Orchestra of Exiles: An Interview with Josh Aronson

Apr 20, 2016

The Palestine Symphony, today the Israel Philharmonic,  was founded in 1936 by the Polish born violinist Bronislaw Huberman (1882-1947).  

After a series of concerts in Palestine, Huberman "connected the dots" between the growing persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany and the need for a world class orchestra to satisfy the thirst for music by the settlers in Palestine. Huberman made it his mission to get government sanctions, to fundraise, and ultimately to staff the new orchestra with Europe's finest musicians.

The inaugural concert was conducted by Arturo Toscanini, an avowed anti fascist, who performed for no fee.

Orchestra of Exiles  is a 2012 film telling The Story of Bronislaw Huberman, The Israel Philharmonic, and the One Thousand Jews He Saved from Nazi Horrors". Now, there's a companion book by the same title, co -authored by film producer Josh Aronson, and Denise George.

Here's an interview with Josh Aronson, describing one man's quest to serve music and to fight the Nazis:


Bronislaw Huberman, Arturo Toscanini and William Steinberg in Tel Aviv, 1937
Credit huberman archives

The interview's imbedded music includes: Max Bruch's Kol Nidre recorded by Bronislaw Huberman in 1924, and part of the finale of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, conducted by Arturo Toscanini, with the NBC Symphony in 1944.