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Release: May 12, 2000

Survivor of World War II labor camps will present lecture at UI May 24

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Henry Meyer, a renowned violinist and survivor of forced labor camps during World War II, will present a lecture, "Did there need to be music . . . ?" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 24 in Harper Hall of the Voxman Music Building on the University of Iowa campus.

Meyer's lecture, describing his experiences as a member of the Lagerkapelle (camp band) at the Birkenau labor camp, will be free and open to the public.

Meyer will be at the UI as an artist/teacher with Magisterra, an International Chamber Music Festival. The festival, which will take place at the School of Music May 16-26, will feature a series of free public concerts by master artists as well as an intensive schedule of master classes and lessons for student participants.

Meyer has a musical legacy as poignant as that of any living artist. Born in Dresden, Germany, in 1923, Meyer endured constant interruption of his early career by the Nazi's suppression of music lessons in the 1930s. Meyer was a member of the Jewish Kulturbund (cultural league) Orchestra in Berlin until its dissolution. Soon after, he was held in a succession of forced labor camps including Zeiss-Ikon, Birkenau, Buchenwald, Ohrdruf, and Auschwitz.

Meyer escaped from Ohrdruf after its liberation by the U.S. Third Army in 1945 and resumed violin lessons with George Enesco in Paris later that year. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1948 after receiving a Juilliard scholarship. He was a founding member of the prestigious LaSalle String Quartet and won the Grand Prix du Disque and two Grammy nominations. He currently presents master classes throughout the world and is professor of violin at the College-Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati.

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