UC Berkeley News


Martin Goldsmith to kick off new L&S series

| 10 March 2004


The inaugural lecture in a free, public series from the College of Letters & Science will feature author Martin Goldsmith, the former host of National Public Radio’s classical-music program, Performance Today.

Goldsmith will join Ralph Hexter, L&S executive dean, dean of arts and humanities, and professor of classics and comparative literature, to discuss his 2002 book, The Inextin-guishable Symphony: A True Story of Music and Love in Nazi Germany.

The book recounts the story of Goldsmith’s parents, German-Jewish musicians who met in the Nazi-sponsored Jewish Cultural Association orchestra in the 1930s. Jews who had been summarily dismissed from arts organizations across Germany founded the Kulturbund (as it was called in German), which, while it provided Jewish musicians and artists with venues in which to perform, was also used by the Nazis for propaganda purposes. The Kulturbund was criticized for encouraging Jews to ignore the desperate circumstances outside their own tight-knit community. Its performances offered Jewish audiences temporary solace and hope that proved false and often fatal. While Goldsmith’s parents escaped the Holocaust in 1941, most of their relatives and friends died in Hitler’s extermination camps.

Goldsmith is the director of classical-music programming for XM Satellite Radio in Washington, D.C. His latest book is The Beatles Come to America.
Before his evening lecture, Goldsmith will visit several Berkeley classes to talk with students.

As it unfolds, the L&S series, called “The College Presents” will highlight prominent scholars, scientists, thinkers, artists, and leaders in many fields on topics of broad appeal. Events will include panel discussions, interviews, performances, lectures, or combinations thereof.

“Our goal is for the series to feature influential thinkers addressing issues that are both provocative and relevant to the public,” says Hexter. “‘The College Presents’ offers the community an opportunity to sample the intellectual vitality, diversity, and excellence of Berkeley’s liberal arts college.”

The College of Letters & Science is the largest of Berkeley’s 14 colleges and professional schools, with more than half the campus’s faculty, three-quarters of its undergraduate students, and almost half of its Ph.D. students.

Selections for the series will rotate among the five divisional deans within the college who are responsible for guiding it in the arts and humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences, and interdisciplinary studies. Visit ls.berkeley.edu/CollegePresents for information.

The Goldsmith lecture will take place at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 18, at the Durham Studio Theater, located in the circle off Frank Schlessinger Way, to the rear of Dwinelle Hall and across from Dwinelle Annex.