• Apr 12, 2022

Music of Remembrance Returns to Bay Area


April 12, 2022

Contact: Mina Miller, Artistic Director; Steve Griggs, Administrator

(206) 365-7770



Music of Remembrance Returns to Bay Area

Three groundbreaking works address important issues for our time

SEATTLE, WA—On Sunday, May 22 at 4:00 pm, Music of Remembrance returns to San Francisco after a two-year absence during the pandemic for a performance at its new Bay Area home: the Presidio Theatre. The concert features the world premiere of Tres minutos, a compelling new opera by composer Nicolas Benavides and librettist Marella Martin Koch.

Commissioned by MOR, Tres minutos explores the intimate human dimensions of an urgent issue for our time. It tells the story of Nila and Diego, a sister and brother who share family bonds, but not citizenship. Allowed a brief supervised reunion at the border that separates them, they wrestle with questions of identity, duty and belonging. The work is a timely reminder that beyond the arguments about immigration policy are actual people with real lives, deep emotions and complicated relationships. “Tres minutos comes at such an important time in our country,” remarks composer Nicolas Benavides, “a time when we have a refugee crisis and we have the choice to make it better or make it worse.” Starring soprano Vanessa Isiguen and baritone José Rubio in a production conceived and directed by Erich Parce and conducted by the composer.

The concert pairs Tres minutos with two other recent works commissioned by Music of Remembrance from Bay Area composers to address urgent human rights questions. Shinji Eshima’s Veritas draws on vivid imagery of sculptures by Al Farrow to make an eloquent statement about the frightful consequences of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and religious intolerance of all kinds. Stormy Seas by Sahba Aminikia tells five inspiring true stories of young people who braved the peril of setting sail in search of safe shores: from Nazi Germany; from communist Cuba; from war-torn Vietnam; from Taliban-dominated Afghanistan; from an orphanage in Ivory Coast. The work is a testament to hope and courage, and an appeal to our shared humanity. MOR’s instrumental ensemble will be joined by the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir.

MOR’s stellar instrumental ensemble, drawn from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, features clarinetist Laura DeLuca, violinist Mikhail Shmidt, violist Susan Gulkis Assadi, cellist Walter Gray, double bassist Jonathan Green, and pianist Jessica Choe.

Tickets and information: https://www.presidiotheatre.org/show/2022musicofremembrance/

About Music of Remembrance

Now in its 24th year, 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.


Veritas (2019)

Shinji Eshima

Media design by Kate Duhamel of sculpture by Al Farrow

California Premiere

Walter Gray, cello

Jonathan Green, double bass

Stormy Seas (2020)

Sahba Aminikia
California Premiere
Child actors and singers of the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir

Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Walter Gray, cello; Jessica Choe, piano 
Erich Parce, director; Peter Crompton, media designer

Tres minutos

Music by Nicolas Lell Benavides Libretto by Marella Martin Koch

World Premiere

Commissioned by Music of Remembrance

José Rubio, baritone

Vanessa Isiguen, soprano

Brendan Tuohey, tenor

Music of Remembrance Instrumental Ensemble

 Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Walter Gray, cello; Jonathan Green, double bass; Jessica Choe, piano

Nicolas Lell Benavides, conductor

Erich Parce, director

Peter Crompton, media designer