"With appreciation for your initiative in launching the Terezin Music Foundation, and your continuing endeavors to promote a world in which people prize liberty and freedom for all."
—Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Mark Ludwig is a violist and Boston Symphony Orchestra member emeritus who blends his musical career with social causes promoting tolerance. He combines scholarship, teaching, and performance projects with community service throughout the United States and Europe. Mr. Ludwig has performed on stage and CD to benefit causes in the U.S., Bosnia, Dafur, Tibet, and Central Europe's Roma communities. In 2009, he performed for the Dalai Lama at the U.S. Capitol in a ceremony awarding His Holiness the Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize. For his global outreach efforts, Mr. Ludwig was nominated by U.S. Ambassador William Cabaniss as a UNESCO Artist-for-PEACE and Goodwill Ambassador.
Known internationally as a leading scholar, teacher, and champion of Holocaust music, Mr. Ludwig performs this repertoire and teaches its history worldwide, lecturing at Harvard University, The University of Virginia, The Charles University in Prague, and many other schools. In 2005-06 he was Perlow lecturer and Sterne Virtuoso Artist in-Residence at Skidmore College, where his residency included a lecture series, master classes, solo and chamber music performances, and community outreach events in music and Holocaust studies. Since 2001, Mr. Ludwig has been Adjunct Professor at Boston College, teaching the course in "Art and Music During the Third Reich."
A Fulbright scholar of the Terezín composers, Mr. Ludwig has authored essays, CD liner and program notes, and a nationally adopted Holocaust curriculum. He is a member of the Terezín Memorial Museum advisory board and has served as a consultant for numerous cultural organizations around the world, including the Chicago, Boston, Birmingham (UK), and Philadelphia Symphony Orchestras. He has also participated as an artist, consultant, and producer of CD recordings produced by London DECCA and TMF.
Mr. Ludwig is Executive Director of the Terezín Music Foundation, which he founded in 1991. TMF is a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and advancing awareness of the music created by victims of the Holocaust. Since establishing the music of Gideon Klein, Pavel Haas, and other Terezín composers in the repertoire, TMF focuses today on commissioning new works honoring the silenced artists. TMF commissions works from emerging composers, continuing the artistic and mentoring work of the murdered composers. These commissions form a living memorial as well as an ongoing contribution to the chamber music repertoire. They act as agents of inspiration, healing, and transformation for future generations of artists and audiences.
Mr. Ludwig has a long history of producing and directing cultural exchange programs between the United States and the Czech Republic. His most recent initiative is the partnership between TMF and the Prague Spring International Music Festival (Pražské Jaro) to establish the Terezín Living Legacy Commission prize and concert for emerging Czech composers. TMF and Pražské Jaro also annually award a commission for a chamber work by an emerging Czech composer; this work serves as a memorial to the composers incarcerated in Terezín and is premiered by an internationally renowned artist during the Prague Spring Festival.
In 2002, the U.S. State Department asked Mr. Ludwig to produce concerts to raise funds for flood relief in the Czech Republic. Under its sponsorship and the honorary patronage of President Vaclav Havel, Mr. Ludwig produced a series of chamber concerts with the Hawthorne String Quartet* in Prague Castle, the Spanish Synagogue, and Pamatník Terezín. Following the success of these programs, Mr. Ludwig was invited by the Czech government and the U.S. State Department to direct and produce a Czech-American cultural program. This initiative culminated in TMF unveiling a memorial plaque at the Terezín concentration camp memorial honoring the “determination and courage of the amateur and professional musicians incarcerated in Terezín.”
In November 1997, Mr. Ludwig launched the MusicFOR/Sarajevo project to rebuild the Music Academy of Sarajevo. In addition to bringing musical instruments and supplies to the conservatory, he coached and performed with students and faculty members. His visit was documented in a widely acclaimed concert broadcast by Serbian TV.
As director of TMF, Mark Ludwig has developed education programs now widely held in schools across the U.S. The music and history of the Terezín artists is a powerful tool in the ongoing struggle against racism and intolerance, and TMF is committed to ensuring their appreciation by people of all beliefs and experiences. Mr. Ludwig’s commitment to educating children and adults alike led to his creation of a curriculum titled "Finding a Voice: Musicians in Terezín." Its teaching guide and CD are used to explore the lives and music of composers who perished in the Holocaust, challenge their own unique artistic views, and provide a forum in which intolerance, human rights, and artistic freedom can be examined through music and discussion.
Mr. Ludwig was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant to complete this curriculum. Under his direction, TMF collaborated with Facing History & Ourselves (a national Holocaust education organization) to create and distribute this curriculum throughout the U.S. It is available to more than 900,000 students annually.
In the summer of 2001, Ludwig developed the P.E.A.C.E. Programs (Performance Education and Cultural Exchange) for children. This program combines intensive music training with educational activities concerning the historical and social roles of music and the arts during the Holocaust. This TMF education program uses music to examine the issues of intolerance, censorship, resistance and survival during the tyranny of the Nazi Third Reich. Students are encouraged and challenged to make connections to contemporary issues of human rights and intolerance. P.E.A.C.E. mentors focus on the exploration of music in relation to issues of social tolerance and cross-cultural understanding. P.E.A.C.E. programs have been produced in communities in the Berkshires, Washington D.C., and Boston.
Mr. Ludwig’s work fighting intolerance has been featured on numerous national and international television and radio programs in the United States, South America, and Europe, as well as in documentaries examining the role of music during the Holocaust. NPR, BBC World Radio and ABC World News have showcased the work of Mr. Ludwig and TMF. Mr. Ludwig also appeared as consultant, performing artist, and speaker in several documentaries, including Terezín: Resistance and Revival, aired nationally on PBS, and Creating Harmony.
Mr. Ludwig joined the viola section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 1982. An accomplished chamber musician, he has performed with such notable artists as André Previn, John Williams, Marta Argerich, Sir Simon Rattle, Sarah Chang, Joshua Bell, Dawn Upshaw, Leonard Bernstein, Truss Mork, Ned Rorem, Lukas Foss, André Watts, Garrick Ohlsson, Robert Spano and Christopher Hogwood. As a member of the Hawthorne String Quartet, he has performed extensively with concert tours in the United States, South America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim.
Outside the professional realm, Mark is an avid hiker and member of the Berkshire hiking group, the Monday Mountain Boys. His hiking and climbing have taken to him such exotic and remote places as the Himalayas and the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. He enjoys scuba diving and sharing a passion for cooking Italian cuisine with his family.
*The Hawthorne String Quartet has recorded extensively. Noted for championing the music of composers who suffered under the Nazi tyranny, their recordings have received the Preis der Schallplattenkritik Musik and Belgium’s prestigious Cecilia awards. HSQ has also premiered numerous works by contemporary composers from North and South America, Japan, and Europe.