General Information | About the Award + Adolf Busch

The Adolf Busch Award recognizes those who have demonstrated courage, compassion, and creativity in enhancing socioeconomic opportunity, supporting education and mentorship efforts, and addressing bias and oppression in its many forms.

The Award honors the moral leadership and courageous actions of Adolf Busch, the great German violinist and composer, and one of the most respected musicians in Europe in the early part of the 20th Century.  When the Nazi Party came into power in Germany, Busch was among the first prominent public figures to denounce Hitler and his actions, and certainly one of the first non-Jews to do so.

Busch left Germany in 1927 and repudiated it entirely in 1933, ignoring repeated entreaties from the German government to return.  He eventually emigrated to the United States, where he continued to perform and became one of the founders of the Marlboro Music Festival.  Although his decision to leave Germany in many ways damaged what could have been a nearly unparalleled career, he courageously defended what he considered to be the morally correct course of action.

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Video courtesy of Music@Menlo.