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Fulbright to Go

News Feature

News & Events

February 18, 2014

Dr. Deborah Nemko, associate professor of music, has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands for 2014-15. She will spend the spring semester of 2015 living in Amsterdam, researching, performing, and teaching the suppressed and forgotten Dutch composers of World War II. She will be working with the Leo Smit Foundation as well as teaching at Utrecht Conservatory, which is part of Utrecht University.

“The project is very meaningful, in part because boxes of manuscripts by composers no one has heard of continue to arrive at the foundation,” Dr. Nemko said. “They are so shorthanded that they cannot possibly go through all of the information that is emerging. “

The works are by composers who were too afraid to publish during the war because they were Jewish and would face punishment. Other compositions are by those who simply didn't survive the war.

The work draws on a long-held interest of Dr. Nemko.

“My mentor at the University of Illinois, Dr. Alexander Ringer, was a Dutch Jew and concentration camp survivor,” she said. “His influence on me was very formative as a musician, so the project is powerful both concerning the potential contribution to music history and in sharing with the Dutch an understanding of their own musical birthright, as well as the personal connection through my mentor. “

The award period is four months and Dr. Nemko will be in the Netherlands beginning early next year.  While there, she will be considered a representative of the U.S. to the Netherlands (“a type of ambassador,” she said). The award is split 50-50 between research and teaching. (Story by John Winters, G '11, University News)

Dr. Deborah Nemko

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