Manuel Cini profile

Manuel Cini

Manuel Cini

University of Surrey (2023)


Professor Jeremy Barham


From Ashes To Eternity - The Unknown Music Compositions of the Nazi Concentration Camps


This doctoral research project is based on the prestigious resources of the Alexander Kulisiewicz Collection, a unique archive, nowadays stored at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, that preserves musical compositions written by prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Despite its extraordinary importance, most of the archive remains little known to the scholarly community even today, as acknowledged by many leading academics in the field. Therefore, the project aims to explore and shed light on neglected and completely forgotten composers and to bring their artistic heritage back to the attention of the public, scholars, performers, as well as the international musicological community. The work will not only contribute to deepening and broadening our currently limited knowledge of this repertoire but also help to restore, through their art, the memory of all those who were persecuted during the war. The research will take into account both instrumental and vocal compositions written by internees imprisoned in the German camps and in those established in the occupied Poland, with a particular focus on composers Leon Kaczmarek and Teodor Gruca from KL Dachau, Ludmila Peškařová from KL Ravensbrück, Waleria Felchnerowska from KL Stutthof, and Zofia Karpińska from KL Majdanek. The research will be carried out through a historical and artistic archiving of this enormous musical testimony, together with a musical analysis of the scores, inquiry of texts and historical contextualisation in order to display this musical legacy not only within an academic framework but also to musicians and performers who wish to perform and study such an important historical period from an artistic perspective. For this reason, the research outcomes will be made available through the publication of a monograph followed by edited scores and recordings of the music thereto related.