FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2021
Contact: Mina Miller, Artistic Director; Steve Griggs, Administrator
Music of Remembrance (MOR) announces its 2021-2022 season with return to live performances in Seattle and San Francisco
SEATTLE, WA—On Sunday, November 7, 2021, Music of Remembrance opens its 24th season with its return to the live concert stage at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall. The season theme – the Power of Perseverance – honors the world’s continuing journey in the face of today’s challenges. "The pandemic forces us to summon our deepest resources so that we can continue a journey of courage and commitment,” remarks Artistic Director Miller. “Our season’s theme is also a journey of questions to answer and others waiting to be asked.”
This Special Welcome Back Concert on November 7, free to the public, is MOR’s way of honoring the community for its perseverance through this difficult time. The program features works by composers who dared to create even in the face of harsh persecution; new songs by Lori Laitman and Tom Cipullo inspired by the resilience of the ginkgo trees that survived devastation to sprout anew; Cabaret songs from Terezín that prisoners wrote and sang under the noses of their Nazi captors; and Polina Nazaykinskaya’s Haim – a tribute to David Arben, who survived seven labor and concentration camps thanks to his violin and went on to an illustrious career in America.
On Sunday, March 13, 2022, MOR’s second Benaroya Hall concert, Stormy Seas, features the first public performance of the work with that name that MOR commissioned from Iranian American composer Sahba Aminikia. The work, especially meaningful now, tells the stories of young boat refugees from five countries – Nazi Germany, communist Cuba, war-torn Vietnam, Taliban-dominated Afghanistan, and Ivory Coast – who braved perilous waters in search of safe shores. Rodas Recordada, by Sid Robinovitch, recalls the island of Rhodes’ once-thriving Sephardic Jewish community and reveals a surprising connection with Seattle. Plus a pair of haunting songs based on Ladino poems, and music by three Dutch composers touched by the Holocaust.
On Sunday, May 15, 2022 at Benaroya Hall, and on Sunday, May 22 at San Francisco’s Presidio Theatre, MOR presents the world premiere of Tres Minutos, the one-act opera it has commissioned from composer Nicolas Benavides and librettist Marella Martin Koch. Soprano Vanessa Isiguen and baritone José Rubio star in the roles of Nila and Diego, a sister and brother who share family bonds but not citizenship. Allowed a brief supervised reunion at the US-Mexico border that separates them, they wrestle with questions of identity, duty and belonging. The compelling work explores the intimate human dimensions of an issue that confronts our country and the world.
MOR is planning these live concerts in a cautious manner with safety protocols that include reduced seating capacity, audience distancing, and masking and vaccination requirements. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our audience, performers and staff. Circumstances continue to evolve almost daily, and we’re prepared to make changes or take any additional steps that become necessary.
In addition, MOR will reach out to audiences everywhere with three all-new virtual programs during the season. Ghetto Songs (streaming December 2021) features director Erich Parce’s new dramatic realization of composer Paul Schoenfield’s song cycle based on verses that the great Yiddish poet Mordecai Gebirtig wrote in the months before and during his forced confinement in the Krakow ghetto. Art From Ashes (January 27, 2022) honors International Holocaust Remembrance Day on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Injustice (February 2022) features songs by Black American composer Margaret Bonds that set evocative poems by Langston Hughes. It also includes Kurt Weill songs of anti-Nazi satire and anti-apartheid protest, and Portuguese composer Luis Tinoco’s recent work Aleppo honoring the perseverance of that besieged city’s inhabitants.
About Music of Remembrance
MOR remembers the Holocaust through music and honors the resilience of all people excluded or persecuted for their faith, nationality, ethnicity, gender or sexuality. In addition to rediscovering and performing music from the Holocaust, MOR has commissioned and premiered more than 30 new works by some of today’s leading composers, drawing on the Holocaust’s lessons to address urgent questions for our own time. MOR’s ensemble is drawn from the ranks of the Seattle Symphony.
More information: www.musicofremembrance.org