Sunday 17 June 2012 will see the world premiere of The Last Train to Tomorrow, a new 40-minute work composed and conducted by Carl Davis (CBE) and commissioned by the Hallé for the Hallé’s virtuoso Children’s Choir.
Davis’ work retells the heart-breaking story of the Kindertransport, which took place between 1938 and 1939, and saw over 10,000 Jewish children brought to England by train from Berlin, Vienna, and Prague. The Kindertransport movement was an act of generosity which saved them from the Holocaust. None were accompanied by their parents; a few were babies carried by children.
The first Kindertransport arrived at Harwich on 2 December, 1938, bringing 196 children from a Berlin Jewish orphanage burned by the Nazis during the night of 9 November. Most of the children left by train from Vienna, Berlin, Prague and other major cities (children from small towns travelled to meet the transports), crossed the Dutch and Belgian borders, and went on by ship to England. The transports ended with the outbreak of war in September 1939.
The Last Train to Tomorrow will present ten new songs by Davis, linked by first person narration telling this extraordinary story which ends with the children’s safe arrival at Liverpool Street Station in London, meeting their sponsors and starting a new life. The text is by the celebrated children’s author Haiwyn Oram.
Click here to watch a video of Carl Davis discussing the piece.