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Michael R Caplan
Schoenberg’s Return


July 24, 2023

Commemorating the 90th Anniversary of Arnold Schoenberg’s 1933 “Re-entry into the Community of Israel”

Here is the raw Zoom video of the 3rd annual presentation of Schoenberg's Return, in honour of the 90th anniversary of Arnold Schoenberg’s “Re-Entry into the Community of Israel” – the composer’s personal yet public 1933 gesture in the face of rising European antisemitism. In 2021, I decided to commemorate his action every year by repeating it in my own small, more aesthetic way. (You can view excerpts from that first reading below, too.)

A pioneering modernist, Schoenberg’s art had long reflected his own questions about faith and atheism, individuality and the collective, new and old. After encountering antisemitism both professionally and personally, he became a fierce proponent of Jewish political unity. And on July 24, 1933 in Paris, he renounced his youthful conversion to Christianity and affirmed his solidarity with the Jewish people, with the blessing of Rabbi Lévy and Marc Chagall as witness.


The texts of Schoenberg's Return come from his letters, political statements, and librettos, including Moses and Aaron


“Very powerful.”

David Earle

“I made the time to listen to your talk this morning and it touched me deeply. The information you shared and your personal connection to it, as well as how strongly those words resonate with you was very moving. I got chills listening to the recordings … Thank you.” 

Elvira Miletic

“it was amazing! … you integrated readings and music and visuals in such a powerful way, and of course the issues were very close to my heart. … i hope to participate live in the coming programs. congratulations.”

Dahn Hiuni

“This was a beautiful little program you put together.”

Liz Wagner

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