Ferenc Weisz
Budapest, Août 2, 1893 - Auschwitz, 30 Septembre, 1944
Pianiste et compositeur


Diplômé de l'Académie Landes en 1914 (piano et composition). Dans les années 1920/1921 il effectue une tournée de concertsà Amsterdam où il établit sa résidence. Une décennie plus tard, il est devient citoyen néerlandais. En 1925 il se marie mais divorce en 1934. A partir du 16 Décembre 1942 il habite sur la Deurloostraat, (avec Evalina Cardozo avec laquelle il aurait eu une relation.)
En 1928, il a joué lors de l'ouverture d'une exposition au Stedelijk Museum d'Amsterdam. Dans les années trente, il a donné régulièrement des concerts à Amsterdam. En 1938, il a été nommé assistant d'Alexandre Borovsky. Il également animé une "master class" au Lycée de musique d'Amsterdam. Il continue aussi à composer.

Ferenc Weisz a été interné à Westerbork. Le 14 Septembre 1943, il est déporté à Theresienstadt. Le 27 mai 1944, il accompagne le violoniste Karel Frohlich dans un programme de sonates. Le 28 Septembre 1944, Ferenc Weisz est déporté puis assassiné à Auschwitz.

Orel Foundation by Eleonore Pameijer and Carine Alders
Suppressed Music In The Netherlands Discovering Hidden Treasures

"Franz (Ferenc) Weisz (1893-1944) was born in Budapest, where he studied piano and composition. He remained in the Netherlands after a concert tour around 1920, married and obtained Dutch nationality in 1932. He taught piano, composed for this instrument and performed in many concerts. In 1943, Weisz’s Jewish background caused him to be taken first to Westerbork, then to Theresienstadt and finally to Auschwitz, where he died in 1944. Niek Verkruisen, a pupil of Weisz, possessed five compositions for piano solo that had been published by Roszavolgyi & Co in 1929. One of these virtuoso pieces, a Chopinesque suite, was performed at the hundredth Uilenburger Concert in January 2009. Since then, more of Weisz’s compositions have surfaced."

Concert à la Galerie des Glaces (Foyer du Concertgebouw d'Amsterdam) (Streaming WMV)
18 Janvier 2009

Eléonore Pameijer (flûte) et Marcel Worms (piano) avec des œuvres de Leo Smit, Dick Kattenburg et Ferenc Weisz (*).
L'Ensemble Arco avec des œuvres de Beethoven et Prokofiev.
Le guitariste Flamenco Erik Vaarzon Morel et l'acteur Gijs Scholten van Aschat jouent un «Duende».
Présentateur Hans van den Boom (Radio 4)

Ferenc Weisz : Suite fur klavier. Piano. 1922. op2
1 - Traum
2 - Tanz (09:00)
3 - Idylle
4 - Arabesque

The following text was published in Dutch in the 'EPTA Piano Bulletin Jaargang 29 - 2011/2'. It is part of the article that was called: 'Alexander Borovsky en zijn assistent Franz Weisz' and was written by Henri Nijsten. The translation 'Alexander Borovsky and his assistant Franz Weisz' was made by Esther de Ploeg © :

During those years Hungary was in turmoil just like Russia. On 1 March 1920 the parliament chose the 53 year old Miklós Horthy as regent. Anti-Semitism was a part of official
politics, sometimes openly so, at other times latently. By far an ideal environment for an artist of Jewish descent to work in. Around 1920 Franz Weisz and his brother Simon
(1889- 1980) decided to settle in Amsterdam, where relatives were living.

Franz Weisz in the Netherlands (1920-1943)
The Dutch papers reported on several of Franz Weisz’ concerts. He gave recitals together with violinist Alfred Indig, one of the founders of the Budapest String
Quartet, and violinist Alexander Moskowsky (member of the Hungarian String Quartet from 1940 until 1959). From 1925 until 1934 Franz Weisz was married to Henriëtte Roos (1903-1992), a former piano student.


