Martin Goodman’s new novel J SS Bach takes music and the Holocaust as its theme, tracking three generations of women from either side of Germany’s 20th century horror story. Central to the tale is a cellist and composer, snatched from his home in Vienna and transported to Dachau. Soon the young Jew faces an ordeal – under Nazi orders, if he is to survive he must play J S Bach’s cello suites with his eyes shut.
Martin will read passages that take us to Dachau; to the concentration camp of Terezìn where briefly doomed musicians were allowed to play; and to California, where lives unfold through understanding music.
Brice will play works on cello to reflect the readings. These include selections from Bach’s Cello Suites, as well as other works from the period. He also draws on his experience of being both a cellist and a composer.
Martin Goodman is Professor of Creative writing at the University of Hull. He has published award-winning nonfiction and fiction. One strand of his writing is an examination of the aftermath of wars. J SS Bach is his eleventh book. The novelist Simon Mawer calls it ‘most moving and impressive.’
Brice Catherin is a French cellist and composer. Across Europe, Japan, Russia, Iceland and Canada he has given hundreds of concerts and performances as a cellist, a composer, an improviser, and a performance artist. Here at the University of Hull he is completing his PhD in Music.
The versatile venue is used for classical music concerts, and with adaptable acoustics, it is also used as a surround-sound cinema and theatre space.