Nur die Kunst und die Wissenschaft erhöhen den Menschen bis zur Gottheit.
... Wahre Kunst bleibt unvergänglich.
 (Beethoven, 1770-1827)

Spira, Emile

*1916/?/? @ ?
†?/?/? @ ?

Mai 1965 - eingebettet von

Biographisches etc.:

Werkverzeichnis(se) etc.:

Ergänzung zur Biographie

Mit besonderem Dank an / With special thanks to
Ken Baldry (London)
die nachstehenden Auszüge aus seinen Tagebucheinträgen, die wir mit seiner Genehmigung hier im Original veröffentlichen:

Note from my ‘Pre-Diary’
(autobiographical note for 1943 - 1976)

... This was good teaching by the Music teacher Emile Spira, as we did not know it was too difficult for us to sing, so we got on & sang it. Although he was a fearsome presence, I used to empathise with Emile's triumphs on the night. Before I joined the school, I had questioned a pupil about the scene before I went to the school and he had warned me about Nunney and Emile. Nunney left with his reputation as a thug intact but Emile was more complex. He was a pupil of Anton Webern, the last one to leave before the Anschluss when he became a refugee from Hitler. As he was Jewish and Polish, he lost many of his Family during the war. He was rather wasted at IGS and became a friend when I was in the Sixth Form. By the time I left Osterley, he had become rather senile. As he was still under seventy in 1983, I wondered if his wartime experiences had contributed to his deterioration. However, in the long run, he did me much good, as my full diary reveals.

Pre-Diary 1968
Luckily, Emile Spira, who lived further down the hill (8, College Road, Isleworth, London Borough of Hounslow), had a party that evening and we were glad of the relief. To be honest, we enjoyed the social ambience. His elder daughter Judy and husband Chris were there. We had been to their wedding in Cambridge.

Wednesday 11th April 1979
... Emile & Joan were coming round to hear the new Webern set I had bought. He talked a bit all about Webern & I don’t know how much was hindsight & what isn’t. He said how all Webern’s other pupils disliked Zenk, the first Nazi in the circle of pupils & what a bad influence he was on Webern. But he also said that Webern embraced him on day of the Anschluss, even though Emile is a Jew. Emile also said that Webern applied for a job with the Nazi state, presumably KDF. Emile made light of all this since he knew how poor Webern was & had been. I pointed out how shallow the Moldenhauer book was & asked Emile to write a memoir of Webern himself. He said he would & I will have to make sure he does.

Thursday 6th May 1982
I bumped into Emile Spira on the train at Waterloo coming home. I don’t know where he had been. We talked about music but he is becoming forgetful. He offered to show me an analysis of the Op. 28 String Quartet in Webern’s own hand. I must take him up on that one day. (Never did, alas). They played ‘Erwartung’ on the radio this evening.

Thursday 25th January 2001
... Non-repetition is also a virtue (!?) of the Second Viennese School, as taught (dictated) by my teacher, Emile Spira, a Webern pupil. But Emile was also into brevity &, more recently, I have tended to fill canvases of about an hour & Emile would turn in his grave at the neo-romantic atmosphere.

Sunday 23rd June 2002
… I gather Emile is dead but again, don't know the details. There is practically nothing about him on the Internet but he won't be forgotten because I keep a Pepys-style diary, copies hidden all over the place!

Monday 31st December 2007
…I lost touch with Emile in the mid-80s & also, unfortunately, his wife Joan, who was a viola player. I know he wrote stuff but never showed us.

Tuesday 15th July 2008
{From: Ian Hill via Friends Reunited}
... - Emile Spira. ... - does any of his own music exist ? I had a fair bit to do with him - choir, music lessons (failed) , and visited him at his home in Ridgeway Road on a couple of occasions, and I clearly remember him writing music.

Friday 23rd April 2010
To: Isleworth Grammar School Subject: Emile Spira
Dear School, I was a pupil at Isleworth Grammar from 1954-1961. I am currently putting together an audio-visual show that would be much enhanced by a photograph of Emile Spira, who taught Music from the 40s to the 80s. A pupil of Anton Webern, he was an extremely important influence on me & many other boys. I would be most grateful if you could let me have a scan of such a photo. ...
Yours sincerely, Ken Baldry (Professor of Music)

Sunday 2nd January 2011
... via Facebook:-
From: Maayan Cohen January 3, 2011 at 3:59am Subject: Emile Spira
Hi! My name is Maayan and im Emile Spiras Granddaughter. ...

Thursday 15th December 2011
... Joan Spira, who is someone else now, as she married again after Emile's death.

Saturday 21st February 2015
To: Guardian Editor Subject: From a Chelsea Fan
Dear Editor, Please do not judge all Chelsea fans by an unrepresentative minority. I inherited my Chelsea fanship from my Music teacher in the middle 50s. In 1939, he was Anton Webern’s last pupil to escape Vienna as the Nazis marched in: Emile Spira. He was unfit for military service, so got his own back by working in an arms factory during WWII. He was a Jew.
Yours sincerely, Ken Baldry (Hon. Professor of Composition)