  Franz Weisz
  Picture dating from ca. 1925,
  possession of family.

Franz Weisz and Henriëtte Weisz-Roos.
Picture dating from ca. 1925.
Possession of family

Her husband acknowledged her great talent for drawing and painting and encouraged her to further develop it. During their marriage Henriëtte assisted her husband with his piano lessons and attended the Royal Academy of Visual Arts which was located at Stadhouderskade in Amsterdam. Partly thanks to a royal grant from Queen Wilhelmina she went to Paris after the marriage ended in order to continue her studies and work. In 1929 three compositions for piano by Franz Weisz were published by the Hungarian firm Rózsavölgyi & co. Opus No. 1 consists of two Concert Etudes, which were composed in 1913 and 1918. The first etude is dédié à Stephan Tomka (1855- 1923), who was Weisz’ piano teacher at the Nemzeti Zenede in Budapest. Opus No. 2, a suite in four parts from 1922, is dédié à the eminent Dutch pianist and composer Dirk Schäfer (1873-1931). Opus No. 3, written in 1924, consists of a Nocturne and a Concert Etude and is dédié à Stephan (István) Thomán (1862-1940).
A commemorative book was put together when Dirk Schäfer died, to which Weisz also contributed. From the following passage written by Weisz we can infer the two pianists knew each other well: “Being in his company in Schoorl, where we talked at length about playing piano, and where I have had the opportunity to follow him in his art”.

Announcement of Franz Weisz and Olga Moskowsky concert in De Telegraaf of 1st April 1938.

Weisz has composed a great deal more. Jan Jaap Kassies of the Netherlands Broadcasting Music Center recently discovered 60 pages worth of manuscripts by Weisz,  predominantly piano scores composed between 1922 and 1931. Ex-students of Weisz, who were taught by him in the late thirties and during the first years of the war, remember he was always writing music. Weisz was a member of the professional society for Dutch composers called Genootschap van Nederlandse Componisten (GeNeCo, 1925-1942). In letters (1940) he wrote to Karel Mengelberg, the secretary of GeNeCo at that time, he told him that he had written “80/100 piano compositions”. Capricious, virtuous, richly ornamented, a mix of late romanticism and quasi improvised salon music with a hint of impressionism, not akin to Bartók. Those are the keywords after a first read of the piano scores by Franz Weisz.




  Piano suite opus 2 by Franz Weisz from 1922 (fragment),
  published by Rózsavölgyi Budapest 1929.
  Possession of Niek Verkruisen AZN.

Alexander Borovsky and his assistant Franz Weisz (1938-1940)

Borovsky was contracted to teach by the Amsterdam Muzieklyceum from April 1938 onwards. Franz Weisz and Jo Goudsmit were appointed as his assistants, probably to do the honours when Borovsky would be away on his travels for concerts. In the same week in which Borovsky’s classes started, Franz Weisz gave a quatre mains performance with Olga Moskowsky (1899- 1943). They gave, amongst others, the Dutch première of Scaramouche by Milhaud. Cellist Roelof Krol and pianist Solange Cats also participated in this recital: they performed Capriccio for cello and piano by Weisz. Besides being Borovsky’s assistant, Weisz also had his own students at the Lyceum: Martzen (Mapsie) Wilman and Jaap Drielsma are mentioned numerous times on student performance programmes as ‘student of Franz Weisz – assistant of Alexander Borovsky’. When Borovsky fled to the United States before the Second World War broke out, Weisz continued to teach at the Lyceum. Still, they omitted the addition ‘assistant of Alexander Borovsky’ at the end of his name.

