Acclaimed conductor Murry Sidlin presents a new concert-drama that contains the works of 15 Jewish composers imprisoned in the Terezín concentration camp during World War II. The concert includes film and narration with excerpts of selected works by Viktor Ullmann, Gideon Klein, Zigmund Schul, Pavel Haas, Rudolf Karel, and ten others, who were considered the natural successors of the renowned Czech composers. Most of the works that will be performed were the last ones ever composed by these young artists, who were in their twenties and thirties when they were sent to their deaths.

The concert presents solo works, duets, and works for three, four, nine, and 14 players, four singers and two narrators. Featured among the works are excerpts from Ullmann’s Seventh Piano Sonata and his opera Der Kaiser von Atlantis, which contains hidden sociological and patriotic messages. Pavel Haas’s Etude for Strings presents a dialogue between the live string ensemble onstage and a film clip from 1944 of a live performance by the musicians in Terezín. Hans Krasa’s songs evoke heartbreaking longing, while Karel Svenk’s Everything Is Possible presents the cabaret music of Terezín by one of Europe’s most gifted young composers.

Sidlin brought his unforgettable work Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín to the Israel Festival in 2012. In Hours of Freedom he continues his exploration of spiritual fortitude and the power of art to inspire, preserve human dignity, and infuse even the most difficult moments with courage and hope.

*The performance is made possible by The Defiant Requiem Foundation and the Gretchen M. Brooks University Residency Project Fund

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