The film is to be broadcast on both BBC Two and ZDF (Germany) on January 27th, 2020 – International Holocaust Memorial Day – to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust.

Synopsis: At the end of World War II, 1,000 child survivors of the Holocaust that had devastated Europe’s Jewish population were granted the right to come to the UK.  Three hundred of these children in particular – presumed orphans of the Holocaust, with only a few meagre possessions and little or no English – were brought to Lake Windermere to have the opportunity to recover in this idyllic country setting.

The original soundtrack is composed by Alex Baranowski, a talented multi Award-winning and nominated composer, based in London. He wrote a moving and expressive score. His personal link to the film’s storyline has an important part in the creation of the score, as his Polish grand-parents suffered the war, exile and the loss of their family in the death camps. Their story and inheritance inspired him deeply.

He explains: “The process of scoring the film was by far the most emotional journey I’ve ever been on whilst composing anything at all. The story resonated with the experiences of my own Polish grandparents during and after the war: foreigners in a new country with nowhere to which to return; an entire family killed or murdered; making sense of their experiences through music, painting and writing poetry. Being able to go through my own voyage of discovery of my family past whilst helping to tell this quite beautiful story was an absolute privilege”.

The album “The Windermere Children” 
with original music by 
Alex Baranowski
 is now available via Sony Classical

The soundtrack was recorded with the London Metropolitan Orchestra at the world famous Air Studios and features instruments of the time:
“I had inherited my Grandfather’s instruments when he passed away, one of which was an accordion which he bought in Rome in 1943.  That same accordion was one of the first instruments I picked up when starting ideas for ‘The Windermere Children’, playing the song ‘Rozhinkes mit Mandlen’ by Abraham Goldfaden that features alongside my music in the film”.

For the film’s main theme, Baranowski was inspired by simple beauty and innocence of lullabies sung to him by his grandmothers as a young child, suggesting: “The song could be one of the few memories they had that could comfort them as they waited to hear the fate of their family”.


Baranowski’s previous scores for film include the twice BAFTA nominated feature ‘McCullin’, ‘Nureyev’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’ (staring Carrey Mulligan and Andy Serkis).  Baranowski also notably scored Gillian Anderson’s directorial debut, ‘The Departure’.  He was nominated for a Tony Award for the music for Martin McDonagh’s ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ on Broadway, having composed music for several theatre productions around the world, working with directors including Danny Boyle, Sir Nicholas Hytner and Rupert Goold.

From BAFTA-nominated screenwriter Simon Block and BAFTA and Emmy Award- winning director Michael Samuels, ‘The Windermere Children’ is the stark, moving and ultimately redemptive story of the bonds these children make with one another, of how the friendships forged at Windermere become a lifeline to a fruitful future and how, in the absence of surviving relatives, the children find family in each other. It draws on the first-person testimony of some of these now elderly survivors, whose filmed interviews feature in the film.

The process of scoring the film was by far the most emotional journey I’ve ever been on whilst composing anything at all.

The responsibility for looking after the children – who, having spent many years living in Nazi death camps and ghettos, bore deep emotional and physical scars –  was held by Oscar Friedmann, a German-born child social worker and psychoanalyst, played here by Thomas Kretschmann (‘The Pianist’).  ‘The Windermere Children’ features a stellar cast that also includes Romola Garai (‘The Miniaturist’) as art therapist, Marie PanethTim McInnerny (‘Strangers’) as philanthropist, Leonard Montefiore and Iain Glenn (‘Game Of Thrones’) as sports coach, Jock Lawrence.  The roles of the young children in the film are played by a talented cast of young European actors selected from Polish communities in Warsaw, Germany, London, Manchester and Belfast.

BBC Two Controller, Patrick Holland said: “The refuge given in the Lakes and determination to give children back their lives so they could begin again is both deeply moving and humbling.”   Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual, added: “I feel privileged that we will be bringing this extraordinary, but little-known, story to vivid life through beautifully realised drama and powerful testimony interview”.  

Simone Emmelius, ZDF Senior Vice President International Fiction, noted: “Seventy five years after WWII, it’s even more important to tell the untold stories of the Holocaust and its devastating consequences.  ‘The Windermere Children’ is an extraordinary and touching drama that reminds us that children are the future” and Leanne Klein, CEO, Wall To Wall Media, remarked: “’The Windermere Children’ is a story of hope after horror, revealing how Britain and a remarkable group of adults transformed the lives of 300 child survivors of the concentration camps.  Seventy five years after the Holocaust ended, it’s a story that feels as important and relevant as ever.  I’m incredibly proud of the exceptional cast and crew we have brought together to make this film.”


1. A New Beginning
2. Salek’s Theme
3. Inseperable
4. Escape To The Woods
5. Stolen Bikes
6. A Family Lost
7.  Bad Dreams
8. Painting Pictures
9. Haunted By The Past
10. Letters From The Red Cross
11. Prayer For The Dead
12. Thoughts Of Home
13. Sala Paints
14. Rozhinkes mit Mandlen (feat. Polina Shepherd)
15. Arriving For The Game
16. England Is Very Green
17. A Brother Returns
18. The Windermere Children
19. A Life Lived

Original Soundtrack Credits:

Music composed, orchestrated and produced by: Alex Baranowski
Music & lyrics to Rozhinkes mit Mandlen, composed by:
Abraham Goldfaden, arranged by Alex Baranowski

Performed by: the London Metropolitan Orchestra
Conducted by: Andy Brown

Recorded at Air Studios & engineered by Fiona Cruickshank
Mixed by A. Baranowski & F. Cruickshank (on 1, 5, 14, 16, 17, 18)

Musicians & soloists:
Vocals on 1, 18: Olivia Samuels
Vocals on 7, 14: Polina Shepherd
Solo Violin: David Juritz
Solo Viola: Bob Smissen
Solo Cello: Dave Daniels
Solo Cello (on 19): Maddie Cutter
Solo Clarinet: Nick Bucknall
Strings: David Juritz, Philippa Ibbotson, Tom Piggot-Smith,
Kirsten Klingels, Bob Smissen, Nick Barr, Dave Daniels,
Nick Cooper, Lynda Houghton
Piano & Mandolin: Alex Baranowski

Score assistant and additional orchestration: Tom Kinsella
Score recordist: Alex Ferguson
Recording Assistant: Ashley Andrew-Jones
Label: Sony Classical
Mastering Engineer: Dave Turner (360 Mastering)