Sparks of Glory: Letter to Warsaw

This event is part of our free Sparks of Glory educational series.

On October 10th, SAM launches “Elles,” a landmark exhibition organized by the Centre Pompidou in Paris that explores how pioneering women artists have helped shape the major movements of modern and contemporary art. Our musical program features soprano Kimberly Giordano in Letter to Warsaw, a musical portrait of one woman’s intimate first-hand account of life in the grip of the Holocaust.

American composer Thomas Pasatieri’s powerful song cycle sets six texts that poet/cabaret artist Pola Braun wrote while in the Warsaw ghetto and in the Majdanek concentration camp, where she perished in 1943. It opens a window to the emotional life of all women trapped in the web of Holocaust tragedy, and tells a story reminding us that each victim of the Holocaust was an individual, not a statistic.

 

Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Leonid Keylin, violin; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Mara Finkelstein, cello

Syzmon Laks..............................................................................String Quartet No. 3
(b. Warsaw, 1901 – d. Paris, 1983)                                                                  (1945)

Allegro quasi presto
Poco lento, sostenuto
Vivace non troppo
Allegro moderato, giusto

Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Leonid Keylin, violin; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Mara Finkelstein, cello

Thomas Pasatieri..........................................................................Letter to Warsaw
(b. New York, 1945)                                                                                             (2003)

Commissioned by Music of Remembrance
West Coast Premiere of Song Cycle version

Poetry by Pola Braun (c.1910-1943) Warsaw Ghetto; Majdanek Concentration Camp
English translation: Barbara Milewski

Jew
Tsurik a heym
Mother
Letter to Warsaw
An Ordinary Day
Moving Day
Kaddish

Kimberly Giordano, soprano; Mina Miller, piano