Orchestra of Exiles

Documentary | 85 minutes | 2012


Bronislaw Huberman was a world-renowned Jewish violinist who performed in every major city in Europe and North America. By 1932, Huberman put aside his concert career as he witnessed the rise of Hitler and the firing of Jewish musicians from German orchestras. Huberman spent the next four years rescuing over 1,000 German musicians by bringing  them to Palestine. He then auditioned the musicians and selected the members of what would be the Palestine Symphony Orchestra. Delays occurred as Palestine erupted with violence from the Arab residents.  Realizing  the musicians  remaining in Germany faced extermination, Huberman called on his contacts to bring the remaining musicians to Palestine. His success was assured when he convinced Arturo Toscanini to conduct the opening concert on December 26, 1936. The huge success led to the ultimate formation of the superb Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. But more so, in those dark days of Hitler and anti-Semitism, Huberman uplifted the spirits and hopes of a beleaguered people.  

Tim Eliot (Narrator) / Jan Uplegger ( Bronislaw Huberman) / Alex Ansky ( Arturo Toscanini) / Vlasti Peyitch (Chaim Weitzman)
Major Participants: Zubin Mehta / Itzhak Perlman / Joshua Bell
Why Stream This Film?
 It’s rare that such a worthy film, still running in theaters and nominated for 10 Oscars, is also available for streaming.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 89%
  • The town of Częstochowa, Poland, renamed its orchestra the Bronislaw Huberman Philharmonic in honor of its native violinist.Festivals: Venice, Telluride, Toronto, New York 
It’s a great, too-little-known piece of history.
Peter Rainer

Christian Science Monitor

Richly researched and partly told by some of today’s top-flight musicians, ORCHESTRA of EXILES retraces the world-renowned violinist Bronislaw Huberman’s heroic feat of organizing an orchestra from the genocidal scourge of the Nazis.
Nicolas Rapold

The New York Times

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