Aron Marko Rothmüller

Baritone, composer, voice teacher and author of Croatian-Jewish origin
1908-1993

Born in Trnjani (Austro-Hungarian Empire; a small locality near Slavonski Brod, today southern Croatia). Studied in Zagreb and Vienna (1928-1932), was a distinguished opera singer, and performed across Europe. Following Nazi persecution he settled in Zurich in 1935. Immigrated to the USA in 1955, where he taught voice at Indiana University.

Rothmüller composed chamber and choral music, many based on traditional Sephardic and Ashkenazi songs as well as arrangements of "Palestinian" (i.e. modern Hebrew) songs. As an author he published The Music of the Jews: An Historical Appreciation (1953 and subsequent reprints) that was first published in German (1951) and enjoyed a wide readership during the post-War period.

Primary Sources:

The Rothmüller archival collection is located at the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and can accessed online. It includes published and unpublished music scores, archival material containing biographical and historical information on Rothmüller and his important Jewish cultural organization, Omanut based in Zagreb, and commercial recordings. Rothmüller used the pseudonym Jehuda Kinor for some of his compositions.

Some manuscript scores and correspondence with cellist, composer and author Joachim Stutschewsky can be found at the Felicia Blumenthal Music Library in Tel Aviv.

The National Library of Israel holds correspondence by Rothmüller with Israeli composers Alexander Uriah Boscovich and Marc Lavry showing the networking between Eastern European Jewish composers who settled in British Mandate Palestine/Israel and their colleagues who remained in Europe after the World War II.

Biographies:

Rosenthal, Harold revised by Alan Bluth, "Rothmüller, (Aron) Marko" in Oxford Music Online. Originally published in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell, London, New York, 2021, vol. 21, pp. 783-4.

"Marko Rothmüller" in Wikipedia

Nulman, Macy. "Rothmüller, Aron Marko." Concise Encyclopedia of Jewish Music

Other Resources:

Interview with Marko Rothmüller

The Lexicon of Persecuted Musicians from the Nazi Era includes a comprehensive bibliography about Rothmüller, see here.

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