By Susan Lewis, WRTI, April 11, 2018. Click for full report including audio and photographs.
Music by an Austrian composer killed in the Holocaust surfaced in Buffalo, New York in 2001, and has been recorded by JoAnn Falletta leading the Buffalo Philharmonic. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked with JoAnn Falletta about the life of Marcel Tyberg, the incredible story of how she discovered his music, and her passion about bringing it to life.
Austrian composer Marcel Tyberg was living in Northern Italy (now Croatia) in the early 1940s, composing dance music for a local hotel, playing church organ, teaching, and composing serious music as well.
A devout Catholic, his great great grandfather had been Jewish. Anticipating trouble when the Nazis invaded in 1943, Tyberg gave manuscripts of his more serious music to an Italian physician friend named Milan Mihich, whose son studied music with the composer.
Tyberg was arrested, deported, and died at Auschwitz on December 31, 1944. His music remained safe with the Mihich family, who themselves had to flee when the communists took control of the region.
Decades later, Mihich’s son, Dr. Enrico Mihich—a specialist in cancer research in America—delivered the music to JoAnn Falletta, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic. She shared the incredible story: