David Fligg

Photo of David Fligg

Honorary Research Fellow

BA Hons (Leeds), M.Mus (London), PhD (Leeds), FHEA, FISM

Email: [email protected]

  • Honorary Research fellow

David Fligg is an Honorary Research Fellow at the college, having previously been a Tutor in Academic Studies. He was a co-founder of the AHRC-funded Performing the Jewish Archive international project (2014-2018) at the School of Music, University of Leeds, for which he was Project Consultant. From July 2019 to February 2020, David was co-curator of the Gideon Klein centenary festival, ‘Gido’s Coming Home!’, in the Czech Republic which commemorated the centenary of Gideon Klein who was one of a number of significant Czech Jewish musicians who were interned in the Terezín (Theresienstadt) prison camp and ghetto, later to be murdered in Auschwitz 

David’s critical biography on Klein, ‘Letter from Gideon’, was published by P3K Publishing (Prague) in December 2019. The English version, ‘Don’t forget about me: The short life of Gideon Klein, composer and pianist’, was published in November 2022. (A 35% discount, valid until 30 June 2023, is available on the print or e-book if purchased direct from Boydell & Brewer, using the code BB135.) David’s chapter on Klein’s String Trio is in the recently-published ‘Routledge Handbook to Music under German Occupation’, and two chapters, including one on Klein’s melodrama Topol (The Poplar Tree), are in the 2020 publication ‘Torso eines Lebens Der Komponist und Pianist Gideon Klein‘. 

His theatrical presentation ‘Gideon Klein: Portrait of a Composer’ has been widely performed, and was produced at the RNCM for Holocaust Memorial Day in January 2020.

David is also Visiting Professor at the University of Chester (Faculty of Arts & Media). His book ‘A Concise Guide to Orchestral Music’ is published by Mel Bay Publications.

Contact: [email protected]

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Current and Future Research

  • Critical biography: Dopis od Gideona (Letter from Gideon), P3K Publishing, Prague, 2019. (English version, Toccata Press, in preparation)
  • ‘(Re)Visiting the (Jewish) Archive of Gideon Klein, Terezín 1941-1944’ in The Routledge Handbook of Music under German Occupation (December 2019).
  • Gideon Klein – Portrait of a Composer, theatrical presentation based on recently-discovered archival materials, for actors and musicians. Performances in UK, USA, Czech Republic, Berlin, Israel.
  • Co-Artistic Director for ‘Gido’s Coming Home!’ festival, to commemorate the centenary of Gideon Klein (Czech Republic, July 2019 to February 2020). 

Research Funding

  • Research funded by AHRC through the ‘Gido’s Coming Home!’ festival (2019-2020)
  • Research funded through the ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ project (University of Leeds), part of the AHRC’s ‘Care for the Future’ theme (2014-2018)
  • 2012-2014: ‘Music, Memory and Migration’ project (University of Leeds), funded by the Worldwide Universities Network
  • 2010-2011: Post-RAE funding (Leeds College of Music)

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Elective leader for Music and Ideology: Europe 1900-1933 [2014-2020]
  • Elective leader for Music under the Third Reich: 1933-1945 [2014-2020]
  • Team-tutor for Music, Culture & Performance 2: The Modern (pre-WW2) [2016-2020]
  • Historical and Contextual Studies 2 – Post 1900 [2014-16]

Selected Outputs

    Authored Books

  • David Fligg, Dopis od Gideona (Letter from Gideon), (Prague: P3K Publications, 2019).
  • David Fligg, A Concise Guide to Orchestral Music, (Pacific, USA: Mel Bay Publications, Inc., 2010).
  • Chapters in Books

  • David Fligg, ‘These were good times: ‘The Poplar Tree’ on the edge of war’, in Torso eines Lebens Der Komponist und Pianist Gideon Klein (1919-1945), ed. by Albrecht Dümling, (Neumünster: von Bockel Verlag, 2021), pp.53-57.
  • David Fligg, ‘Gideon Klein: Geboren am 6. Dezember 1919 in Přerov, gestorben am 27. Januar in Arbeitslager Fürstengrube’, in Torso eines Lebens Der Komponist und Pianist Gideon Klein (1919-1945), ed. by Albrecht Dümling, (Neumünster: von Bockel Verlag, 2021), pp.11-26.
  • David Fligg, ‘(Re)Visiting the (Jewish) Archive of Gideon Klein, Terezin 1941-1944’, in The Routledge Companion to Music under German Occupation, 1938-1945: Propaganda, Myth and Reality, ed. by David Fanning and Erik Levi, (London: Routledge, 2018)
  • Journal Articles

