On this year's International Holocaust Remembrance Day—the 71st anniversary of the liberation of the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau—Music of Remembrance will present a free community concert at Seattle's Benaroya Hall, commemorating the event.
Music of Remembrance (MOR), is a Seattle, Washington-based chamber music organization founded in 1998 by President and Artistic Director Mina Miller, whose Lithuanian parents survived the war when stranded in New York on a visit to the World's Fair in 1939. The group seeks to fill a unique cultural role in Seattle and throughout the world by remembering the Holocaust through music. Their mission is not religious, nor is its scope limited to Jewish music. With concert performances, educational programs, recordings, and commissions of new works, MOR seeks to tell the stories of those that suffered during the Holocaust, through the medium of the same intellectual and creative work the Nazi regime sought to suppress. This Seattle-based music organization remembers the musicians of the Holocaust by preserving and performing their music.
Since their inaugural 1998-99 season, MOR has presented two main-stage concert programs annually at Seattle's Benaroya Hall, marking the anniversary of Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) each fall, and Holocaust Remembrance Day each spring.
With their January 27, 2016, 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 and 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.
This year's musical program is titled, "Art from Ashes" and features music from the Terezin, Lodz and Vilna Ghettos, including works by composers whose lives were cut short by Nazi persecution:
Gideon Klein—wrote his vibrant String Trio just days before his transport to Auschwitz.
Zikmund Schul—who's Chassidic Dances were composed during his first year of imprisonment in Terezín, where he later succumbed to tuberculosis.
Robert Dauber— a prisoner in the Terezín concentration camp when he composed his beguilingly sentimental Serenata.
Dick Kattenburg— a Dutch composer who never lived to hear a performance of his dazzling Escapades.
Erwin Schulhoff—who's sparkling Duo for violin and cello from 1925 reveals the influence of Slavonic folk song 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.
Although they perished, their music remains as a witness to their extraordinary courage. We'll never know what they could have created in longer lives and a normal world, but their moral strength can inspire us all, and challenge us to understand the extraordinary depth of human capacity.
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.
Mina Miller adds, "We always want to seek new ways of remembering. We want to share fresh stories, new stories, which also challenge our audience to think about the Holocaust differently. When we look at survivors, we almost put them in the category of martyrs and saints. There's no way we can imagine the decisions they had to make. We're more interested in the moral choices, the dilemmas, what they did to survive and what the lesson is for today. I'm less interested in setting poems of individuals than telling their stories as people so we can understand their humanity."
This event is free to the public.
To order tickets visit MOR's website or call 206-365-7770.