Discovering Karol Rathaus

Team behind the film

Michael Haas


Michael Haas is an award winning recording and executive producer who worked with major music labels such as Decca, Sony, Deutsche Grammophon, etc. His most highly regarded work has been in the recovery of music lost during the Nazi era in Europe, including London/Decca’s recording series Entartete Musik of works thought lost, forgotten or destroyed. He has recently assumed the post of the director of the Exile Music Center at Vienna University for Music and Performance Arts. This is his first forage to the field of documentary films inspired by his collaboration with Lev Deych on the multimedia music show “Music for the barbed strings”.

Lev Deych


Lev Deych is a physics professor at Queens College of CUNY. When he is not writing physics books, research papers or teaching students he produces music related events, the most significant of which was “Music for the barbed strings” featuring live music performance with documentary and theatrical elements, which he co-produced with two his sons. “Discovering Karol Rathaus” is his first documentary project of this magnitude inspired by Michael Haas’s remark that Queens College sits on a treasure – the personal archive of Karol Rathaus – and nobody is doing anything about it.

Peter Janecek


Peter Janecek is an acclaimed producer of documentary films and the managing director of the Vienna production company von PLAESION Film + Vision e.U. During his 18-year career as a film producer, he has produced 25 documentary features that have been shown at film festivals all over Europe, as well as Australia and Korea. He produced the film Moment of Resistance, which was the Austrian award winner at the 2019 Viennale, as well as the film  The First Century of Walter Arlen, which was devoted to a Jewish exile from Vienna, whose music was recently discovered by Michael Haas.

Daniil Deych


Daniil Deych is an up and coming filmmaker based in New York City. After earning bachelor degrees in physics and film studies from Queens College he entered Vancouver Film School to learn the ropes of film making specializing in cinematography and editing. After returning back to NYC he participated in multiple productions in various capacities, formed a production company “To the bitter end productions” (TTBEP) , wrote, produced and directed his first short (currently in post-production). Last year he co-directed a live music show “Music for the barbed strings”, which included documentary and theatrical elements. Work on the show sparked his interest in the topic of music and Holocaust, while being a graduate of Queens College and taking classes in Rathaus Hall inspired him to start working on this project.

Sergei Deych


Sergei Deych is a classically trained pianist with B.A. degree from Manhattan School of Music and M.A. degree from Aaron Copland School of Music. His interest in filmmaking began, when he, together with his brother, produced, co-directed and performed in a number of classical music videos (can be seen here and at at TTBEP official YouTube channel) . The Rathaus project is the natural continuation of his work on “Music for the barbed strings” , which he co-directed as well as performed. Being a graduate of Aaron Copland School of Music made his participation in the project, to which he brings all the benefits of his music knowledge, quite a natural development.

Paulius Kontijevas

Director of Photography

Paulius Kontijevas, a Lithuanian born cinematographer, worked on a wide variety of digital video production over the last decade. He has shot web and broadcast commercials for clients like Nike, American Family Insurance, Microsoft and Gap. Paulius captured two feature films in India, worked on three feature documentary films, shot music videos for the likes of Erykah Badu, Helio Sequence and Sallie Ford. He produced video content for such celebrities as Kevin Durant, Fred Armisen, Derek Jeter, Kevin Hart, Irina Shayk and others. Be it documentary or fiction film, Paulius is passionate about telling stories of the human condition using light and the dynamics of camera movement.

Robert S. Levi


Rob Levi is an independent writer, director, producer, cinematographer and editor. In 2008, “Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life” became the first film in history to receive three important awards in one year: the Best Documentary Emmy, a Peabody Award for Broadcast Excellence and the Writers Guild Award for Best Doc Screenplay. The film was also one of three docs to make New York Magazine’s Top Ten Best Shows list. Levi also received three Best Script nominations from the Writers Guild for his other work. His film “Duke Ellington: Reminiscing in Tempo” premiered on PBS’s American Experience, received an Emmy, a WGA Best Screenplay nomination, won several film festivals, and was later adapted into a multi-part series for A&E’s Biography, and BBC’s “Omnibus.” The film also screened at festivals including Berlin, London, Melbourne, Munich, AFI and others.