Over the last month, the Crossroads community took a closer look at the life and legacy of Herbert Zipper during a special exhibition in Sam Francis Gallery.
“The Herbert Zipper Archives at Twenty: From Z to A” included photographs, letters, sheet music, artwork and other artifacts that Zipper—an Austrian composer who survived two concentration camps and internment in Manila before revitalizing the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra and becoming a music teacher at Crossroads—bequeathed to the School.
The curated display was highlighted by a Sept. 13 opening reception that featured a reflection by Crossroads co-founder Paul Cummins, who brought the archive’s contents to the School after Herbert’s death in 1997.
It also included junior EMMI student Max Hammond’s piano performance of an unpublished musical composition that Zipper wrote for his wife, accomplished ballet dancer Trudl Dubsky Zipper.
“It was a great experience,” Max says of playing the piece. “And the context makes it an even richer experience.”
The exhibit resonated strongly with philanthropist Carol Colburn Grigor, who attended the reception. She studied music with Herbert and dance with Trudy.
“It really brings back memories,” she says. “And this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Complementing the gallery exhibit was a Sept. 22 film screening of “Never Give Up” in Roth Hall and a Q&A with director Terry Sanders, whose documentary short film about Zipper’s extraordinary life was nominated for a 1996 Academy Award.