Since his first visit to a concentration camp in 1991, Italian pianist and music teacher Francesco Lotoro has been reconstructing an entire chapter of music history, a body of work both created and hidden in the Holocaust.
In January, NPR Senior European Correspondent Sylvia Poggioli profiled Lotoro, who has collected 4,000 musical pieces - from symphonies to operas - all written in concentration, labor and POW camps before and during World War II.
Inspired by Poggioli's piece, the State Department hosted "The Lost Music of the Holocaust," an event honoring Lotoro's work, which is one of a number of current efforts to reclaim this cannon of music. This Sunday, The Washington Post took a lens to Lotoro's story as well as some of these other projects, to weigh the historical, cultural and emotional context the music carries with it.
You can hear some of compositions Lotoro has unearthed in the NPR piece and in this this trailer for a forthcoming documentary that follows his research and the stories, history and music he has unearthed along the way: