Music of Remembrance commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day with free concert at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall
SEATTLE, WA—December 1, 2015
On Wednesday evening, January 27, 2016 at 5 p.m., Music of Remembrance (MOR) will present a community-wide free concert to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Established by a United Nations General Assembly resolution in November 2005, International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorates the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated 6 million Jews, 1 million Roma, 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people, and 9,000 homosexual men by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. On January 27, 1945, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, was liberated by the Soviet army.
The musical program features works by composers whose lives were cut short by Nazi persecution: Gideon Klein, Zikmund Schul, Robert Dauber, Erwin Schulhoff, David Beigelman and Dick Kattenburg. The program also includes cabaret music from the Terezín concentration camp and a selection of songs from the Vilna ghetto. Against impossible odds, Vilna’s Jews held out in a proud struggle to defend a unique heritage, and within the ghetto’s walls poetry and music took on special importance. These songs embody the courageous resilience of those who bared their souls through music.
With this concert, Music of Remembrance joins organizations around the world in commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Made possible through the generous sponsorship of Jack and Adina Almo, this free concert is an opportunity for the entire Seattle community to come together in honor of the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and to experience a small part of the musical legacy left by those who continued to create inspired music even while in the hands of their Nazi captors. Robert Dauber was a prisoner in the Terezín concentration camp when he composed his beguilingly sentimental Serenata. Gideon Klein wrote the vibrant String Trio just days before his transport to Auschwitz. Zikmund Schul’s Chassidic Dances were composed during his first year of imprisonment in Terezín, where he later succumbed to tuberculosis. Erwin Schulhoff’s sparkling Duo for violin and cello from 1925 reveals the influence of Slavonic folksong and the dance music of the day. His audaciously original voice and fascinating career met an abrupt end in a Nazi concentration camp. David Beigelman completed his haunting Dybbuk Dances in the Lodz Ghetto in 1941. Dutch composer Dick Kattenburg never lived to hear a performance of his dazzling Escapades. Although they perished, their music remains as witness to their extraordinary courage. We’ll never know what they could have created in longer lives and in a normal world, but their moral strength can inspire us all, and challenge us to understand the extraordinary depth of human capacity.
The concert opens with Joseph Achron’s meditative and deeply soulful Hebrew Melody.
The program features stellar instrumentalists drawn largely from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and some of the region’s vocal talents.
About Music of Remembrance
Founded in 1998 by pianist Mina Miller, Music of Remembrance (MOR) fills a unique role throughout the world by remembering the Holocaust through music with concert performances, educational programs, recordings and commissions of new works. Along with its large and varied repertoire of Holocaust-era music, MOR commissions and premieres new Holocaust-inspired works by some of today’s leading composers, building bridges across generations and sharing stories that underline the Holocaust’s urgent moral relevance for us now.
The Music of Remembrance mission is not religious nor is its scope limited to Jewish music or experience. Our programs have also focused on the Holocaust’s impact on homosexuals, women, children, Roma, political prisoners and courageous free-thinkers.
MOR reaches across the community. In addition to ticketed concerts, we offer free community outreach events. We also bring educational programs to schools and colleges where we work closely with faculty members. MOR has reached audiences around the world through its seven CDs on Naxos, the world’s leading classical music label, and its two documentary films produced by award-winning filmmaker John Sharify. More information is available at www.musicofremembrance.org.