Klaus and Celia both arrived in this country in 1938, Jewish refugees from Europe.
Celia was born in Moscow, but grew up in Poland, her family having escaped the Russian revolution. She fled to North London, where she worked as secretary to the musicians Max Rostal and Luis Kentner.
Unhappy with available pre-school opportunities for her own children, Celia, who had attended Montessori training in child development, opened her own highly-successful nursery school.
Klaus came from a German Jewish family, where music formed a significant part of home life. Chamber music was frequently played by family and friends. Klaus’s brother, Ernst Hermann Meyer went on to become a prolific composer in East Germany, while his sister Susan became an accomplished singer. His brother Ulrich, a talented cellist and Ulrich’s wife, AnneMarie, a pianist and piano teacher, died in Auchswitz, together with their little boy, Michael, and Klaus’s Mother, Margarete.
Klaus, an artist and printmaker, who studied at the Central School of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art, continued to express his deep love of music through his work. An early series of prints explores the theme of musicians and music-making.
In a later, hand-printed book, Superimpositions (now in the Tate Gallery), he explored the ability of a print to express the passage of time. Using transparent overlays, successive themes are introduced and, as in music, they are remembered, elaborated and transformed to complete a composition.
From the print series “Musicians”
Images from Klaus’s book “Superimpositions”