Fall 11-2017

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Restricted Access Thesis

Primary Advisor/Thesis Chair

Laura A. Flynn

Secondary Advisor/Outside Reader

Katrina Vandenberg

Degree Name



In the last weeks of his life, my father disclosed deeply hidden secrets—stories I had never heard, about his survival of the Holocaust. As a child, I was haunted by the eerie hush surrounding my parents’ experiences during World War II. In the fifth decade of my life, the truth of their history was finally revealed.

Told in layers both epic and personal, Hungarian Rhapsodies: A Memoir in Three Concerts (85,000 words) weaves the historical context of Hungary—a country allied to Germany—into my own life as a professional musician and child of Holocaust survivors. Encompassing my family’s survival story, my upbringing in a house darkened by the Holocaust’s long shadow, and further research into my parent’s stories, this book illustrates how classical music enabled my parents to resume life and offer spiritual sustenance to others in the aftermath of the atrocities of World War II.


Janet Horvath, a lifelong performing classical musician, soloist and speaker, was the Minnesota Orchestra’s associate principal cello from 1980 to 2012. She earned her master’s degree in music performance from Indiana University. Since leaving the orchestra, Janet has focused on her writing and completed her MFA in creative writing in November of 2017, Hamline University, Saint Paul, MN. Horvath is the author of Playing (less) Hurt—An Injury Prevention Guide for Musicians published by Amadeus Press (Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group), and is considered a pioneer and authority in the area of the medical problems of performing artists. Initially self-published, her book won a gold medal at the 2009 IPPY awards.

Recent essays include A Musician Afraid of Sound published in The Atlantic, October 2015, and Sound of the Cello, published in the Minnesota Orchestra’s monthly program book and online, June 2017. Her nonfiction has appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune (December 2015 and 2011) and in national and international music publications, including Musical America, Chamber Music America, Strings Magazine, The Brass Herald and Strad Magazine among others. She has written over 180 feature articles a contributing writer for the online classical music e-magazine Interlude.HK www.interlude.hk


Historical, Memoir








Creative Writing Program