Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices

Upcoming Events


The Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices is a unique Colburn resource that encourages greater awareness and more frequent performances of music by composers whose careers and lives were tragically cut short by the Nazi regime in Europe.

Undoing injustice, when and where one can, is a moral mandate for all citizens of a civilized world. James Conlon

James Conlon, Artistic Director of the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School, has long championed works by these composers and by so doing has drawn deserved attention to composers whose names and works had very nearly been eliminated from history. Inspired by LA Opera’s groundbreaking Recovered Voices project, and with the support of Los Angeles philanthropist Marilyn Ziering, the Colburn School and James Conlon established the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School. The Recovered Voices Initiative is grateful to Robert Elias for many years of critical support and to the individual philanthropists whose generous contributions have made it possible to bring this important repertory back to life for generations to come.

The Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices supports educational opportunities, programmatic representation in world-class performances, and competitions that inspire young musicians to not only learn about the artists but to return to their music throughout their career.

This important works needs your support. Please make a gift to ensure the activities of Maestro Conlon, Mr. Elias, and the many interested musicians and audience members can continue undoing the injustice that was done.

Donate Now

Support Recovered Voices with your gift to the Colburn School. Please indicate you would like your gift to go to the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices.

2022-23 Events

OCT 12 · Album Launch: Shapeshifter Young artists from the Colburn School share their journey of discovery and perform works from Shapeshifter—a new album showcasing Erwin Schulhoff.

JAN 29 · Shostakovich and Weinberg: A Story of Loss and the Healing Power of Friendship Using the music of Dimitri Shostakovich and Mieczysław Weinberg, this concert paints a picture of the composers’ friendship and life at the end of World War II.

APR 10 and 11 · The Mondavi Center presents Recovered Voices Led by Maestro James Conlon, the Colburn Orchestra performs works by Korngold, Schoenberg, and Schreker on April 10. A Colburn chamber ensemble performs works by Korngold, Schoenberg, and Zemlinsky on April 11. This two-day event also includes a symposium featuring Conlon and faculty from the UC Davis Jewish Studies Program.

APR 12, 2023 · Recovered Voices: Colburn Orchestra The Colburn Orchestra and Maestro James Conlon return to Colburn for a repeat performance of their program of works by Korngold, Schoenberg, and Schreker.

2021-22 Events

MAY 15 · Recovered Voices: The Music of Suppressed Composers of the 20th Century with Adam Millstein, Rebecca Stewart, and Shulamit Sarid
MAY 23 · James Conlon and Musicians from The Colburn School at the Library of Congress
MAY 24–28 · Recovered Voices Quartet at Nevada Chamber Music Festival
MAY 29 · Recovered Voices Quartet perform Schulhoff 1st Quartet with Numi Opera and Gail Gordon at Broad Stage
JUL 11–25 · Recovered Voices Quartet at Chigiana Chamber Festival in Siena, Italy



In Fall 2022, the James Conlon and the Colburn School released Shapeshifter, an album featuring the music of Erwin Schulhoff.

2021: Schulhoff and More Mini Series

In 2021, The initiative presented a four-part online series which delved into the life and music of Erwin Schulhoff (1894–1942), a fascinating, prolific, and multi-faceted composer who embraced a full panoply of styles and influences from his era.

Impact of the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at Colburn

  • In the Colburn School’s academic setting, Conlon brings his artistry, energy, and knowledge to the next generation of great musicians from the Colburn Conservatory as well as dozens of adult learners each year through a semester-long Recovered Voices class. This course is offered each spring, for free to the public, as well as to Colburn students.
  • The Ziering‐Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices has hosted two international symposia, welcoming over two dozen scholars and performing musicians from four countries and attended by hundreds of interested members of the public from around the U.S. These symposia have covered two themes, “Music, Censorship and Meaning in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union: Echoes and Consequences” and “How Should We Perform the Troubled Past?: A Weekend of Concerts and Conversation,” and have brought together musicians and scholars to ask questions about the performance of works composed in fraught circumstances, focusing primarily on “Recovered Voices” compositions.


    • Colburn Conservatory students and faculty have learned and continue to perform chamber works by a wide range of composers, including:
  • Franz Schreker
  • Pál Hermann
  • Erwin Schulhoff
  • Walter Kaufmann
  • Viktor Ullmann
  • Dick Kattenburg
  • Mieczyslaw Weinberg
  • Gideon Klein
  • Alexander Zemlinsky
  • Erich Wolfgang Korngold
  • Paul Ben‐Haim
  • Szymon Laks
  • Hanns Eisler
  • Renzo Massarani
  • Bi-annual Recovered Voices Young Artist Competitions have inspired young musicians of instrumental and vocal works to learn Recovered Voices works. These competitions offer cash prizes and include a public performance with live jury; students then adopt these works as part of their standard repertoire in their future careers.