From August 3 through August 9, our weekly streamed program
remembers Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years later
Seventy-five years ago, the world was changed forever by the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and three days later on Nagasaki. To mark this somber milestone, this week’s program features three works that Music of Remembrance presented as part of its Voices of Witness project.
Shinji Eshima composed August 6th in 1995 for the fiftieth anniversary of that fateful day. With the haunting simplicity of its dialog for violin and double bass, the work is a contemplation on the horror unleashed on that date. Iconic Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Snow Falls, a 2017 MOR commission, is based on a poem of that name by Kiyoko Nagase, delivered both in the original Japanese and in an English translation by Empress Michiko. The work mournfully captures the heartbreak and desolation of the bombing’s aftermath. Together, August 6th and Snow Falls are eloquent pleas about the urgency of preventing nuclear war.
Our program also includes MOR’s second Sakamoto commission: his 2019 work Passage, based on the first-hand account of a refugee fleeing violence in today’s Middle East. We’re reminded, once again, of how people’s worlds are shattered by war.
In August 6th, you’ll experience the soulful performance by violinist Natasha Bazhanov and double bassist Jonathan Green. Snow Falls features the sensitive poetic delivery of actress Naho Shioya, along with violinist Takumi Taguchi and pianist Mina Miller. In Passage, the stellar string quartet of violinists Mikhail Shmidt and Takumi Taguchi, violist Susan Gulkis Assadi and cellist Walter Gray is joined by baritone José Rubio as narrator.
On August 6 at 3:00 pm (Pacific), join MOR for a special Zoom event remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Along with excerpts from the works by Shinji Eshima and Ryuichi Sakamoto, the program will also include comments and reflections from the composers and the performers who brought these powerful works to life, as well as an inspiring message from Yoichiro Yamada, Japan’s Consul General in Seattle. Click here to register.