Pavel Haas

Composer, active in the musical life of Theresienstadt (Terezín)

Pavel Haas was born in Brno (today in Czech Republic). He studied at the Brno Conservatory with Janacek (1920-1922) who was an important influence on Haas, who is mentioned as his closest follower.[1] He worked in his father's business until 1935, when he began teaching music theory, and later music. Haas began composing while working with his father, but due to his self criticism, he only gave opus numbers to eighteen of his compositions, which he wrote prior to his deportation, in 1941, to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. There, he composed some of his most well known pieces, including, Study for Strings (1943) and Four Songs on Chinese Poetry (1944). His list of compositions includes choral and vocal works, incidental music, orchestral  and chamber music, and an opera. Haas' pieces influenced by Jewish music include Al S'fod (1942) composed to Hebrew words by David Shim'oni, and Fantasy on a Jewish Melody (1943). Lubomír Peduzzi mentions several influences on Haas' style:  such as the music of Janacek, Moravian folksong, Jewish chant, Medieval Chorale,  Western European contemporary music, and Jazz.[2]

Pavel Haas died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz in 1944.


Grove Music Online; Pavel Haas, Music and the Holocaust.

Additional bibliography:

Peduzzi, Lubomír. 1996. Pavel Haas: Leben und Werk des Komponisten. Hamburg: Von Bockel.


[1] Lubomír Peduzzi, "Haas, Pavel," in Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online,

[2] Lubomír Peduzzi, Ibid.