With a critic’s ear, a scholar’s erudition, and a novelist’s eye for detail, Jeremy Eichler shows how four towering composers—Richard Strauss, Arnold Schoenberg, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Benjamin Britten—lived through the era of World War II and the Holocaust. Each composer transformed their experiences into moving, transcendent works of music, scores that echo lost time. Summoning the supporting testimony of writers, poets, philosophers, musicians, and everyday citizens, Eichler makes a passionate and revelatory case for the power of music as cultural memory, an art form uniquely capable of carrying forward meaning from the past. 

Jeremy Eichler is joined in conversation by Emanuel Ax, Grammy-winning classical pianist, who will perform at the event. They will discuss how, by listening to history and learning to hear the resonances of what another era has written, heard, dreamed, hoped, and mourned, we can deepen how we think about the legacies of war, the presence of the past, and the renewed promise of art for our lives today. A book signing will follow with books available to purchase.

Time’s Echo is currently being translated into six languages and has been singled out by the UK’s Baillie Gifford Prize as one of the top 13 nonfiction books of the year.

This event is live in-person and livestream only, and a recording will not be available after. Doors open at 2:30 PM. The Museum is free with event attendance on Sundays until 5:00 PM with Jewish and Russian fare on offer from LOX Cafe. Currently on view: The Holocaust: What Hate Can DoSurvivors: Faces of Life After the Holocaust, and Andy Goldsworthy’s Garden of Stones

An award-winning critic and cultural historian, Jeremy Eichler currently serves as the chief classical music critic of The Boston Globe. Previously, Eichler worked as a music critic for the New York Times (2003-2006) and his writing has appeared in many other national publications including The New YorkerThe New Republic, The Nation, and The Washington Post.  His criticism has been recognized with an ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor Award, and his research has been supported by a Public Scholar award from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies and the MacDowell Colony. Eichler earned his BA at Brown University and his PhD in European History at Columbia University.

Born to Polish parents what is today Lyvov, Ukraine, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family when he was young. Ax made his New York debut in the Young Concert Artists Series, and in 1974 won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975, he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists, followed four years later by the Avery Fisher Prize. He has received GRAMMY® Awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn’s piano sonatas and made a series of Grammy-winning recordings with cellist Yo-Yo Ma of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano. In the 2004/05 season Mr. Ax contributed to an International EMMY® Award-Winning BBC documentary commemorating the Holocaust that aired on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Ax is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary Doctorates of Music from Skidmore College, New England Conservatory of Music, Yale University, and Columbia University.