The death of Franz Weisz

When Borovsky fled to America via Paris in 1940 Franz Weisz continued to teach at the Muzieklyceum. Weisz didn’t go into hiding when the Germans occupied the country. “I have never interfered with politics, I’m just a pianist,” he told Niek Verkruisen’s father, who owns a piano store on the Stadhouderskade in Amsterdam. Up until when Franz Weisz taught (was able to teach?) at the Lyceum is not clear. Mid 1941 his name is still mentioned in the Lyceum’s programmes: ‘Mapsie Wilman, student of Franz Weisz’. In May 1943 only the students are mentioned in programmes. Teachers are no longer mentioned. Mapsie Wilman’s final exam in the form of a piano recital took place on 29 June 1944. Franz Weisz will not be able to hear it anymore...
On 26 May 1943 he arrived in Westerbork concentration camp and there he was put on a transport to Theresienstadt on 18 January 1944. Here he still played music: on 27 May 1944 he gave a performance together with violinist Karel Fröhlich of sonatas by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. On 28 September 1944 Weisz was brought to Auschwitz where he was killed two days later, on 30 September 1944. The GeNeCo requested its members in 1940 to entrust the Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag with two or three compositions for safekeeping because of the imminent war and air threats. On 17 July 1940 Franz Weisz entrusted them with three compositions. Two of those, Rhapsody for piano and orchestra   d Fabel for cello and orchestra, have later on been included in the list of orchestra compositions of Dutch composers which was compiled by the GeNeCo in the hope to promote Dutch music with large concert venues. Whether or not Weisz indeed entrusted these works to GeNeCo is unknown. This is still being researched. Franz Weisz was commemorated by the GeNeCo board on 9 March 1946 during the first meeting after the liberation as one of its members who had died in the Holocaust.

Walter Semkiw, MD

Henrietta Roos was born in 1903 in Amsterdam, Holland.  Early on, she demonstrated a natural talent for drawing, painting and music.  At the age of 5, she used a crayon to draw an accurate portrait of her father.  At 12 years of age, she did an oil painting of two birds and at the age to 16, she started painting miniature portraits.  When she was 18, she painted a portrait of her mother.  Henrietta wanted to pursue a career as an artist, but her parents disapproved and would not allow her to do so. 
At the age to 22, Henrietta married Franz Weisz, a Hungarian pianist.  Henrietta noted that she was more attracted to his name than his personality.  The marriage allowed her to pursue her desire to be an artist and at the age of 24, she entered the Dutch Royal Academy of Art, where she focused on painting. 
Her talent was noticed and for three years in a row, she was awarded the Royal Award from Queen Wilhemina, which allowed her to go study in Paris. 
Henrietta's Affinity for the Name Weisz, a Name from a Past Incarnation.
Henrietta divorced Weisz at the age of 30.  Though the custom in Holland was for a divorced woman to reassume her maiden name, Henrietta resisted.  She told her mother, regarding the name Weisz: 

