Martin Spanjaard
30th July 1892
Auschwitz, 30th September 1942

Music teacher




Martin Spanjaard (1892-1942) was a well­known conductor in his day. Photographs show a very handsome man well­dressed and full of confidence. In 1930 he conducted Stravinsky's 'Capriccio for piano and orchestra' in Vienna with Stravinsky himself as soloist.
As a child he received his first music lessons from the violin teacher J. Salmon. Later, Spanjaard studied the violin with André Spoor and harmony with Frits Erhard Adriaan Koeberg, piano with Willem Andriessen and composition with Cornelis Dopper. From 1915 to 1916, he studied in Berlin at the Meisterschule für Musikalische Composition with Friedrich Gernsheim and Willy Hess. There he composed 'Drei Lieder nach Gedichten von Li-Tai-Po' and a 'Scherzo for orchestra'. He played the viola in the orchestra at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik and he worked with the choir of the Berlin State Opera.
In the twenties, Germany, Austria, France and Hungary. In July, 1924, he conducted the Concertgebouw Orchestra with a program of works by Mozart, Beethoven, Dopper and Berlioz. In 1932 he left the Orchestral Society of Arnhem, being accused of not programming enough popular music. The same year he married the orchestra's artin Spanjaard was the director of the Orchestral Society of Arnhem and was regularly a guest conductor with orchestras throughout Geharpist, Elly Okladek. This marriage produced a daughter Claartje and a son Martin.
The last time Martin Spanjaard appeared as a conductor was on July 2, 1939 with the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Under his direction the orchestra played Mozart's Symphony KV 338 for the first time as well as works by Henriette Bosmans and Anton Bruckner. In August 1942, Martin Spanjaard and his wife Elly Okladek were taken by the Nazis. They were murdered two months later in Auschwitz.
Spanjaard had a great knowledge of German literature and philosophy. His book on the symphonies of Anton Bruckner (1934) is still used by his nephew Ed Spanjaard, today a well-known conductor. A carton containing some of his music was found in 1997 by his grandchild Maarten van der Heijden, a double-bass player in Frans Brüggen's Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century


Claartjes wiegeliedje. Mezzosoprano and piano. 1923
Wilke te Brummelstroete, Frans van Ruth

3 Songs after poems of Li Tai-po. Mezzosoprano and piano. 1916
Wilke te Brummelstroete, Frans van Ruth

1 - In stiller nacht
2 - Aus grunen floten
3 - Das scheidende schiff