In this edition of Flashback, we look to 1998 and the launch of our L’Chaim, Living Music project, which is still going strong and celebrating ‘living music’ today.
“In tandem with the commencement of Music for Children at Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Education and Community Programme also launched L’Chaim, Living Music. This is an informal concert project at the Otto Schiff Housing Association (OSHA) for Jewish refugees of Nazi persecution. Most OSHA residents are of German or Austrian origin, and their combined rich cultural heritage and love of music has been the defining factor in helping to shape the project.
“Based at seven different homes and sites throughout North London, L’Chaim, Living Music will provide a three-year rotating programme of classical, Jewish, folk, religious and coffee house music… Whilst physical frailty may now prevent some of the residents attending concerts elsewhere in London, this has not hindered their support and enthusiasm for this project, and they have been integral to the planning process, programming and structure from the outset.
“A long list of composers and musical interests was drawn up by the residents, many of whom are musicians themselves. After this initial meeting, it was clear that musical interests veered strongly towards the German classical tradition, but that many OSHA residents also enjoy folk, religious, light classical and jazz music. With these interests in mind, the programme for the year was drawn up…
“Soon after this, a trio of musicians were booked for the first three visits to OSHA (Erika Klemperer, violin, Danny Lyness, viola, Jo Cole, cello) and…they devised the first concert programme (including complete works by Beethoven, Kodaly and Schubert.) The first visits were a great success, reaching over 70 residents and staff and instant feedback from the residents was overwhelmingly positive.”
Extract from CLScapades newsletter 1998