Julius Burger - A Journey in Exile

Julius Burger (Bürger) was a gifted Viennese composer, arranger, conductor and repetiteur poised to make his mark on early 20th Century music. This all changed with the ascension of the Nazi party whose anti-Semitic rhetoric and legislation forever altered Burger’s life and forced him on a journey in exile, across continents and cultures. Burger’s extraordinary and varied career began as a conductor/ arranger for Berlin Radio and the Kroll Opera house and onto burgeoning BBC Radio. After emigrating to the United States in 1939, he worked with conductors Andre Kostelanetz and Arthur Fiedler at Columbia Records. Burger even enjoyed a short stint conducting on Broadway before joining the staff at the Metropolitan Opera as an assistant conductor and repetiteur. Throughout all the turmoil, he continued to compose but it wouldn’t be until the twilight of his life (when he was in his 90s) that Julius Burger would finally fulfil a lifelong dream of hearing his own compositions performed.

This documentary shows the process of researching, rehearsing and recording of Julius Burger’s unpublished lieder, spanning from his first song written in 1915 to his final -completed in 1988. This film also offers a glimpse into this composer’s extraordinary life using archival footage and interviews with musicologist and baritone - Ryan Hugh Ross,  Collaborative artists -Nicola Rose and Dr. Daniel Rieppel. Also featured is an interview with Mr. Ronald Pohl, Esq.- Executor of the Burger Estate and Executive Producer of the album A Journey in Exile : the Lieder of Julius Burger

Special Gratitude to the following for their contributions & support of this research: ​

Mr. Ronald S Pohl, Esq.,
​Mr. Clive Marks OBE,
Dr. Shirli Gilbert and the ORT Music and the Holocaust project,
The Parkes Institute - University of Southampton,
Dr. Gerold Gruber & Dr. Benjamin Michael Haas – Exil.Arte Zentrum Archiv Der MDW in Vienna-Austria,
Dr. Thomas Irvine & Dr. Neil Gregor - Southampton University,
The Journey in Exile Film Team and Jim Unwin,
Record Producer – 360 Music

For more information about Julius Burger, please see his biography on the ORT Music and the Holocaust website: https://holocaustmusic.ort.org/resistance-and-exile/julius-burger/

For more information about the documentary and accompanying album, please visit: https://www.rediscoveredbeauty.org/burgerlieder-album