Acrylics on linen canvas
Size: 2 x 50 cm (w) x 170 cm (h)
Year of production: 2022
Artist: Jitske Schols
My series ‘Maestro’ is inspired by the life of Frieda Belinfante (1904-1995). Frieda was a Dutch cellist and conductor who became an American citizen in 1955. During the Second World War she was active in the resistance. During her life she experienced a lot of opposition just because she was born a woman. Like the Dutch Antonia Brico (1902-1989) and the French pedagogue and conductor Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979), she was a pioneer who paved the way for other female conductors. Writer/journalist Toni Boumans wrote down her story in her book ‘Een schitterend vergeten leven’.
As early as 1941 Belinfante was active in the resistance against German rule. She was a member of Group 2000 and forged identity cards and supported people in hiding, sometimes disguising herself as a man. Together with Willem Arondeus, Gerrit van der Veen, Willem Sandberg and others, she prepared the attack on the Amsterdam Population Register on March 27, 1943. When several members of her resistance group were arrested shortly after the attack, Belinfante went into hiding. Later in 1943, after an arduous journey, she managed to escape to Switzerland dressed as a man. The rest of the group was shot.