Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

February 6, 2001

NPR's Martin Goldsmith to Speak at Whitworth

Martin Goldsmith credits his parents for instilling in him a love of music; he credits music for causing his parents to fall in love. Goldsmith, senior commentator for National Public Radio's daily classical music program, "Performance Today," is author of The Inextinguishable Symphony: A True Story of Love and Music in Nazi Germany, which tells the story of his parents' extraordinary lives as musicians during the Holocaust, their courtship and marriage in Nazi Germany, and their escape to America.

Goldsmith will speak about his book Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 11 a.m. in Cowles Memorial Auditorium at Whitworth College. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 777-4584.

In The Inextinguishable Symphony, Goldsmith explores a little-known piece of Holocaust history - the Judische Kulturbund, or Jewish Culture Association. The Kulturbund was formed in 1933 by Joseph Goebbels' Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda after more than 8,000 Jewish musicians and actors were expelled from German orchestras, opera companies and theater groups, and were banned from attending Aryan theaters. The Kulturbund allowed Jewish artists to perform for Jewish audiences; it was also used by the Nazis as a powerful propaganda tool to show the world how well Jews were supposedly being treated under the Third Reich.

Goldsmith's parents, Gunther Goldschmidt, a flutist, and Rosemarie Gumpert, a violist, met and fell in love while performing in the Kulturbund orchestra. While most of Goldsmith's relatives died in Hitler's death camps, his parents escaped to America, where Rosemarie performed with the St. Louis Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Born in the United States, Goldsmith began his radio career in 1971 as a producer and announcer at commercial classical station WCVL in Cleveland. In the mid-1970s he joined WETA-FM in Washington, D.C., where he served as music director and program director. Goldsmith was the music producer for NPR's Performance Today for two years before hosting the program from 1989 to 1999. He assumed the role of senior commentator in 1999 in order to complete "The Inextinguishable Symphony."

A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Goldsmith plays the French horn and has sung in the chorus of the Baltimore Opera. He has performed in Washington-area theater productions, and his music reviews have been published in The Washington Post.


Richard Evans, professor of music, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4584 or revans@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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