The Colburn School Awarded Grant to Preserve Archives of Music Pioneer, Dachau Survivor Herbert Zipper | The South Pasadenan

Photo: Herbert and Trudell Zipper Archives at the Colburn School | South Pasadena News | Photo of Herbert Zipper leading a concert at 32nd Street Magnet School in Los Angeles in the 1980s

With Holocaust Memorial Day approaching, the Colburn School is proud to announce that it has received a prestigious Save America’s Treasures grant to preserve and digitize Colburn’s Herbert and Trudell Zipper Archives. Herbert, for whom Colburn’s Zipper Hall was named, was a pioneer in the community music movement and had a strong desire to enable all students to participate in the performing arts. Importantly, Zipper’s archives include handwritten letters by Herbert Zipper describing his experiences at Dachau Concentration Camp, letters he received from his family while imprisoned there, and identification papers from the Nazi regime. , original texts, photographs, and extensive audiovisual materials, objects and art. During his exile and his 92 years of life he travels around the world.

The Zipper Archive’s preservation underscores the school’s ongoing commitment to keeping alive the history and memory of the Holocaust-affected musical pioneers. Her Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the school is Colburn’s unique resource to raise awareness and encourage more frequent performances of the music of composers whose careers and lives were destroyed by the Nazi regime in Europe. James His Conlon, artistic director of the Colburn School’s Ziering His Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices, has long championed the work of these composers.

Photo: Herbert Zipper Archives of Colburn School | South Pasadena News | Herbert Zipper Buchenwald Discharge Papers dated February 20, 1939

The Zipper Archive also includes material from Trudl Zipper, the influential dancer, choreographer and teacher for whom Colburn’s Trudl Zipper Dance Institute is named. She trained at the Bodenwieser School in Vienna and was the founder of expressionist dance (now considered modern dance). From the archives we know that she is the founder of modern dance her movement, she collaborated with American dancers such as Isadora Duncan.

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Photo: Herbert and Trudl Zipper Archives at Colburn School | South Pasadena News | Photo by Trudl Zipper

Colburn President and CEO Sel Kardan said: “This grant will allow us to preserve his Zipper archive for future generations. It helps solidify our position as leaders in preserving music history.”

Colburn also has other significant historical records of famous music artists who lived in Los Angeles. Here you will find the archives of the cellist Gregor his Piatigorsky, one of the great musical artists of the 20th century, and the studio of the legendary violinist Jascha his Heifetz. Designed by Lloyd Wright, this historic building was once located in Heifetz’s backyard and survived demolition before being rebuilt on Colburn’s campus.

The grant to preserve the Zipper Archive was awarded by the National Park Service (NPS) in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services as one of 80 similar grants. it was done. The country has a total of 24.25 million dollars.

“The Save America’s Treasures program supports community-based conservation and conservation efforts for some of America’s most important collections, artifacts, structures, and sites for the benefit of future generations through private and public investment. doing.

Rep. Jimmy Gomez, whose constituency includes the Colburn School, said investments in preserving history, like Zipper Archives, are our duty to remember the contributions of artists affected or killed during the Holocaust. He said that it serves as a constant reminder that

“We applaud the Department of the Interior’s decision to award the Colburn School a federal grant to ensure the continued preservation of these Holocaust-affected archives and the work of composers and other artists.” Mr Gomez said. “Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, is an important reminder not only of humanity’s capacity for evil, but also of how those who survived survived darker times in history and made meaningful contributions to society in all areas. I will continue to advocate federal funding for local projects like this to better our communities.”

Funded through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), Save America’s Treasures has provided $356 million for more than 1,326 projects between 1999 and 2020. Over 16,000 jobs in local and state economies.

As an ardent advocate of Colburn’s work, board member Anne Mullally generously provided an important match that enabled the school to apply for this grant. Mulally’s gift also served as an important starting point for the Zipper Archive project.

The Zipper Archive’s material dates from approximately 1900 to 1997 and includes close and extended family members of the Zipper family, including Herbert Zipper (1904-1997), his wife Trudl Dubsky Zipper (1913-1977), and sister Hedwig. Contains material from the lives of family members. Hedy” Zipper Horwitz/Holt (1907-1989), and his maternal uncle (by marriage) artist Arthur Paunzen (1890-1940).

Born in 1904 in Vienna to an assimilated Jewish family, Zipper studied at the Vienna Academy of Music and composed for underground theaters banned by the new Austrian government as the Nazi regime began to spread. He and his brother were arrested by the Austrian police in 1938, before being sent to Dachau, the first concentration camp built by the Nazis in Germany. I became friends with artists and musicians.

For Zipper, music has always been a source of inspiration and resistance. One of his methods of torture in the SS was to force prisoners to sing, both individually and collectively, on command. When ordered to sing, he chose to sing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” to comfort the other prisoners.

When Zipper first arrived in Dachau, he was assigned the arduous task of ‘the wagon’. I mean, he was pushing a cement truck around camp. However, this had the advantage of being able to talk to other prisoners while working. Here he was reunited with Soifer. Reflecting on his time in Dachau and this exhausting labor, he said: What I couldn’t stand was taking my life. ”It was this desire in him to maintain the likeness of his life that made him begin to recite poetry for other prisoners. He met several other Jewish musicians. And he persuaded some carpenters to illegally make stringed instruments out of stolen wood. By the beginning of July 1938, he had assembled his fourteen musicians and began giving Sunday afternoon concerts. During these illegal concerts, the musicians not only played well-known classical tunes, but also music that Zipper had composed for them in the evenings after a day’s work.

Zipper also composed songs and poems with Soifer. One day he suggested that Soyfer write a poem based on the camp’s infamous slogan, “Arbeit Macht Frei” (work sets you free). He memorized the poems Soyfer read to him days later, composed music in his head and hummed to his fellow prisoner musicians. This became known as “Dachaulied”. Musicians soon spread the song throughout the camp, and its militant mood and rebellious lyrics became very popular. Shortly after composing this piece, Zipper moved to Buchenwald in September 1938. Here he was assigned to clean toilet holes, a particularly disgusting and dangerous task.

By this time, his parents had managed to escape to Paris, where they struggled desperately to free him and his brother. In February 1939 he was informed that they would be released. After a short stay in Vienna, they traveled to Paris to reunite with their family. As an enemy citizen, Zipper was briefly detained in a French concentration camp. In May 1939 he was invited to become the founder and conductor of the Manila Symphony Orchestra. During that time, he also successfully obtained visas for his family to the United States. Meanwhile, Japan’s conspiracies against the Philippines became more and more apparent, and on December 8, 1941, Japan attacked the small country. In January 1941, the Japanese army advanced and Zipper was arrested because of his friendship with the Americans in Manila. After a brief stay in prison, he was released to found an orchestra intended to serve Japanese propaganda purposes. He joined the resistance and passed on important military information to the American people.

After the war ended, Zipper and his wife decided to join an American family where he worked as a composer, conductor and teacher. He has been music director of several orchestras, including the Manila Symphony Orchestra and the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, and he was also a guest conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra in Seoul. Zipper said that Colburn, the founder of his school, Richard, was Colburn’s friend and advisor. There he championed the idea that performing arts education should be available to all, a view that influenced Mr. Colburn in developing his vision of the Colburn community and his school. Zipper remained active in his musical education until his death on April 21, 1997.

Photo: Herbert and Trudl Zipper Archives at the Colburn School | South Pasadena News | Handwritten manuscripts of two Trudl dances composed by Herbert Zipper for his wife
Photo: Herbert and Trudel Zipper Archives at Colburn School | South Pasadena News | Buchenwald Letters

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