Stichting t.b.v Jiddische Cultuur

The Ballad of Mauthausen

The Ballad of Mauthausen, worldwide seen as one of the most gorgeous musical pieces ever to be written about the second world war. It is a collaboration between the Greek poet Iakovos Kambanellis who was a survivor of Kamp Mauthausen and Mikis Theodorakis the famous Greek composer, banned for his activism against social injustice. Since it’s been over 75 years of liberation from the Nazi regime it felt like a perfect moment to re-address this musical piece, resulting in a new, haunting and extraordinary composition of The Ballad of Mauthausen. We have been honored and praised by composer Mikis Theodorakis himself for our version of his music and his Label has taken us up and we are now part of his musical-family.

The Project

We have made this project to connect two different worlds that we feel are still so important: The pre- and post-war lives of all those effected by the second world war whether being European or American. Our goal with this project is to raise attention for the events of the past, address injustices for the future and connect and respect our differences in the present. In this project we have chosen to use a beautiful Yiddish translation, instead of the original Greek language used by poet Iakovos Kambabellis, to not only emphasize and give voice to those who were perished in Europa and those who fled Eastern-Europe before, during and after the second world war, but to also show that the Yiddish language is still and has been a very important part of Jewish culture worldwide.

The Musicians

I have worked with this group of musicians for over a decade now and their craftmanship, delicacy, playing, love and creativity are the fundament of this project. Together we have created what I believe to be the most intense and beautiful show I have ever had the honor to be part of and produce. I am so proud to introduce these beautiful people and fantastic musicians.

Ruud Breuls is currently the first trumpetist of the WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany. He is head of faculty for trumpet at the Conservatory in Amsterdam and has an outstanding International career. He is also part of several world renown Orchestras among them the Jazz Orchestra of the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and famous Dutch Metropole orchestra.

Ro Krauss is a highly creative, intuitive and skilled viola player, he finished Rotterdam conservatory cum-laude and has since then worked as an International Performer, he has specialised in Eastern-European music and has lived and worked in Eastern-Europe for an extensive time, He is a fabulous composer and arranger of modern folk music.

Emile Visser, is the first cellist of the famous Metropole orchestra and a fantastic composer, arranger, vocalist and creative musician, his improvising skills on the cello are unworldly and can bring any listener into a different world. He has also received great acknowledgement for his contributions to writing new music in the Netherland.

Peter van Os is possibly the best accordionist we will encounter in our live, he is capable to make the accordion sing so softly you think it’s a voice and one minute later you will find yourself listening to a full organ in a big church. He is highly skilled and conservatory schooled and leads several big bands in the Netherlands, he also works as a composer and arranger for several International orchestras.