Music of Remembrance's Mission

Music of Remembrance fills a unique role throughout the world by remembering the Holocaust through music. With concert performances, educational programs, recordings, and commissions of new works by some of today’s leading composers, MOR honors those of all backgrounds who found the strength to create even in the face of persecution, and those who had the courage to speak out against cruelty. We tell stories that communicate urgent moral lessons for today with a scope that extends beyond the Holocaust itself to the experience of others who have been excluded or persecuted for their faith, ethnicity, gender or sexuality.

Mina Miller

Meet Music of Remembrance's Founder and Artistic Director

The daughter of Lithuanian refugees who arrived in New York City as the Nazis were moving across Europe, Mina Miller was born into a world irrevocably shaped by the Holocaust. But faced with that tragedy of inconceivable proportions, she has created an ongoing memorial to its victims in the form of Music of Remembrance, which pays tribute to the artists who were lost to the Holocaust and the artwork they both created and inspired. Mina’s musical journey began alongside her mother, a talented pianist in her own right, and continued at the Manhattan School of Music and New York University, where she earned her Ph.D. Thereafter, she divided her time between academia, as a tenured professor at the University of Kentucky, and performance, playing concerts across North America and Europe. Moving to Seattle in 1997, she founded Music of Remembrance the following year, and has continued to lead the organization as Artistic Director ever since.

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“I am honored to be associated with an organization that puts action behind a very important idea. Words and music matter. They have the power to change hearts, which is harder than changing minds.” – Laura Strickling, soprano in MOR commission The Parting

“Being part of MOR has made me more compassionate for other people who are oppressed or struggling in this day.” – violinist Zoe Lonsinger

“Music of Remembrance does what our most beloved cultural institutions always aspire to do when they preserve the voices of the past, or when they commission and midwife brand new works based on timeless themes. They educate us and inspire us. And oh how they inspire in concerts filled with beauty, passion, meaning, justice, heartbreak, comfort, and joy.” – composer Tom Cipullo

“Music of Remembrance has highlighted the reality that in the end we really are like a grove of aspen trees. We all share a common root network and if one tree is sick we all feel the effects. We’re not just learning about what happened. We’re learning about how we can grow as human beings.” –librettist Gene Scheer

Upcoming Events

Jun 27, 2021 - 5:00 PM

Nazi concentration camp badges

This June, Music of Remembrance (MOR) will stream a special all-new production of two works by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer: For a Look or a Touch and Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope. The concert was originally scheduled for live performances at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall and San Francisco’s Presidio Theatre. Because of continuing pandemic restrictions, MOR will instead create a compelling video production and make it available around the world on its streaming platform. Details on the exact streaming date will be announced soon, along with ticketing information.

Still Available Online

Concert: Art From Ashes

MOR String Trio

On January 27, 1945 the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by the Soviet Army. Continuing its long-standing tradition, Music of Remembrance honors this anniversary with its Art From Ashes program, an annual concert marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Concert: Return to Amasia

Eric Hachikian

Our fourth and final virtual concert of this unique season shines a light on the Armenian genocide with Return to Amasia by American composer Eric Hachikian. During and after World War I, about one and a half million ethnic Armenians in Turkey and adjacent regions were systematically murdered or expelled by the Ottoman authorities. Hachikian is the grandson of survivors from the genocide and Return to Amasia is an intimate musical and visual account of his own journey to that city in in search of his roots. Parts of the music are adapted from Hachikian’s score for Voyage to Amasia, the feature-length documentary film that he produced. You’ll be able to view the complete film when we screen it online around the time of this concert.

Concert: Stormy Seas

Kahal Shalom Synagogue

Iranian-American composer Sahba Aminikia is also a performer and educator with a deep personal commitment to human rights causes. He is the founder and artistic director of the Flying Carpet Festival, a performing arts festival for children in war zones. His new work is based on the beautiful book Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees by Mary Beth Leatherdale and Eleanor Shakespeare. It tells five true stories about young people who braved the peril of setting sail in search of safe shores: from Nazi Germany; from communist Cuba; from war-torn Vietnam; from Taliban-dominated Afghanistan; from an orphanage in Ivory Coast. The work is a testament to hope and courage, and an appeal to our shared humanity.

Concert: To Life!

Mikhail Shmidt, Walter Gray

Gifted Russian-born composer Polina Nazaykinskaya’s Haim (Hebrew for “life”) is a musical tribute to David Arben, a survivor of three concentration and four labor camps as a young boy who was saved by his violin when he was pulled from a crowd of 105 prisoners waiting to be shot or buried alive by the SS. After the war he came to America, penniless and barely speaking a word of English. Eventually he joined the Philadelphia Orchestra for 34 years, more than a dozen as Associate Concertmaster. In Arben’s words, “Music is Life. Music is Hope. Music is Peace.”

Gala: Ginkgos Blossom; Hope Endures

Ginkgo trees near the center of the atomic blasts in Hiroshima survived the inferno because of their resilience and deep roots, sprouting new leaves within days. The survivor trees have come to represent the endurance of hope.

MOR’s roots in our community are deep, our resilience strong. But we need your help to sprout new leaves.

By supporting our work, you’re also supporting our extraordinary performers and sustaining our arts community at this challenging time. 

By supporting our mission, you’re making it possible for us to tell stories of hope and courage that are so needed in today’s world. MOR performs music that matters – now more than ever.

Webinar: INSIGHTS - Haim

Composer Polina Nazaykinskaya

A Story of Hope and Perseverance

Meet Polina Nazaykinskaya, whose moving work Haim receives its Northwest Premiere on our season-opening concert on November 1. You’ll learn the inspiring story of violinist David Arben, who survived three concentration and four labor camps as a boy and eventually made it to the Philadelphia Orchestra where he served for 34 years, more than a dozen as Associate Concertmaster. Meet violinist Rebecca Jackson, who commissioned and premiered Haim and authored the biography of Arben.

Webinar: INSIGHTS - Hans Gál

Hans Gál

An Inspirational Life

Join us for a special program featuring the music of Hans Gál, whose charming early piano trio will also be part of the November 1 concert. Gál fled his native Vienna for England, but when the war broke out he became one of the tens of thousands of foreign nationals from Nazi-controlled countries to be interned as “enemy aliens.” Despite that experience he chose to remain in Britain, becoming a vital force in the country’s musical life and continuing to compose for over five decades. In this fascinating conversation you’ll meet the composer’s daughter Eva Fox-Gál and her son Simon Fox, who join us from the UK.

Webinar: INSIGHTS - Out of Oblivion

Portraits of Three Dutch Wartime Composers

Max Vredenburg (1904 - 1976)
Dick Kattenburg (1919 – 1944)
Paul Hermann (1902 – 1944)

They dared to create even in the face of unfathomable persecution
and we honor the precious legacy of their courage

Artistic Director Mina Miller in Conversation with

Carine Alders, music historian
Joyce Bergman, composer Dick Kattenburg’s niece
Paul van Gastel, composer Paul Hermann’s grandson
Mikhail Shmidt, violinist
Susan Gulkis Assadi, violist

Webinar: INSIGHTS - Stormy Seas

MS St Louis

Inspiring musical portraits of child boat refugees

A special program about Music of Remembrance's commission Stormy Seas. Artistic Director Mina Miller talks with composer Sahba Aminikia, author Mary Beth Leatherdale, stage director Erich Parce, and clarinetist Laura DeLuca about the true stories behind the work and the challenges of presenting the work during the pandemic.

Artistic Director Mina Miller in Conversation with
Sahba Aminikia, composer of Stormy Seas
Mary Beth Leatherdale, author of Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees
Erich Parce, stage director
Laura DeLuca, clarinetist 

Webinar: INSIGHTS - The Transformative Journeys of Four Composers

Michel Michelet (1894-1995), Paul Ben-Haim (1897-1984)
Geza Frid (1904-1989), Eric Hachikian (b. 1982)

Their music and their stories

Artistic Director Mina Miller in Conversation with
Carine Alders, music historian
Eric Hachikian, composer
Mikhail Shmidt, violinist
Susan Gulkis Assadi, violist

Community Partner Activities

March 17-20: Seattle Jewish Film Festival presents Winter Journey

Winter Journey"Winter Journey is a masterpiece. The heart of the film is a series of conversations between father and son. Martin is never seen and his father, now deceased, is wonderfully played by Bruno Ganz, sometimes sullen and withdrawn, though with flashes of good humor and an ever-present melancholy. These initially reluctant memories formed the basis of Martin Goldsmith’s captivating book The Inextinguishable Symphony, from which the filmmakers Anders Ostergaard and Erzsebet Racz have now created a fascinating spectacle that brilliantly dissolves the boundaries of the documentary genre." - Munich Merkur

Click here for tickets

March 18 at 7pm Pacific: Mina Miller interviews Martin Goldsmith

Ticket holders for Winter Journey will get a Zoom invitation.

Martin Goldsmith is the author of The Inextinguishable Symphony: A True Story of Music and Love in Nazi Germany, which tells the riveting story of the Kulturbund, an all-Jewish performing arts ensemble maintained by the Nazis between 1933 and 1941, an ensemble that included Goldsmith's parents. His book is the basis of the acclaimed film WINTER JOURNEY, co-written by Goldsmith, directed by Anders Ostergaard, and starring the late Bruno Ganz. Goldsmith is also the author of Alex's Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance, the story of his grandfather and uncle, who were two of the more than 900 passengers on the ill-fated Jewish refugee ship St. Louis in 1939, and his own six-week journey in their footsteps in 2011. Goldsmith has been a classical music radio programmer and presenter for forty-nine years. From 1989 to 1999, he served as the host of "Performance Today," National Public Radio's daily classical music program, which won the coveted Peabody Award for broadcasting during his tenure. Semi-retired from Sirius XM Satellite Radio in Washington, DC, where he served as the company's Director of Classical Music Programming starting in 2000, Goldsmith now hosts music programs on weekend afternoons.

Spring 2021: Brundibar by the Seattle Youth Opera

Brundibar

This spring, the show must go on… online! Youth Opera Online offers young performers ages 7 – 18 the chance to learn, record and perform a virtual youth opera. The culminating video performance will be shared with family and friends at the end of the program. This eleven-week program not only fosters artistic development and expression, but also provides youth with a fun, supportive environment to connect and collaborate with their peers. This winter, youth will learn the 1944 Jewish-Czech opera Brundibár with the support of Seattle Opera teaching artists.