Spring Concert: Gaman

Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 5:00pm
2017-18 Season Subscriptions are now available for the November 5 and May 20 concerts ($80 for the 2-concert series).

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Spring Concert: Gaman: to persevere

May 20, 2018 | 5 p.m.
Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, Benaroya Hall, Seattle
Followed by MOR's 20th Season Gala Dinner
Featuring World Premieres by composers Christophe Chagnard and Ryuichi Sakamoto:
Composer: Christophe Chagnard | Commissioned by Music of Remembrance

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, more than 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry – a majority of them American citizens – were forced to detention camps scattered across the western United States. French-American composer Christophe Chagnard, now in Seattle, will explore this painful chapter of history through the stories of individuals, families and artists based on their personal accounts, journals, letters and art works. Chagnard's multi-media work Gaman will tell much of this story through the imagery and words of two artists: Takuichi Fujii (1891-1964) and Kamekichi Tokita (1897–1948). Both emigrated to the United states and by the 1930s had become prominent artists with paintings included in major exhibitions. During the war, they were forced with their families to the Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho, one of 10 geographically scattered detention camps where 120,000 people were incarcerated. Fujii and Tokita kept deeply expressive diaries that, along with their drawings and paintings from Minidoka, serve as powerful documentation of the Japanese-American wartime experience. The composition will combine traditional Japanese and classical Western instruments along with a narrator/baritone Robert Orth, all combined with visual media projections.


Composer: Ryuichi Sakamoto | Commissioned by Music of Remembrance

The spring concerts will also feature composer Ryuichi Sakamoto's second new MOR commission: NAMÉ. The work will be scored for string quartet, piano and voices. Sakamoto plans it as a participatory work, in which members of the public will join the performers on stage to honor the names of people who perished in World War II – balanced equally between Japanese and non-Japanese victims of the conflict.