Annette de Klerk

Ferenc Weisz was born on 2 August 1893 in Budapest. At the National Conservatory founded by Franz Liszt in 1875 he studied piano under Istvan (Stephan) Tomka and composition under Karoly Agghazy, completing his studies in 1914 with distinction in both disciplines. In 1919 he obtained a teaching post at the Conservatory (renamed the Music High School and later the Franz Liszt Academy), but due to the uncomfortable political circumstances of the time and rising antisemitism under the dictatorship of Miklos Horthy, Weisz left in 1920 for Amsterdam, where relatives of his had lived for several decades.
From that time he called himself Franz Weisz and in 1932 he took Dutch nationality. Between 1925 and 1934 he was married to the artist Henriette Roos. Weisz settled down in Amsterdam as a freelance music teacher and composer. In January 1925 he became a registered member of the association of Dutch composers known as Geneco (Genootschap van Nederlandse Componisten). He gave music lessons at home and composed lavishly: former students recall that during their lessons he sat the whole time at his desk writing music!
Very quickly after arriving in Holland he formed a close working relationship with Dirk Schaefer, the internationally acclaimed pianist and composer, with whom he had many discussions at his home in Schoorl about piano playing and for whom he had great admiration, as Weisz himself wrote in his book Ter herinnering aan Dirk Schäfer (In Memory of Dirk Schaefer) 1873-1931. Weisz dedicated his Suite für Klavier (1922) to the pianist Schaefer.
How prolific a composer Weisz was we know from the following anecdote: In 1940 Karel Mengelberg, the secretary of Geneco, called all members of Geneco to put “2 or 3 compositions into safekeeping … given the threat of war”. Weisz replied that he had “80 to 100 piano compositions”. The musical works for which Weisz registered author's rights with Geneco between 1926 and 1940 consisted mainly of piano works (for piano solo, piano and chamber orchestra and piano with full orchestra) but there was also one symphony and several works for cello or violin and orchestra. In 1929 five of Weisz' compositions were published in Budapest (see ‘Selected works’ on the right). These works were brought to light in 2008 by Niek Verkruisen Azn, a former pupil of Weisz and son of the piano dealer on Stadhouderskade in Amsterdam, where Franz Weisz used to be a familiar figure.
Of Weisz' manuscripts only a small part has been recovered: some sixty pages, some in fair copy but most in note form. For the most part the works are fragmentary, sometimes just one line of a melody, but nevertheless all carefully numbered with opus numbers (op. 49 - 104), dated (1922-1931) and signed. Sadly, of the most complete work for piano solo, properly written out in fair copy and running to 30 pages, the first 9 pages are missing. The last two parts (pages 12 - 30, Scherzo and Carnaval) are intact.
Henri Nijsten described Weisz' music in his article Alexander Borovsky and his assistant Franz Weisz’ (EPTA Piano Bulletin, September 2011) as “Capricious, inventive, richly ornamented, a mixture of late romantic and improvised chamber music with a touch of impressionism, very different from Bartok”. In the context of the Uilenburg Concert Series, works by Weisz have been performed by Marcel Worms (2009) and Marianne Boer (2010). Both these concerts were broadcast on Dutch Radio 4.
Franz Weisz frequently accompanied the violinists Alfred Indig and Alexander Moskowsky on the piano. He also enjoyed great success together with pianist Olga Moskowsky in their premiere performance of Scaramouche, a suite for two pianos by Darius Milhaud (1938). In 1938 Weisz was appointed assistant to Alexander Borovsky, the well-known Russian pianist, who gave a master class at the Muzieklyceum (music academy) in Amsterdam. When Borovsky fled to America at the start of the Second World War, Weisz remained and continued to teach, both at the Muzieklyceum and privately at home. He considered that since he had never meddled in politics, he had nothing to fear. He was baptised into the Dutch Reformed Church in 1942 and was issued with an identity card which stated ‘bis auf weiteres vom Arbeidseinsatz freigestellt - exempt from labour duties until further notice’. But this proved of no avail: in May 1943 he was arrested at No 74 Deurloostraat and transported to Westerbork. In January 1944 he arrived in Theresienstadt, and in May he accompanied the Czech violinist Karel Froehlich in a recital there (described in Muziek in Theresienstadt 1941-1945’, by Joza Karas, translated by Theodore van Houten, Panta Rhei, 1995). On 28 September 1944 Franz Weisz was transported to Auschwitz, where two days later he met his death.

For further information or purchase orders of the works published by Rózsavölgyi & Co. in Budapest 1929, please contact: annette@deklerkhome.nl
These works are also included in the collection of the Netherlands Radio Music Library.

- Concert-étude op.1 # 1 (1913 dédié à Stephan Tomka)
- Concert-étude op.1 # 2 (1918)
- Suite pour Piano op.2 (I. Dream; II. Tanz; III. Idyll; IV. Arabesque) (1922 dédié à Dirk Schafer)
- Nocturne op.3 # 1 (1924 dédié à Stephan Toman)
- Concert-étude op.3 # 2 (1924 dédié à Stephan Toman)
- 5 pièces pour piano (Édition publiée à Budapest par Rozsavolgy, 1929)


