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Gideon Klein

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Biography

Gideon Klein (December 6, 1919 – c.January 1945) was a Czech pianist and composer of classical music. He was born in Přerov and, showing musical talent early, studied piano with Růžena Kurzová and Vilém Kurz, and composition with Alois Hába.

In December 1941 he was deported by the Nazis to Terezín concentration camp, where along with Leoš Janáček’s pupil Pavel Haas, Hans Krasa, and Schoenberg’s pupil Viktor Ullmann he became one of the major composers in that camp, one of the few in which artistic activity occurred on any scale. His works from these years include music for string quartet (similar in tone to Berg’s opus 3 work), a string trio, and a piano sonata among others.

He was deported to Auschwitz and then to Fürstengrube in October 1944, less than two weeks after completing his string trio. He did not survive.

Recordings on Northeastern and on Koch International Classics, for example, have allowed modern listeners to evaluate the quality of his compositions of the 1940s.

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