Listen to violinist Alma Rose, forced to lead the Auschwitz orchestra

The only known recording of gifted young violinist Alma Rose was found after a long search. Forced to lead the women's orchestra at Auschwitz, she died before the war ended. In memoriam.

Dr. Inna Rogatchi

OpEds Violin and notes
Violin and notes

Young and talented violinist Alma Rose was a niece of composer Gustav Mahler. Fleeing the Nazis, Alma was arrested at the last station before the border just as she was about to gain her freedom. She was sent to Auschwitz where she was forced to lead the women's orchestra, and died in April, 1944.

On this only known recording, Alma plays with her father, well-known musician Arnold Rose who was cofounder and leading violinist of the Rose Quartet and concertmaster of the Vienna Opera Orchestra and Vienna Philharmonic for over 50 years.

Arnold Rose was the husband of Mahler's sister Justine. He died in 1946 in London shortly after hearing of his beloved daughter's death. 

Original recording

Bach, "Double" Violin Concerto in d minor (Arnold and Alma Rosé) 1928

Note: Inna Rogatchi's great-aunt Eleanor Rose Bujanover, searched for this recording of her uncle and cousin for many years.It was found by music historian Wolfgang Wendeland and sent to Bujanover in London, but tragically, arrived the day of her funeral.

For a moving and artistically beautiful account of the story by the Rogatchi Foundation and accompanying art work, click the link below.