The legacy of Peter Gellhorn

Meyn, N. and Curran, T. and Levi, E. (2020) The legacy of Peter Gellhorn. Music, Migration and Mobility Online Resource: Émigré Musicians from Nazi Europe


In 2014, Geraldine Auerbach, founder of the Jewish Music Institute in London, presented the RCM Collections with a number of video tapes. Among them were two interviews with the émigré musician Peter Gellhorn in which he spoke about his life and, surprising to many who knew him, about his compositions, which had by then been deposited in the collection of music manuscripts at the British Library. By then we had undertaken a great deal of research into the lives and contribution to British culture of émigré musicians like Gellhorn, and this unknown body of works written before and after Gellhorn’s emigration to Britain offered a great opportunity to engage RCM students, colleagues and audiences in a journey of discovery. The purpose of this research project was not to find extraordinary undiscovered masterpieces, but to engage with Gellhorn’s experience as a migrant musician through his music. A short version of Gellhorn’s biography by Terence Curran is available in this article, together with a text about his compositions by Eric Levi, who was a partner in this project as a member of the International Centre for Suppressed Music, which was then associated with Royal Holloway, University of London. **** This article is available as part of the Music, Migration and Mobility online resource at the Official URL given below. ****

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