Ferenc/Franz Weisz

Franz Weisz (Weisz Ferenc in Hungarian) decided to leave his home country Hungary due to the political situation and overt anti-Semitism. In the Netherlands he enjoyed two decades of freedom and musical possibilities, but then as a Jew, he was interned in camp Westerbork  and later deported to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. The second inevitable displacement led to his death. Weisz was a great pianist who left behind an oeuvre of several virtuoso piano pieces.

by Annette de Klerk-Roggeveen

“I’m not involved in politics;  I have nothing to fear”

Born in Budapest on August 2, 1893, Ferenc was the third son of Ignaz Weisz and Terezia Friedman. He was a musical prodigy; at the age of eleven he was already a student at the Nemzeti Zenede, the National Conservatory. He studied piano with Stephan Tomka and composition with Karoly Agghazy, both former students of Franz Liszt. In 1914, Ferenc completed his education with excellent results in both fields.

During World War I, Hungary fought on Austria's side and lost. It is unknown whether Ferenc participated. After the war, the political situation worsened: a split off from Austria, revolution and counter-revolution, a rapid succession of rulers, first a left-radical (Bela Kun), then a conservative (Miklós Horthy), and overt anti-Semitism. It is likely that Ferenc gave piano lessons at this time, maybe even recitals (although Jewish musicians were increasingly barred). In 1919, he was appointed as teacher at the Conservatory in Budapest. He left for the Netherlands in 1920.

The family story goes that “during a concert tour” in 1920, Ferenc chose to stay in Amsterdam, but the reality was probably less romantic. His fame as a pianist was not such that an international concert tour was plausible. His older brother Simon had preceded him to the Netherlands and his aunt, married to an Amsterdam diamond worker, had lived there for the past forty years. Amsterdam seemed to be a safe haven shortly after World War I, the Netherlands having remained neutral.

Work in Amsterdam

Ferenc was embraced by his ever growing family in Amsterdam. "Uncle Ferri” was a welcome guest in his brother Simon's home, always present when Hungarian goulash was on the menu.

As a pianist, Ferenc quickly fit into the Amsterdam music scene, between several other Hungarian exiles. One of them, the violinist Alfred Indig, who like Ferenc had graduated from the National Conservatory, was now a member of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1922, the two of them gave a concert in the Recital Hall of the Concertgebouw. The accompaniment by Franz Weisz, as he was called in the Netherlands, was, according to the nrc newspaper review, too timid, but technically good.

A year later he accompanied Indig again in The Hague at a charity event for a Hungarian opera singer. It was the first time that he played his own music for a Dutch audience: “warm, naturally flowing sounds with a Letzte Rose theme and some pleasing etudes” according to a critic. In the mid 1920s, Franz Weisz formed a duo with the Russian/Dutch violinist Alexander Moskowsky.

An important contact around this time was the renowned pianist and composer Dirk Schäfer. In a commemorative book published a year after Schäfer's death (1932),  Franz Weisz wrote about his admiration for Schäfer's piano playing, his tireless diligence in pursuit of perfection and he quoted Schäfer's motto: “Immer vollkommener!”

In January 1925, he was admitted to the Society of Dutch Composers (GeNeCo).  For a number of years, he submitted a list of his new compositions to the Dutch bureau of music copyrights (Buma). His first list of works in January 1926, contained 24 titles: compositions for orchestra, piano, violin or cello with accompaniment, a piano trio and 12 piano pieces.

The following year, eight titles were added, mainly works for piano solo. In April 1929, he added “60 Klavier Etüden (Hochschule)” to his oeuvre. Everything up to this time in manuscript form. However, in January 1930, he proudly wrote to the Buma that the five compositions of his opus 1-3 (1913-1924) had been published by Rózsavölgyi & Co. in Budapest.

