San Francisco Spring Concert: Mirror of Memory

San Francisco Spring Concert: Mirror of Memory

May 24, 2017 - 12:00 pm

After 3:30 pm on May 24, tickets will only be available at the door, starting at 6:30 pm.  

In 2015, MOR introduced itself to San Francisco with a program combining music from the time of the Holocaust with two of our recent major commissions. That concert paved the path for last year’s breakthrough production of Out of Darkness, and we’re excited to announce a return to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in May 2017.

The varied program will bring our next large commission: a new work about the experience of Europe’s Roma during the Holocaust by Armenian-American composer Mary Kouyoumdjian. Kouyoumdjian’s work, to open myself, to scream, shares the story of Romani artist Ceija Stojka, who survived three concentration camps to become a noted painter and writer. The multi-media piece combines electronic music with live chamber music and incorporates compelling visual imagery from the Syrian-Armenian artist Kevork Mourad.

Artwork: Hiding by Ceija Stojka. Courtesy of Pat and Marcus Meier.  

The program also features San Francisco Opera favorite Catherine Cook in a performance of songs from the Vilna Ghetto. Vilna’s Jews held out in proud struggle to defend a unique heritage, and within the ghetto’s walls poetry and music took on special importance. These songs in Yiddish take us on an inspiring journey that spans heartbreak, hope, defiance and even humor. Cook will also perform contemporary American composer Lori Laitman’s moving song cycle The Seed of Dream, based on poetry by Vilna Ghetto survivor and resistance fighter Abraham Sutzkever.

MOR’s instrumental ensemble, featuring musicians from the Seattle Symphony, will also perform Israeli composer Betty Olivero’s klezmer-infused music created for the 1920 silent film The Golem.

Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Walter Gray, cello; Jonathan Green, double bass; Laura DeLuca, clarinet
Hans Krasa, Dance, (Terezín, 1943)
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola, Walter Gray, cello
Songs of the Vilna Ghetto
Catherine Cook, mezzo soprano
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Natasha Bazhanov, violin, Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Walter Gray, cello; Jonathan Green, double bass
Betty Olivero, Zeks Yiddishe Lider un Tantz from The Golem (1997)
Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Natasha Bazhanov, violin, Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Walter Gray, cello
Lori Laitman, The Seed of Dream (2005)
Commissioned by Music of Remembrance
Catherine Cook, mezzo soprano; Walter Gray, cello; Mina Miler, piano
Mary Kouyoumdjian, to open myself, to scream (2017)
Media Design by: Kevork Mourad
Commissioned by Music of Remembrance, world premiere
Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Alexander White, trumpet; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Walter Gray, cello; Jonathan Green, double bass
Post-Concert Reception: Meet the composer, mingle with the artists and enjoy wine and hors d'oeuvres as we celebrate the Bay Area premiere of MOR's newest music commission. Tickets for the reception are $100. A portion of each reception ticket purchase represents a tax deductible contribution to MOR. Please note that reception tickets do not include admission to the concert. Concert and reception tickets may be purchased together or separately, using the Brown Paper Tickets order form below. The reception will take place in the SF Conservatory of Music's Osher Salon immediately following the Mirror of Memory concert, and will last from approximately 9:30 - 11 p.m.