 to 1951, 365,223 Displaced Persons were resettled in America, but of these, only 16% were Jewish. After the State of Israel came into being in 1948, most of the Jewish DPs immigrated there. Some of the gentile DPs who came to America openly admitted to having been Nazi collaborators. All in all, less than 100,000 Jewish Displaced Persons settled in the United States

Short Bio:
Barbara Siesel: flutist and producer
Ms. Siesel is a flutist who performs traditionally and is also active in experimental new media and performance projects. Ms. Siesel has appeared as soloist in principal halls of China, Korea, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, Russia and the United States. She has made extended tours of the Far East, Spain and China including three weeks of workshops, master classes and recitals at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, and appearances in Japan and Taiwan sponsored by the Altus Flute Co., Ltd. In 1995, representing women in the

Set List

Now We Can Sing: Hope In America

Guests arrive and sign the Lineage Linen.

Program

Bach ……………………………………………..… Partita in A Minor
Allemande

Video interview with musician

Schubert…………………………………Introduction and Variations on

Trockne Blumen from Die schone Mullerin

Video interview

Rudolf Nelson ………………… “Galapagos” a cabaret song of the period(1930)

Hindemith……………………………………Flute Sonata, (1936)
I. Heiter bewegt
II. Sehr langsam
III. Sehr lebhaft

Friedrich Hollaender ………………..
Meine Schwester liebt den Buster” a cabaret song of the period (1928)

Intermission

Part II

Corbett………………………………………………….Lineage(2001)

Copland…………………………………… ……….