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Shony Alex Braun, 70; Violinist, Composer Survived Holocaust

October 09, 2002|From Times Staff Writers

Shony Alex Braun, 70, Holocaust survivor, violinist and composer who wrote a "Symphony of the Holocaust," died Friday in Los Angeles of pneumonia.

Born in Transylvania, Braun was interned as a teenager by the Nazis at Auschwitz and Dachau and survived a bullet wound.

A historical account of Braun's experiences, and those of his wife, Shari, have been included in the archives of the Wexner Learning Center of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

A violinist from his childhood, Braun performed on Radio Bucharest by age 10.

After the war, he studied at the University of Salzburg Mozarteum and, after moving to the U.S. in the early 1950s, at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.

He became a popular concert violinist, adept at gypsy music as well as classical and Romantic pieces.

Braun composed more than 200 works, but took greatest pride in his five-movement, 17-minute "Symphony of the Holocaust." The music evoked various scenes of concentration camp life and liberation.

The symphony received its debut performance April 16, 1988, by the Garden Grove Symphony with Braun performing the violin solos.

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