Lotoro's Lifelong Quest to Save the Lost Music

For over three decades the Italian pianist, composer and conductor Francesco Lotoro has been on an extraordinary journey: seeking, restoring, archiving, publishing and performing music written in all concentration Camps and POW Camps from 1933 (opening of KL Dachau) to 1953 (death of Iosif Stalin).

His trips spanned the world, unearthing neglected scores, capturing the musical memories of the survivors and immortalising the spirit of those who wielded music as an act of resistance.

To date, Lotoro has brought countless original works from civil and military Camps back from the brink of obscurity.

His dedication has amassed a collection of more than 8,000 scores and documents (microfilms, diaries, musical notebooks, publications, phonographic recordings and interviews with survivors or their descendants).

His passion also led him to share knowledge through masterclasses, lectures and concerts worldwide, notably commemorating the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

ILMC and Concentrationary Music

A Worldwide Mission

Recognising the significance of his mission, in 2014 Lotoro founded the ILMC Foundation (Istituto di Letteratura Musicale Concentrazionaria). Headquartered in Barletta (Italy), this non-profit Foundation supports his ongoing research, ensuring the safeguarding and promotion of this invaluable musical legacy. ILMC Foundation is devoted to the research, study, cataloging, recording, publishing and performing of this music literature.

The Lotoro's lifelong mission goes beyond mere notes on a page: it's about restoring dignity to the countless musicians who, even in the face of despair and death, poured their souls into their work - whether those notes were etched onto notebooks, toilet paper, jute sacks, postcards or even memorised by heart during their harrowing journeys on trains to unknown fates.
While many of these musicians tragically lost their lives, their music lives on. Preserving their music means granting them an eternal legacy.

This music, an undeniable Human Heritage, reflects the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unparalleled adversity. It is a Testament to the indomitable human spirit, turning tragedy into art, pain into creative expression. Like a cathedral revealing its secrets to an architect, these works shed light on historical truths that might otherwise remain obscured. This musical legacy embodies more than just notes; it symbolises hope, resilience and the capacity to find solace in art during humanity's darkest hours.


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