Sandor (Shony) Alex Braun
Born Cristuru-Secuiesc, Romania, 1930
Shony was born to religious Jewish parents in a small Transylvanian city. He began to learn the violin at age 5. His town was occupied by Hungary in 1940 and by Germany in 1944. In May 1944, he was deported to the Auschwitz camp in Poland. He was transferred to the Natzweiler camp system in France and then to Dachau, where he was liberated by U.S. troops in April 1945. In 1950, he emigrated to the U.S., and became a composer and a professional violinist.

Gypsy Festival #5001
LP Impromptu Records ST-1007/1008

  1. Medley
    a) Gari Gari
    b) Kalinka

  2. The whistling Gypsy

  3. Chanson bohémienne

  4. Andante / Hora Dracului

  5. Sérénade romantique

  6. Russian Gypsy sketches
    a) Little gate (Kalitka)
    b) Gypsyana (Dance Tzigane)

  7. Lily of the valley

  8. Avant de mourir

  9. Romany moods
    a) Chrysanthemums
    b) The new moon is shining

  10. When a Gypsy makes his violin cry

  11. A roumanian lark (Ciorcarlia)

Continental Varieties #5002

  1. Dicitencello vuie (Just tell her I love her)

  2. Gypsy in blue

  3. Autum leaves (Les feuilles mortes)

  4. Granada (Fantasia española)

  5. La vie en rose

  6. Valse pizzicato

  7. Core 'ngrato (Catari, catari) (Faithless heart)

  8. Dark eyes (Otchi tchomyia)

  9. Mon coeur est un violon (My heart is a violin)

  10. Medley
    a) Havah Nagilah (Come let's rejoice)
    b) Bucharestian street song (Traditional)

  11. Amiota magat szeretem (Since I love you)

  12. Wien du Stadt meiner traum (Vienna, city of my dreams)

  13. España cani (Paso-Doble)

Romantic Moods #5003

  1. Irene
  2. Serenade (Rimpianto)
  3. Etude in E Major, Opus 10 No 3
  4. Love Theme from "La Strada"
  5. Yiddish Fantasy
  6. Serenade from Ballet "Les Millions d'Arlequin"
  7. Themes from Concerto for Parted lovers
  8. Clair De Lune
  9. Meditation from opera "Thais
  10. Barcarole from opera "Tales of Hoffmann"

Sharika #5004

  1. Somewhere my love

  2. Doina

  3. I wish you love

  4. Tango of love

  5. Medley
    a) Love me with all your heart
    b) El relicanto

  6. Gossiping Canaries

  7. Sharika

  8. Don't cry of love (Nur nicht aus Liebe Weinen)

  9. Danny boy

  10. Golden earrings

  11. Israeli dances


A Touch of Love #5005

  1. Romanian rhapsody

  2. Hej cigany
    a) Greetings of the women of Budapest
    b) Play Gypsy, dance Gypsy

  3. Russian Gypsy medley

  4. Touch of love

  5. Fiddler on the roof

  6. Hungarian Dance #5

  7. The whistler (Answer song)

  8. Spanish romance

  9. French medley
    a) La Seine
    b) Mademoiselle de Paris
    c) Pigalle

  10. Excerpts from "The merry widow"

  11. To  Dinah with love

  12. Lark

World of Music #5006
LP Impromptu Records ST-1016
  1. Gossiping Canaries

  2. Etude in E Major, Opus 10 No 3

  3. Mon coeur est un violon (My heart is a violin)

  4. Clair de lune from "Suite bergamasque"

  5. Serenade romantique

  6. Doina (A roumanian caprice)

  7. España cani

  8. Somewhere my love

  9. Barcarole from opera "Tales of Hoffmann"

  10. When a Gypsy makes his violin cry

  11. Dicitencello vuie (Tell her I love her)

  12. Golden earrings

  13. Havah Nagilah

Forever My Love #5007
  1. Mexican dance (Cinco de mayo)

