Explore Sights and Sounds of “Art and Defiance” at MOR’s Free Chamber Music Concert & SAM’s Picasso Exhibit

Guest Violinist Rossano Is 2010 Junior Winner of Stradivarius Int’l Competition

SEATTLE, WA—September 15, 2010— Music of Remembrance (MOR) kicks off the sixth season of its free-to-the-public Sparks of Glory concerts-with-commentary on Saturday, October 16, at 2:00 p.m., in Seattle Art Museum’s Plestcheeff Auditorium. Since 2005, this unique series has introduced thousands of people to the musical legacy of the Holocaust.

Now, as part of SAM’s Picasso Community Day (10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 16), MOR has collaborated with SAM to prepare a 90-minute program linked to SAM’s Picasso exhibition, “Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris” (a ticketed event that runs through January 17, 2011). For Art and Defiance, MOR’s Artistic Director Mina Miller examines the power of Picasso’s art and the composers of MOR’s musical repertoire to speak against oppression. An internationally recognized authority on music and the Holocaust, Miller will give an introductory talk before the group’s chamber music performance. Says Miller:

Pablo Picasso’s life and his art reflect his passionate engagement with the events and forces that transformed the world during his lifetime. Picasso’s iconic painting Guernica, for example, remains one of the most powerfully eloquent statements about the senseless barbarity of war and its destruction of innocent civilians. In our concert, you’ll hear works that demonstrate how music, too, can represent compelling moral stances.

MOR’s featured musical work, contemporary American composer Paul Schoenfield’s Sparks of Glory, is a dramatic account of courageous acts of heroism from the Holocaust. The program also includes Erwin Schulhoff’s Duo for violin and cello, and Ernest Bloch’s Nigun. 

Schulhoff, like Picasso, was an audacious innovator, and also was deeply influenced by the disillusionment in European artistic circles following World War I. A Jew and outspoken political dissident, he would perish in a Nazi labor camp. Bloch, a Swiss-American composer, left Europe permanently in the 1930s in reaction to the growing tide of Nazi persecution, and played an important role in America’s musical life until his death in Oregon in 1959.

These free Sparks of Glory concerts-with-commentary are performed by some of Seattle’s leading musicians, such as Mikhail Shmidt, Walter Gray, Laura DeLuca, Mark Salman, and Miller herself, a distinguished pianist. This season’s guest artists include baritone Erich Parce, and young violinist Marié Rossano, the 2008 recipient of MOR’s David Tonkonogui Memorial Award, and more recently, this year’s winner of the Stradivarius International Competition’s junior division.

MOR’s education and outreach series, created to bring chamber music to Seattle’s varied communities, is supported this season, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Sparks of Glory Musical Witness Series
Hosted by the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) & the Good Shepherd Center (GSC)
Picasso exhibit tickets available online at seattleartmuseum.org

Art and Defiance
October 16, 2010 2:00 p.m.
Seattle Art Museum

Erwin Schulhoff: Duo (1925)
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Walter Gray, cello

Ernest Bloch: Nigun (1923)
Marié Rossano, violin (2008 DTMA winner); Mina Miller, piano

Paul Schoenfield: Sparks of Glory (1995)
Erich Parce, narrator
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Walter Gray, cello; Mark Salman, piano



The Seed of Dream
March 14, 2011 6:00 p.m.
Good Shepherd Center

Laszlo Weiner: Duo (1939)
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola

Lori Laitman: The Seed of Dream (2004) Music of Remembrance Commission
Erich Parce, baritone
Walter Gray, cello; Mina Miller, piano

Pavel Haas: String Quartet No. 3 (1938)
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Elisa Barston, violin; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Walter Gray, cello

*This series is made possible, in part, with funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

About Music of Remembrance
Music of Remembrance (MOR) fills a unique spiritual and cultural role in Seattle and throughout the United States by remembering Holocaust musicians and their art through musical performances, educational programs, musical recordings and commissions of new works. Since its 1998–99 inaugural year, MOR has presented two major concerts annually at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, marking the anniversary of Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) each fall and Holocaust Remembrance Day each spring. Since 2005–06, MOR’s outreach series Sparks of Glory has combined free public concerts with commentary by Artistic Director Mina Miller, reaching beyond the concert hall through performance residencies around Seattle. More information available at www.musicofremembrance.org.

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