Alma Rose: Vienna to Auschwitz
(Amadeus). Alma Rose's tragic story, from her birth and youth in the exalted musical circles of Vienna (her father was leader of the Vienna Philharmonic, her uncle was Gustav Mahler) to her death at Auschwitz, first came to public attention through the 1980 film Playing for Time . As leader of the only women's orchestra in the Nazi camps, by force of her will and spirit, she molded a terrified group of young musicians into an ensemble that became their sole hope of survival. And although Alma herself died of a sudden illness shortly before the liberation of the camps, she saved the lives of some four dozen members of the orchestra. In telling her full story for the first time, Richard Newman and Karen Kirtley honor her and the valiant prisoner-musicians for whom music meant life.
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