Recognition as a music educator, pianist and composer

From the outset Franz Weisz was the major advocate of his own work. In public, he only played his own compositions. During a concert of the Schola Cantorum choir conducted by Hubert Cuypers at the Concertgebouw (November, 1931), he played the Suite and two Konzertetüden from his recent work published in Budapest. For the first time he was described by the critics as one of the leading Amsterdam piano pedagogues, and was praised not only for his performance, but also for his compositional talent: “an addition to the virtuoso repertoire.” A few months later, in an angry letter to the Buma, Weisz commented on the excessive copyrights of ƒ 42 that Schola Cantorum had to pay, while he as a composer, only received a pitiful sum of ƒ 11,41. Weisz was very precise not only in his piano playing, but also in his correspondence. Buma replied with an explanation, but gave no compensation.

Franz Weisz reported in 1932 to the Buma that he was now a “Dutch citizen.” In 1934, he began a fruitful collaboration with Olga Moskowsky-Elias, concert pianist and teacher at the Amsterdam Music Lyceum. In their concerts and radio appearances they played classical and contemporary works: they premiered Darius Milhaud's Scaramouche, in 1938. There was always a prominent place for Weisz's own compositions for solo piano, two pianos or piano trio. Generally the critics reviewed his piano playing as virtuoso, clever, conscientious, but also detached and lacking “emotion.”  The same applied to his compositions: “well constructed, logical, characteristic,” but “somewhat academic,” and obviously educated in the tradition of Liszt. Pianist Henri Nijsten characterized Weisz's music as “whimsical, virtuoso, richly ornamented, a mix of late romanticism and quasi-improvised salon music with a touch of impressionism, not akin to Bartók” (epta Piano Bulletin, vol. 29, 2011/2). Olga Moskowsky introduced Franz Weisz into the circle of musicians associated with the Amsterdam Music Lyceum. In 1938, Franz Weisz and Jo Goudsmit were appointed as assistants to Alexander Borovsky, the world-famous pianist, who gave a master course at the Amsterdam Music Lyceum.

At his home, Weisz gave private piano lessons. One of his students was Niek Verkruisen, whose father had a piano business on the Stadhouderskade, which Franz Weisz frequented. In a German antiquarian music bookshop, a copy of the Concertetudes opus 1 was recently discovered, containing a dedication:  “An meine Schülerin Chel Spijer, herzlichst von Franz Weisz, Amsterdam, 17 Juni 1932.”

On March 15, 1940, Olga and Franz gave their last duo concert at the Amsterdam Music Lyceum. According to the music critic of De Tijd the program was “overloaded”: three works for two pianos and at least five for four-handed piano. “A fragmented evening, but their performance made up for a lot.” The daily De Telegraaf critic L.M.G. Arntzenius experienced a “lack of emotion” and was not enthousiastic about the program, but the “skillful, harmonious and pleasing Humoreske by Franz Weisz was convincing.” This Humoreske for two pianos was composed in 1939, according to Weisz's last Buma entry on March 6, 1940.

"Nothing to fear"

On April 13, 1940,  Karel Mengelberg, secretary of the Society of Dutch Composers (GeNeCO), called upon all members to “deposit two or three compositions” to the Municipal Museum in the Hague, “given the threat of war and the impending danger from the sky.” Weisz answered that since his oeuvre comprised “eighty to a hundred piano works,” he would like to know the maximum number of pages instead of compositions, as the latter differed in length. In response to Mengelberg's request to propose appropriate works for the major Dutch venues, Weisz selected three works  “the quality of which I can guarantee: a Piano trio, a Rhapsody for piano and orchestra, and a Fable for cello and orchestra.”

GeNeCo compiled a list of orchestral works, including the Rhapsody and Fable, in order to promote Dutch music in the concert halls. On July 8, 1940, Mengelberg finally wrote: “Would you kindly send us the works you referred to. We will ensure that these manuscripts are sent to the Municipal Museum in The Hague.” Nothing in the archives in The Hague nor in those of GeNeCo indicates that this transfer ever took place.

Now that the occupation was a fact, Jewish citizens were increasingly excluded from  everyday life. Franz Weisz continued teaching, at home and at the Amsterdam Music Lyceum, even after Borovsky's flight to America in 1940. He composed a lot: according to his former students, he was always writing music, even during classes. Weisz ignored the advice to go into hiding: “I am only a piano player and I have never been involved in politics - I have nothing to fear.” In January 1942, due to the new regulation that prohibited Jews to be members of associations, Weisz had to cancel his GeNeCo membership.

