Music in the Nazi Ghettos and Camps: An Advocacy of Life

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Sunday, May 1, 2011 - 8:00pm
Location: 
Herbert Zipper Auditorium, Colburn School, 200 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, Ca 90012

The Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale (LAZC) will be presenting a musical and educational program on May 1, 2011 to commemorate the Holocaust, known in Hebrew as Yom HaShoah. This musical and lecture program is entitled “Music in the Nazi Ghettos and Camps: An Advocacy of Life.” The Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale is a non-profit community chorale under the musical direction of Nick Strimple. For more information on the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale, log on to our website at www.lazc.org.

This program will serve the entire community of Los Angeles and will offer the audience a new perspective on the advocacy of the arts that persisted within the European Jewish community despite the horrors of the Holocaust. To date, the following organizations have graciously granted their support and sponsorship of the event: Los Angeles Board of Rabbis, L. A. Opera, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Pacific Southwest Region, Colburn School, Jewish Music Commission of Los Angeles, Conference for Justice and Equality, Sigi Ziering Foundation, Valley Interfaith Council.

The program will both showcase some of the fine music composed and performed by Jews in the ghettos and concentration camps during World War II, and educate the audience about the role of music in preserving European Jews’ sense of hope, community, and pride during this period of unprecedented torture and genocide. The lecture-concert(s), which will be free to the public, will present a sampling of music from the Eastern ghettos, Western transit camps, forced labor and death camps, and Terezin. The music will be interspersed with lecture by Dr. Strimple, a renowned scholar of Holocaust music and a faculty member at the University of Southern California in the choral music department, who will explain the origin and circumstances of each piece's composition and performance. Moreover, during the week prior to the performances, Dr. Strimple plans to offer evening educational programs to promote the concert and educate the audience: one of these would be open to the public, and the other would take place at the Colburn school, for students there. For additional information about Dr. Strimple, log on to his website at www.nickstrimple.com.

The venue for this program – Zipper Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles – holds special significance as its namesake, Herbert Zipper, who was interned in both Buchenwald and Dachau was a Holocaust survivor who composed one of the most famous concentration camp songs. Dr. Zipper ultimately settled in Los Angeles and contributed immeasurably to the Jewish community here. Moreover, the performers for this program are especially well-suited to present the proposed subject matter.

For instance, Dr. Strimple has lectured on the subject of music and the Holocaust at Yale University, Oxford University, Wellesley College, and other distinguished institutions, and has presented and performed Shoah music programs throughout the United States and Europe. He served for ten years as a consultant to the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and, during 2001-02, served on the California State Legislature Working Group for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education. He currently serves as a consultant to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. LAZC, in addition, has presented concerts of music on Holocaust themes internationally with outstanding success since its formation in 1998. Some examples of such performances include: “Music and the Holocaust: Survival, Resistance and Response” at the American Musicological Society National Convention in Los Angeles (2006); the Milken Archive’s CD album featuring LAZC performing Max Helfman’s Di Naye Hagode: A Choral Tone Poem on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (2006); “Holocaust Commemoration,” a joint Concert with the Las Vegas Master Singers in Las Vegas (2001); the Sounds of Healing Project, involving collaboration with the Nuremburg Symphony in Nuremburg, Germany (2000); the Musica Iudaica Festival in Prague (2000); the Yom Hashoah Commemoration at Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles (1999); and Arnold Schoenberg's A Survivor from Warsaw with LA Jewish Symphony in Los Angeles (April, 1998). Never before, however, has LAZC had opportunity to present such a diverse collection of Holocaust music in a free performance to the Los Angeles public, coupled with a substantial educational component, at a major venue for the arts.


Program: 

The musical repertoire presented at this program will include a diverse collection of compositions for solo voice, choir, and instrumental ensembles composed and/or performed during the Holocaust. The repertoire will include:

To the Fighter in the Concentration Camp… Hanns Eisler

Dachau Lied……………………………… Herbert Zipper

Raisins and Almonds……………………… Abraham Goldfaydn

No More Raisins, No More Almonds…… David Beyglman

In Diesen Heil’gen Hallen………………… W. A. Mozart

String Quartet # 2 (one mvt. only)……………… Alexander Borodin

Adon Olam……………………………………… Jeszua Hutner (written in hiding, France, 1943)

Mi Chamocha ………………………………… David Nowakowsky (hidden from the Nazis, Odessa, 1941)

Polonaise in e minor…………………………… Anonymous 18th c. Polish (discovered in Auschwitz, 1944)

Fantasia on a Provençal Tune…………………… William Hilsley (for string quartet and oboe)

Three Rimbaud Songs………………………… Hans Krasa (for baritone, clarinet, viola and cello)

Bachuri lean tisa ………………………………… Gideon Klein

Three Folksongs from Terezín The Rožnov Clock ………… probably by Klein and R.Schaecter

Eliahu hanavi ……………………………… Viktor Ullmann

Anu olim artza …………………………… Viktor Ullmann

Final Quartet from “Der Kaiser von Atlantis” …… Viktor Ullmann

Final Chorus from “Elijah” ……………… Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy