The Legacy of Migrant Musicians from Nazi-Europe in Britain 


Norbert Meyn is a professional singer, coach and project curator. 

Born in Weimar in former East Germany, Norbert has been living in the UK since 1997. After a short period as a curator of international arts projects in the 1990s he chose a full time career in music.


After graduating from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama he performed all over the world and recorded with vocal ensembles including the New London Consort, The Choir of the Enlightenment and London Voices. As a soloist he has sung with conductors including Roger Norrington, Simon Halsey, Howard Arman and John Eliot Gardiner and with companies including, The Opera Group, Pavilion Opera and The Continuum Ensemble. For 15 years he was a member of the extra chorus of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.  


Norbert has been designing and leading a range of practice-based research projects since 2004. His research interests are the performance practice of the German Lieder repertoire, the history of vocal pedagogy and the theme of music and migration, especially émigré musicians from Nazi-ruled Europe. Research outputs include a series of educational videos for singers, first recordings of songs by CPE Bach, German pronunciation guides for singers (published by Choraline), the online resource Singing a Song in a Foreign Land as well as a video documentary, first recordings and a performing edition of songs and chamber music by the émigré composer Peter Gellhorn . He is director of the research-lead professional Ensemble Émigré . Norbert is also much in demand as a coach for leading choirs and opera companies in the UK and beyond.

(c) Luigi Caputo

Nils Grosch is University Professor of Musicology and Head of the Department of Art, Music, and Dance Studies at the University of Salzburg. After studying musicology, history and German in Bochum and Freiburg i.Br. he wrote his doctorate on The Music of New Objectivity . His habilitation degree followed in 2010 at the University of Basel on song, media change and popular culture in the 16th century .

His research and teaching focus in particular on music and migration, music and media, popular music theatre.

His previous research project Music and Migration sets itself the goal of discussing concepts such as mobility, exile, identity and integration in musical migration research and to tap into the topics of different time periods and regions.

Among other things, he is the editor of the recently published anthology Novembergruppe 1918: Studien zu einer interdisziplinären Kunst für die Weimarer Republik.
Image (c) Luigi Caputo 


Peter Adey is Professor of Human Geography at Royal Holloway University of London, and works at the intersections of space, security and mobility across both cultural and political perspectives.

In 2011 Professor Adey was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize awarded to outstanding scholars who have made a substantial and recognised contribution to their particular field of study, at an international level, which he has used to support his continuing work on the politics and mobilities of evacuation in history which will result in book The Way We Evacuate (with Duke University Press).

He is former Chair of the Social and Cultural Geography research group of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers, has published widely in academic journals and edited collections and is co-editor of the journal Mobilities. Among other volumes he is author of Mobility (2009, 2017 2nd edition); Aerial Life: spaces, mobilities, affects (2010); co-editor of the Handbook of Mobilities (2014) and co-editor of the Routledge Changing Mobilities book series with Monika Buscher.

Professor Adey has been the recipient of fellowships from the ESRC and AHRC, standard grants from the EPSRC-AHRC, ESRC, Agence National de la Recherche, the Leverhulme Trust and visiting fellowships from UCL, Durham University and the University of Melbourne. 


Beth Snyder is a Research Associate on the ‘Music, Migration and Mobility’ project. She is a graduate of New York University’s doctoral programme in musicology, and also holds an M.A. and B.A. in philosophy. Her doctoral thesis, which studied interactions between aesthetic discourse, musical praxis and utopian theory during the first decade of the GDR, was supported by a Mellon Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities, a DAAD research grant and the NYU Torch Research Fellowship. 


Dr Snyder has previously occupied positions as a Visiting Research Fellow and Associate Tutor in the University of Surrey’s Department of Music and Media, Visiting Lecturer (of music) at Scripps College and (of philosophy) at California State University San Bernardino. Her research has been published in The Journal of the American Musicological Society and Twentieth-Century Music.


Her research is motivated by an interest in the political utility of music and, in particular, the roles played by music in producing and complicating constructions of identity. She is also interested in philosopher Ernst Bloch’s provocative theory of music’s significance, a theory that—in its emphasis on music’s central role in the realisation of human potential and in the cultivation of communal life—offers an alternative to hedonic theories of aesthetic value.

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Michael is a Post Doctoral Research Associate on the Music, Migration and Mobility project. He recently completed his PhD in the Department of Theatre, Film, Television, and Interactive Media at the University of York, which was supported by the White Rose College for the Arts and Humanities; he also holds a BA in English Language and Literature and an MA in English Literature, both from the University of Sheffield. His PhD thesis, titled ‘Mapping Memory: Cartography in Contemporary Holocaust Culture,’ investigates the use of maps in cultural and aesthetic works that seek to represent the memory of the Holocaust.


Broadly, his research engages with Holocaust and genocide studies, memory studies, cartography, and theories of space, specifically as they relate to literature and other aesthetic forms. Particularly, he is interested in the notion of memory as a fluid, transnational, mobile phenomenon, and the ways in which this idea of memory finds expression in artistic works, especially via the medium of cartography.


Niklas Melcher is a German composer and arranger.

After finishing his A levels and a pre-academic educational program at the Diepholz school of music ('Kreismusikschule') in Germany, Niklas studied at the full-time vocational school for music in Dinkelsbuehl, Germany. He also attended several advanced trainings and masterclasses in the fields of music education, choral direction, orchestration and composition. In 2019 he graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Composition for Film and Media from the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, Germany. Niklas is currently studying as an RCM Scholar at the Royal College of Music, London for a Master of Composition in Composition for Screen. He was also awarded a scholarship by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) as well as a John Barry Scholarship for Film Composition.

Alongside his studies he composed and produced the scores to several small independent movies and worked as a composer, arranger and editor on different projects - e.g. for the Munich Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian State Youth Choir or the European Filmphilharmonic Institute.


Louis Stanhope is a British saxophonist currently enrolled on the Master of Music course at the Royal College of Music, where he is the Fiona & Douglas Flint Award Holder, studying under the tutelage of Kyle Horch. He previously completed his undergraduate studies at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, studying with Naomi Sullivan, where he won the 2018 RBC Saxophone Prize. Louis is a keen chamber musician having founded a number of ensembles, and currently plays with the Kumori Saxophone Quartet. He is also interested contemporary music, and regularly works with composers to perform new works.


Helen Kuby is a french horn player, researcher and workshop facilitator, whilst completing an MSc in Performance Science at the Royal College of Music. After completing her Masters in French Horn at the Royal Academy of Music, she was awarded an Open Academy Fellowship and a position with the London Sinfonietta Academy. She now freelances across London with orchestras including Bath Festival Orchestra, Orchestra for the Earth, London Young Sinfonia and ANONIMI.


Co-founded by Helen, she works as a teacher and researcher on the Healthy Young Musician programme at the Junior Royal Academy of Music. The course combines research, teaching, mental skills training, Alexander Technique and other performance techniques to support the health and wellbeing of young musicians. Helen’s research on the MSc seeks to expand knowledge on this area to develop educational practice.

As an education workshop facilitator, Helen currently works as the Education Manager for the Bath Festival Orchestra. In addition to this, she has worked on the RPS Award Winning ‘Sound Young Minds’ with the City of London Sinfonia, English National Opera, Wigmore Hall, Royal Academy of Music and the Primary Shakespeare Company. 

Helen joined the Music, Migration & Mobility team in 2021 as Research Coordinator.


Jutta Raab Hansen, author of NS-Verfolgte Musiker in England (von Bockel, Hamburg 1996) has kindly agreed to act as research consultant for the project.


Dr Bruno Bower is a Teaching Fellow in Music at the University of Surrey and an Evening Class Lecturer at Imperial College London. He was the General Editor for the Peter Gellhorn Edition and the Norman O'Neill Edition (London: RCM Editions, 2016 and 2018 respectively), and is supporting the work of the student editors on this project.