Heritage (still \'under construction\')
Update in English is coming (see 'Vermaechtnis' in the German version). Thank you for your patience!
In 2005 we wrote this:
SURVIVAL OF THE ORPHEUS TRUST IN ACUTE DANGER
The success story: A private initiative became an institution
The Orpheus Trust was founded in Vienna in 1996 by Dr. Primavera Gruber.. Since then, the Orpheus Trust has established the largest collection of information worldwide on 5250 musicians persecuted by the Naziregime, related to Austria or to the former 'Donaumonarchie' (Habsburg-Empire) and their works in its databases and archive. Over 550 members and friends are supporting the Orpheus Trust.
Because most exiled musicians after 1945 did not return to Austria, Orpheus Trust's research covered all continents. Contacts with musicians and their descendants abroad were welcomed and appreciated. Furthermore, close co-operation was established with foreign institutions, researchers and musicians. The appreciation for the cultural, historic and human dimension of its work is reflected in distinctions received by the Orpheus Trust such as the Torberg Medal from the IKG (Jewish Community in Vienna), a prize by the Dr. Karl-Renner-Stiftung in Vienna as well as the Premio Nazionale "Silvio Sammarco Springer" in October 2005.
Orpheus Trust: Confidence in a better Austria
Exiled musicians and their relatives gave the Orpheus Trust numerous bequests, documents, scores, photos and other materials a sign of a slowly growing trust in a 'better Austria'. Every year more than 300 requests by researchers are met; students are advised on topics for their master's and doctor's dissertations, musicians assisted in setting up their programs and repertories and music institutions informed about their programs.
Three hundred concerts and other events
Since 1996 more than 1500 musicians persecuted by the NS regime were presented to the public in co-operation with music organizers all over Austria. Among those were 130 first performances, either worldwide or Austrian, and large projects such as the Fritz Spielmann Festival, master classes with Karl-Ulrich Schnabel at the Music Universities of Salzburg and Graz, as well as with Theresienstadt-survivor Edith Kraus at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, the Hanns Eisler and Bruno Walter exhibitions, the international symposium "Music therapy in exile, as exemplified by the pianist, composer and music therapist Vally Weigl", the sound installation "Orpheus. Klangwege" (see klangwege.orpheustrust.at) and the concert series "Mit leichtem Gepäck ('traveling lightly'). Gerhard Bronner presents young stars with forgotten music", which has been running for three successful years in Vienna's Haus der Musik and in RadioKulturhaus. Recently, a number of concerts and two exhibitions as well as an international symposium within the framework of the France festival "Douce France?" showed France as a country of exile and transit for musicians persecuted by the NS regime.
In the commemoration year 2005: The end of the Orpheus Trust?
Although public recognition increased, a corresponding surge in subsidies did not occur. With a budget of EUR 160.000,-- (incl. 30.000,-- from the art department of the federal chancellery and 73.000,-- from the City of Vienna) the Orpheus Trust is no longer able to research, convey and promote the awareness of the life and works of more than 5000 musicians persecuted by the NS regime. The broad scale of activities calls for five employees, not for two part-time ones as it is today. 25 events a year could only be managed with numerous unpaid working hours, the co-operation of dedicated artists and the support of members and sponsors. It takes more and more time to collect information and materials, to handle the documentation already archived and the data bases as well as to respond to increasing numbers of queries. Bequests had to be stored elsewhere due to lack of space; a separate room for the use of the archive and the data base is not available. In contrast to the ever growing demands, the Republic of Austria does not even consider basic funding. Additional means have been raised through private sponsors but a secure financial basis is needed for professional fundraising.
The question remains: Why is there no help from official sources? Is there no collective responsibility?
Neither our successful work in the last nine and a half years nor the repeated presentation of our situation with over 800 declarations of support (see support) to relevant governmental institutions has resulted in the desired funding. At least, the City of Vienna has recently promised to increase its subsidy in case the federal subsidies would be raised to the same level, but there has not been a positive reaction from federal bodies.
This would force us to stop the activities of the Trust by the end of the year and to look for other institutions where the bequests and archives could be stored.