Concerts of internment music

Recipient: Professor Norbert Meyn

The Royal College of Music and Ensemble Émigré staged a unique concert with music composed on the Isle of Man. They presented music written by German and Austrian refugees in the WW2 internment camps on the island to cheer up themselves and their British hosts alike. The bilingual revue 'What a Life!' by Hans Gál, a moving and humorous piece of musical theatre inspired by real life in the camps, was performed to enthusiastic audiences in the Palace Theatre in Douglas in 1940 and was heard again for the first time.

Made up of professional soloists and some of the brightest talent from the Royal College of Music, the group of 12 singers and instrumentalists led by German tenor Norbert Meyn also presented chamber music that evoked the beauty of the Manx countryside, including ‘Mooragh’ by Ramsey internee Peter Gellhorn and Manx Dance Tunes arranged by W.H.Gill, as well as popular Isle of Man tunes like I’m a Native of Peel and Has anybody here seen Kelly.

This project was supported by Culture Vannin in conjunction with the IOM Arts Council and the Malcolm Scott Dickinson Charitable Trust.