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 • Kauno IX Forto Memorialinis Komplexsas
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Edwin Geist
Birth: Jul. 31, 1902
Death: Dec. 10, 1942

Composer. One of many gifted musicians killed by the Nazis, his music has only recently been rescued from obscurity. Edwin Ernst Moritz Geist was born in Berlin, and studied at the Conservatory there. He was a teacher, journalist, and occasional conductor in Germany until 1937, when the Reich Chamber of Music barred him from professional activity because he was half-Jewish. The following year he moved to Kaunas, Lithuania, where he married Jewish pianist Lyda Bagriansky and realized his most ambitious compositions. These include his magnum opus, the opera "The Return of Dionysos" (1938); the "Little German Requiem Mass" (1940), written in memory of his mother; the orchestral overture "Antaeos" (1941); and "Cosmic Spring" (1941) for piano trio. The latter was completed three weeks before the Nazis invaded Lithuania and imprisoned the Geists in the old Ninth Fort at Kaunas, hastily converted into a concentration camp. Through the intervention of friends, who persuaded the camp commander that Geist was an important musician and a "half-Aryan", he was released in March 1942. He then used forged documents to gain freedom for his wife and they were able to spend a few final months together. In December Geist was rearrested by the SS and shot. Lyda committed suicide soon afterwards. For decades Geist and his music were forgotten until his manuscripts came into the hands of Lithuanian conductor Juozas Domarkas. He led the world premiere of "The Return of Dionysos" at Vilnius in 2002. That year also saw the publication of "For Lyda", the composer's harrowing 1942 diary about his efforts to free Lyda from the Ninth Fort. Geist is the subject of Reinhard Kaiser's biography "Unheard Rescue" (2004), and his complete songs and chamber works are available on CD. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
 
Burial:
Kauno IX Forto Memorialinis Komplexsas
Kaunas
Kaunas City Municipality
Kaunas, Lithuania
Plot: Unmarked mass grave
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Nov 26, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 23118419
Edwin Geist
Added by: Bobb Edwards
 
Edwin Geist
Added by: Anonymous
 
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- sjm
 Added: Jul. 31, 2015
RIP
-Anonymous
 Added: Apr. 21, 2015

- Mike Caldwell
 Added: Dec. 10, 2014
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