Weisz was baptized on October 4, 1942, in the Dutch Reformed Prinsessekerk at Amsterdam; and was therefore “bis auf weiteres von Arbeitseinsatz freigestellt” (freed from working for the Germans for the time being). During the war, he had to move at least six times, hunted like an animal. His last residence was Deurloostraat 74, Evalina Cardozo's home. She was  a pianist, and allegedly his lover. When piano student Niek Verkruisen went to their house for his regular piano lesson at the end of  May 1943, no one answered the door; both Franz and Evalina were “picked up.” Franz was transported to Westerbork and would survive for 16 months. Evalina died in Sobibor on May 28, 1943.

The end

Weisz arrived in Westerbork on May 26, 1943. A few weeks later, piano dealer Verkruisen received a telephone call  (a request “on behalf of Franz Weisz”) to repair some pianos at the Westerbork camp. During that visit, Weisz showed his damaged hands to Verkruisen; he was pleased the camp commander had “promoted” him from garbage man to pianist.

In January 1944, Ferencz Weisz was transported to Theresienstadt, a two day journey by train. He belonged to the group of people with “Zivilverdienste”: “Professor an Ungarischen Nationalkonservatorium, später bekannter Musikpedagoge in Holland.” In Theresienstadt, Weisz accompanied the violinist Karl Fröhlich in sonatas by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms on May 27, 1944. Viktor Ullmann wrote in his review: “Am Klavier accompagnierte Ferencz Weiss [sic], ein wirklich ausgezeichneter Pianist, dem allerdings nur das Technische nachzurühmen ist.” Ullman experienced  “Kühle” in the performance of both players. Violinist Thomas Mandl was more positive: “[Weisz] war ein ganz liebenswerter alter Herr, die Noblesse in Person und hat Klavier gespielt, wie es präziser nicht geht.” (Schultz & Mandl, 1993)

Weisz Ferencz was transported from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz on September 28, 1944, and was murdered, two days later, on September 30, 1944.

On March 9, 1946, during the first GeNeCo board meeting after the liberation, the board members commemorated the composers who died in the Holocaust, among them Franz Weisz. In 1961, pianist Jaap Drielsma honored his teacher by playing Weisz's first Konzertetüde in a recital for avro radio. Decades later Niek Verkruisen began research on his former piano teacher. This resulted in a meeting with family members and the discovery of a pile of manuscripts, containing more or less completed piano compositions (a.o. a Scherzo, Carnaval and Humoresque for piano solo). The works published in Budapest are also preserved, but all other compositions by Franz Weisz, including his successful Klavier Trio, works for solo instruments with orchestra and numerous piano pieces, are lost. Probably a matter of “music theft” by the special task force responsible for clearing out the homes of deported Jewish musicians.

On March 2, 2013, a Stolperstein was laid at Deurloostraat 74, Amsterdam, in memory of Ferenc Weisz - prolific composer, virtuoso pianist, sympathetic teacher, noble person.


Newspaper archives Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague

Archives Geneco en Buma (Netherlands Music Institute, The Hague)

Bibliotheek Muziekcentrum van de Omroep, Hilversum

Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie, Amsterdam

Archives Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork

Archives Theresienstadt

Archives Auschwitz

Archives Yad Vashem

Archives Amsterdams Muzieklyceum (Amsterdam City Archives)

Ullmann, Viktor, 26 Kritiken über musikalische Veranstaltungen in Theresienstadt. Heruitgegeven en becommentarieerd door Ingo Schultz en Thomas Mandl. (Hamburg, 1993)

Thanks to all staff of these organisations and to Henri Nijsten (pianist and fellow-researcher), Jan Jaap Kassies (guardian of our musical heritage, staff MCO-library) and Agnes Kory (Béla Bartók Centre for Musicianship, London)