Orchestra of Exiles, Josh Aronson’s documentary about Polish musician Bronislaw Huberman, is scheduled to air on select PBS stations on April 14 and 15. Huberman (1882-1947) was a violinist and conductor who founded the Palestine Philharmonic, which would later become the Israel Philharmonic. In the 1930s as the Nazis began forcing Jewish musicians out of orchestras in Germany and Poland, Huberman recruited many of them for his new orchestra, bringing them to Palestine and eventually saving approximately 1,000 people from extermination. The Palestine Philharmonic’s inaugural concert took place in Tel Aviv on December 26, 1936, with Arturo Toscanini conducting. Aronson’s film includes interviews with conductors Zubin Mehta and Leon Botstein, and violinist Joshua Bell, who owns the Stradivarius once played by Huberman. 

Posted April 12, 2013