  2. Hope Faith and Courage

  3. Forever my love

  4. Confused Gypsy

  5. Night in Madrid

  6. A song of love

  7. Returning memories (Lamento)

  8. Shari Waltz

  9. Hebrew melodies
    a) The Cantor
    b) Chassidic dances
    c) The Hora

  10. Destino del toro (Destiny of the bull)

  11. That summer night

  12. Memories of you

  13. Jamaican Rhythm

  14. Don't say goodbye

  15. Wedding anniversary song

  16. Melody on E (Loneliness)

  17. After a Waltz

  18. Midnight in Paris

Love, Passion, Fire #5008
  1. Souvenir de Andalusia

  2. China market

  3. Charlotte's tango

  4. I think of you

  5. Echoes of the mountains

  6. Song of the Sabath

  7. Gypsy rhumba (Rhumba Gitana)

  8. Waltz with me

  9. You're my first and only love

  10. Don't you care ?

  11. Serenada español

  12. Stripper's blues

  13. It was an autum night

  14. Won't you come home for Christmas

  15. Spirits in the other World

Shalom #5009
  1. Bei mir bistu Shein

  2. Medley
    a) At the fireplace
    b) My naive cousin
    c) Befornightfall

  3. Raisins and Almonds

  4. Medley
    a) As beautifull as the moon
    b) Josph, Joseph
    c) Let peace come

  5. A Jewish mother

  6. Medley
    a) Jerusalem of gold
    b) Next year (Hashana Haba)
    c) Havah Nagilah
    d) Wedding song

  7. Medley
    a) Halleluya
    b) May you be blessed
    c) Greetings of peace

  8. God, Oh God why have You forsaken us

  9. The romanian emigrant

  10. Symphony of the Holocaust
    a) Song of the Holocaust
    b) The Prayer
    c) Song of Liberation
    d) Commemoration
    e) The joy of life and freedom

From Shony With Love #5010
  1. Lark

  2. Gypsy in blue

  3. Serenade romantique

  4. Sharika

  5. Touch of love

  6. Yiddish fantasy

  7. Whistling Gypsy

  8. Tango of love

  9. To Dinah with love

  10. Spanish romances

  11. Israeli dances

  12. The romanian emigrant

  13. You and I

  14. Symphony of the Holocaust
    a) Song of the Holocaust
    b) The Prayer
    c) Song of Liberation
    d) Commemoration
    e) The joy of life and freedom

Live in Concert #5011

Symphony of the Holocaust
and personal testimony

Philharmonic Orchestra

  1. Romanian rhapsody

  2. Rerenade romantique

  3. Jerusalem of gold

  4. You and I

  5. Hungarian folk melodies

  6. Espana cani

  7. Symphony of the Holocaust
    a. Song of the Holocaust
    b. The prayer
    c. Song of liberation
    d. Song of commemoration
    e. The joy of life and freedom

  8. Romanian emigrant

  9. Variations on russian folk melodies

  10. The lark


United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Collections

Describes playing the violin for SS guards in Dachau. The two prisoners before him had been killed.
[1990 interview]

When I got out of the barrack, I figured when my turn comes to play, I'm gonna play which I feel comfortable. I'm gonna play either a sonatina by Dvorak, which I performed, in fact, later I performed in Radio Munich, but which...or I'm gonna play, uh, a Kreisler composition. But when, when I saw what I saw, and the violin in my hand, my mind went completely blank. Nothing came to me. And I said to myself, "God, how is it that sonatina starts? How is, how is, how is the, the Kreisler piece starts? My God, how, how does anything starts?" I couldn't think of anything. And now I noticed, from the corner of my eyes, that the murderer Kapo picked up his iron pipe again and was walking toward me. And I knew I'm gonna be killed. I knew it. So my right hand and my left hand all of a sudden started moving in perfect harmony. And the Strauss Blue Danube was heard coming out of my violin. Now, how? I never thought of the Blue Danube. Never. I heard it, in fact, I, I am even, hate to admit to you, I never even played it really. I heard it many times from the Gypsies, and my brother, who was a fantastic accordionist in his high school group. But playing, I was not even allowed to play anything else but classical. And the Kapo looked at, eagerly, to, to the SS, "When shall I whack him? When shall I hit him?" Instead, the SS guard was humming the melody, and was beating the rhythm with his fingers--like 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3. And he, he just smiled and, "Let him live."
Describes how music gave him the strength to survive while imprisoned in concentration camps
[1992 interview]

The Symphony of the Holocaust, the melodies came to me while in con...concentration camp, and here is another thing that probably helped survive bes...beside God's will. Because when I got that despondent, that terrible low, that I was about to touch the, uh, barbed wire, I would say to myself first, "Why don't you, why don't you just play, in quotation, meaning play, goes through in your head. "Why don't you just play that movement which you just learned from before you were taken, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. Let's see if you can rem...remember." That gave me strength. I went through, while I was hitting the wood with the hammer, or I was, uh, lifting the heavy things which I really couldn't lift, but I lifted because there is a will to lift, you know, that stone, the salt stone. Some of them they were dynamiting, you know, and they were not telling us in time, so they killed many, many of us. But at any rate, so that gave me also an incentive to live. So this is how it started, and then another concentration camp, which, where I went, different melodies came to me. I couldn't write it down, but it came over and over and over, and when I had a chance I wrote it down, but only about five or six years ago that I completed it in a form of a symphony.