20 years Leo Smit Foundation

Knowledge centre

Leo Smit Foundation is a knowledge centre open to anyone who wants to know more about composers who were persecuted in the Second World War. Because of their situation their work has sunk into oblivion, yet in many cases they were the musical leaders of their time. Leo Smit Foundation is dedicated to the discovery and research of these composers and to the publication of their works, in collaboration with editors and other partners. Our aim is to make the lives, work and context of these composers accessible to all. Leo Smit Foundation, with its international contacts, also acts as a knowledge broker for persons and organisations working on the same material.

Leo Smit Ensemble

Music is intended to be heard. At Leo Smit Foundation we encourage the performance of works by persecuted composers and we very actively spread the repertoire. We have a group of musicians who have become very knowledgeable in this area and specialised in the repertoire. Under the title of the Leo Smit Ensemble they regularly give concerts at top venues in the Netherlands and other countries.


If music is to be played it also needs an audience! At Leo Smit Foundation we actively encourage the inclusion of our repertoire in concert programmes at home and abroad. In order to set the main works in their context we also include works by other contemporary composers in the programme. In many cases the main work belongs to the forefront of twentienth century music, so we also include works by today’s composers along with the core repertoire.

Translation into English for this website by Ingrid Christine Harris, Upward Systems


On the 21st of June, 2017, the Leo Smit Foundation launched a new website, presenting 35 biographies and over 2,000 compositions of suppressed composers in the Netherlands, with links to sheet music, audio samples and recordings.

Forbidden Music Regained

How to donate

U.S.-based donors may support our activities in a tax-efficient way through a contribution to the Leo Smit Fund at the Netherland-America Foundation, Inc. Because the NAF is a public charity, within the meaning of Sections 501 (c)(3) and 509 (a)(1) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, donors may claim the tax benefits allowed by U.S. tax law for their contributions.

Please visit the NAF website for more information on how to donate.

Now available

Leo Smit's German language biography, based on Jurjen Vis' Smit biography 'Silhouetten'. Order directly from the publisher or send a mail to secretariaat[at]leosmit.nl

cover German biography Leo Smit

At Leo Smit Foundation we collect and share knowledge about composers who were persecuted in the Second World War. We started in 1996 with research on the composer Leo Smit. For the tenth anniversary of the Foundation a book was published with short biographies of ten composers in all. In 2009 the inventory was completed and published in Dutch under the title: “Schatten van de Zolder; verloren en teruggevonden Nederlandse composities” (Treasures from the Attic: a rediscovery of Dutch composers). Since then we have documented the lives and work of more than twenty Dutch composers.

Leo Smit Foundation