CLOSED: Only the Violins Remain. Alma and Arnold Rosé

Old images of Alma and Arnold

A touring exhibition from the House of Austrian History, in partnership with the Royal Academy of Music Museum. Free entry.

The story of a father and daughter – icons of Austrian musical life – whose careers were cut short by the Nazis. Arnold fled to London but Alma perished in Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where she had become the conductor of the Women’s Orchestra.

With thanks to the Jewish Museum London for additional display items. 

Arnold Rosé was the leader of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and the Rosé Quartet, and an honorary member of the Vienna Philharmonic; Alma had a promising solo career and formed her own female orchestra. In 1938 the Anschluss – the annexation of Austria into Germany – changed their lives. Over 66,000 Austrians did not survive the Shoah; Alma Rosé was one of them. She led the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz-Birkenau and saved the lives of many women prisoners, before perishing in the camp.

Today, their violins carry their legacy and can be heard in major concert halls around the world. On display in the exhibition are two violins from the Academy collection by the same makers and of similar age: the ‘Maurin’ Stradivari, 1718 and a Guadagnini, 1755.

Image credit: Left - Alma and Arnold Rosé with their violins (date unknown). KHM-Museumsverband, Theatermuseum Wien.

Right - The Gustav Mahler-Alfred Rosé Collection, Music Library, University of Western Ontario, Canada. Supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation)