Semmy Stahlhammer is a Swedish classical violinist, distinguished enough in his art to be the concertmaster of the Stockholm Royal Opera. He is likewise an expert klezmer player. On April 19, he will join cellist Isabel Blommé and Sergei Teleshev in a performance of klezmer music (sometimes called “Jewish jazz”). But Semmy will also speak about his father, Mischa.
Mischa Stahlhammer was born in Poland. During the war, he narrowly escaped death in a concentration camp. He then joined a Polish resistance group, only to be threatened with death again, this time at the hands of Jew-hating members of the group. However, he survived the war, moved to Sweden, and there met and married a Polish refugee who had lost virtually her entire family in the Holocaust, even as his own family had perished. Years later, their son, Semmy, wrote a memoir, Codename Barber: My Father’s Story, based on Mischa’s reminiscences of the Holocaust and documents that attested to his service. The wartime experiences of Mischa Stahlhammer will be the topic of Semmy’s talk when he appears in Corvallis.
At the conclusion of the event, copies of Codename Barber will be available, as will Semmy’s CD’s.
This event has a number of co-sponsors, including Chamber Music Amici of Eugene, which is primarily responsible for bringing Semmy to Oregon.
No admission to the April 19 event is charged, but donations will be accepted and they will go to the Beit Am Arts and Culture Fund.