  • David Fligg, ‘Gideon Klein at 100: A festival and a new biography’, Czech Music Quarterly, 20 (2020), 26-32.
  • David Fligg, ‘Gideon Klein: Discovering the Rediscovered’, Journal of Czech and Slovak Music, 29 (2020), 4-34.
  • David Fligg, ‘A Festival of Rediscovered Czech Jewish Music’, Czech Music Quarterly, 16 (2016), 12-15.
  • David Fligg, ‘Positioning Gideon Klein’, Musique et camps de concentration, 1 (2015), 118-125.
  • David Fligg, ‘Creativity in Adversity’, English Touring Opera Autumn 2012, (2012), 24-29.
  • Review Articles

  • A Season of Singing: Creating Feminist Jewish Music in the United States, Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, David Fligg, 2018, Routledge, London

Professional Activity

Recent papers/presentations at conferences/symposia (selective):
  • These were good times: ‘The Poplar Tree’ on the edge of war. Symposium: Torso eines Lebens; Der komponist und pianist Gideon Klein (1919-1945). Staatlichen Institut fur Musikforschung, Berlin, December 2019
  • Performing a Holocaust archive. Sir John Manduell Research Seminar, Royal Northern College of Music, January 2017
  • Gideon Klein: Musical rupture and Jewish migration. Musical cultures of the Habsburg Monarchy and Successor States symposium, University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, February 2017
  • Music and memorialisation: Performing Holocaust testimony, Faculty of Arts and Media research seminar, University of Chester, March 2017
  • Gideon Klein: Portrait of a Composer. Theatrical and musical presentation, Madison (Wisconsin), May 2016; Leeds, June 2016; Prague, September 2016
  • (Re)visiting the archive of Gideon Klein – Terezín, 1941-1944. Royal Musical Association Annual Conference, London, September 2016
  • Creativity in adversity. Pre-concert talk for the Nash Ensemble, Leeds Grand Theatre, June 2016
  • Exile and migration: Composers in the USA. Pre-concert talk for Bach Dynamite and Dancing Society concert, Madison (Wisconsin), May 2016
  • Laughter in the Ghetto. Panel member, Limmud Annual Conference, Birmingham, December 2015
  • How to use field-work to find family information. International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies annual conference, Jerusalem, July 2015
  • Gideon Klein’s Prague. Guided walking tour of Prague, Rafael Schächter Institute for Arts & Humanities (Washington DC) Summer School, May 2015
  • Gideon Klein – Ullmann’s younger colleague in the Terezín Ghetto. Viktor Ullmann Symposium, Hebrew University of Jerusalem & Beit Terezín, Israel, August 2014
  • Positioning Gideon Klein. Newlands Lecture, University of Hull (Department of  Music), December 2013
  • Silenced voices. Symposium, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, November 2013
  • On the family trail of Gideon Klein, International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies annual conference, Boston USA, August 2013
  • Principles of engagement: Scripts from the Terezín Ghetto today, Symposium, University of York (Department of Theatre, Film and Television), May 2013
  • Melody, passion and persecution. Pre-concert talk,Royal Academy of Music, February 2013
  • What happened to all the Jewish music after the Holocaust? Schools workshop, University of Leeds (School of Music), February 2013
  • On some threshold of the air – The songs of Viktor Ullmann. English Touring Opera symposium, University of Hull (Department of  Music), November 2012
  • Viktor Ullmann and the musicians of Terezín. English Touring Opera pre-performance talk, Harrogate Theatre, November 2012
  • Searching for Gideon Klein. American Musicological Society Annual Conference, San Francisco, November 2011

Radio features, interviews and contributions:

  • Jewish Composers in Czechoslovakia and the Terezín Ghetto. Czech Radio (Vltava), October 2017
  • Music on the brink of destruction. BBC Radio 3, January 2017
  • Performance sheds new light on life and work of Gideon Klein. Czech Radio (Radio Praha), September 2016 
  • Performing the Jewish Archive: an international project revives the work of persecuted playwrights and composers. Czech Radio (Radio Praha), February 2016