The Erich Auerbach collection covers classical music, jazz, ballet and opera from 1945 – 1977 focussing on action shots of personalities and performances rather than staged and posed studio portraiture.
Auerbach worked as a music reviewer and photo-reporter, specialising in the topography and society of Czechoslovakia, Italy, Austria, Yugoslavia, Germany, France and Switzerland, before emigrating to England in 1939. From 1944 he worked as a staff photographer on Illustrated and then freelanced for The Daily Herald, Sunday Times, Observer, ILN, and EMI Record Company.
Auerbach is best known for his music photography. His photojournalistic approach combine with his empathy and knowledge of the subject (he remained an enthusiastic pianist all his life) to produce wonderfully expressive portraits, somehow capturing in visual form the mood and power of the performances he was illustrating. His intimate images of Pablo Cassals, Sir Henry Wood, Bernstein, Stravinsky, Jacqueline du Pre, to name but a few, capture the power, intensity and energy of their personalities and performances that provide a moving testimony of the great composers, conductors and musicians of the post war era.