Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz: Music of Remembrance performs free concert at Benaroya Hall

Published on: 
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Media Contact
Mina Miller, Artistic Director
Ph: (206) 365-7770
Email: info@musicofremembrance.org

SEATTLE, WA—November 18, 2014

On January 27, 1945, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, was liberated by the Soviet army. Seventy years later, on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, Music of Remembrance (MOR) will present a community-wide free concert to honor this important moment in history. The musical program features works by composers whose lives were cut short by Nazi persecution: Hans Krása, Gideon Klein, Viktor Ullmann, Ilse Weber, Carlo Taube, Robert Dauber, David Beigelman and Dick Kattenburg. 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.

With this concert, Music of Remembrance joins organizations around the world in commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The free concert is an opportunity for the entire Seattle community to come together in honor of this milestone anniversary, 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, and Hans Krása wrote the vibrant Dance for string trio just months before his transport from Terezín to Auschwitz. Gideon Klein began his striking Duo for violin and cello in his last moments of freedom in Prague. David Beigelman completed his stirring Dybbuk Dances in the Lodz Ghetto in 1941. Dutch Dick Kattenburg never lived to hear a performance of his sparkling Escapades.

The concert opens with Ernest Bloch’s meditative and deeply soulful Prayer. It concludes with the rousing finale from Jake Heggie’s Farewell, Auschwitz, inspired by an Auschwitz inmate’s actual poem that circulated secretly and became an anthem of resistance among her fellow prisoners.

The program features stellar instrumentalists drawn largely from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and some of the region’s vocal talents.

Free Admission: Admission is FREE, but a complimentary ticket is required. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Benaroya Hall ticket office at (206) 215-4747 or by visiting the Benaroya Hall ticket office in person. The Benaroya Hall ticket office is open Monday – Friday, 10am-6pm and Saturday 1pm-6pm. More information is available on the Benaroya Hall website: http://bit.ly/1ykwuo7

Concert Program:

Ernest Bloch: Prayer (1924); transcribed for strings by Alfredo Antonini
Benjamin Shmidt, cello soloist
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Elisa Barston, violin; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Mara Finkelstein, cello

Hans Krasa: Dance (Terezin, 1944)
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Mara Finkelstein, cello

Songs from Terezin
Julia Benzinger, mezzo soprano; Mina Miller, piano

Robert Dauber: Serenata (Terezin, 1943)
Takumi Taguchi, violin; Mina Miller, piano

Gideon Klein: Duo (1942)
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Benjamin Shmidt, cello

David Beigelman: Dybbuk Dances (Lodz ghetto, 1941)
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Jonathan Green, double bass

Dick Kattenburg: Escapades (1938)
Elisa Barston, violin; Mikhail Shmidt, violin

Jake Heggie, “Farewell, Auschwitz” from Farewell, Auschwitz (2013)
Commissioned by Music of Remembrance
Megan Chenovick, soprano; Julia Benzinger, mezzo-soprano; Erich Parce, baritone
Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mikhail Shmidt, violin, Mara Finkelstein, cello; Jonathan Green, double bass; Mina Miller, piano

About Music of Remembrance
Music of Remembrance (MOR) fills a unique cultural role in Seattle and throughout the world by remembering the Holocaust through music with concert performances, educational programs, recordings and commissions of new works. Since its 1998-99 inaugural year, MOR has presented 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. MOR has reached audiences across the community with its Sparks of Glory outreach series, and around the world through its seven CDs (six 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.