Remembering Oscar Nemon

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Remembering Oscar Nemon

  • Wed 29 Jan 2014
  • 7:00PM
Imported 1917
Imported 1917

Austrian Cultural Forum London

28 Rutland GateLondon SW7 1PQ


T 020 7225 7300

F 020 7225 7300


The ACF London celebrates the life and work of sculptor Oscar Nemon with a talk by his daughter Aurelia Young, followed by a concert by Hannah Medlam (soprano), Lukas Medlam (violin) and Antoine de Grolée (piano).

Nemon sculpted influential personalities both in Austria and the UK including Sigmund Freud, Winston Churchill and HM The Queen. Many of Nemon’s statues and busts can be seen in and around the Palace of Westminster.

The music selected for this special concert aims to reflect various aspects of the artist’s life including his birthplace in Eastern Croatia as well as Jewish refugee and exiled composers in Britain and America.

Richard Strauss epitomises the final flowering of the late romantic style which permeated Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire as far as the Black Sea, while Hugo Wolf, himself of Slovene origin, sets a quirky poem about a gypsy girl and the Viennese Heinz Provost (probably from Moravia) takes gypsy fiddling and polishes it into a sophisticated gem for the urban salon. 

Of the Jewish contingent, Bohemian-born Mahler escaped the worst of the persecution by his untimely death at the age 51. Bloch (born in Geneva) , Weill (Dessau in Eastern Germany) and Kreisler (Vienna) all fled westwards and flourished in the United States. Prague-born Schulhoff, both Jewish and a “decadent artist” (he liked jazz), perished in the camp at Theresienstadt in the north of what is now the Czech Republic.

Franz (actually Ferenc) Lehar was born in the Hungarian-speaking part of Slovakia and only learnt German on arriving in Vienna at the age of twelve. His song from Zigeunerliebe (Gypsy Love) tells of the nostalgia for the homeland awakened by the sound of the cimbalom, a typical Hungarian folk instrument - a sort of horizontal harp played with hammers.