The Hero of ‘Orchestra of Exiles,’ Brought Back from Obscurity

Violinist Bronislaw Huberman was described to documentary filmmaker Josh Aronson “as a cross between Isaac Stern, Joshua Bell and Michael Jackson,” making it a surprise to Aronson that most people had never heard of the once famous musician. His story had never been told before. In this documentary extra, Aronson describes that although the greatly respected violinist had fallen into obscurity, it was not difficult to trace Huberman’s courageous story of rescuing Jewish musicians, and ultimately 1,000 Jews, from pre-World War II Europe.

Aronson, Izhak Perlman, Leon Botstein and others speak about Huberman’s great musical talent and the political conviction that led him to use his star power to save Jewish musicians from the Holocaust. “Changing the course of the musical world, I think that’s what what kept him going,” said conductor Doron Salomon about Huberman’s fight to not let musicians, or their expertise and knowledge, perish. Huberman’s actions are an important part of classical music history.

Orchestra of Exiles premieres Sunday, April 14 at 10 p.m. ET on PBS.