An Auschwitz musician dies in New Zealand

An Auschwitz musician dies in New Zealand


norman lebrecht

February 12, 2014

Days after the passing of Violette Jacquet-Silberstein, we regret to report the death in Wellington of  Clare Galambos Winter, a founding violinist in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Clare was taken as a teenager from Hungary to Auschwitz, where her entire family was put to death. She survived as slave labour in a munitions factory. In a DP camp after liberation, an American general put out a call to find her a violin so she could resume her intended vocation.

Her full story is here.

Clare Galambos Winter-2



Corinna Connor writes from Wellington: In recent years, Clare kindly loaned two of her violins to outstanding students at the New Zealand School of Music.  Clare’s contribution to the musical life of Wellington, and to the historical and musical education of young people in the city was outstanding.  It was my great privilege to meet her on several occasions, and my brother was a recipient of one of her violins for a year.


  • Janey says:

    Thank you for this news, Norman. What a wonderful story and amazing woman. I did not know it.

  • My son-in-law assisted her in her later years. I never actually met her, though strangely came within yards of her when the NZ National Orchestra had half-time picnics in the 1950s and she came to meet with friends on rugs near us. She was, I believe, partner for a while, of Karl Karlhaagen from Sweden, cellist in the National Orchestra. I learned cello from him when I was a student at Nelson College for Girls. He was a larger-than-life person, who used to take daily long bicycle rides throughout the Nelson province each day, for his health.

    Clare was a most gracious attractive woman, who contributed a great deal to the musical scene, in Wellington and New Zealand. She will be missed indeed.