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DEFIANT REQUIEM tells the little-known story of the Nazi concentration camp, Terezín. Led by imprisoned conductor Rafael Schächter, the inmates of Terezín fought back...with art and music. Through hunger, disease and slave labor, the Jewish inmates of Terezin hold onto their humanity by staging plays, composing opera and using paper and ink to record the horrors around them.


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Terezín evolved into a major center of music and art during the Nazi Occupation of Czechoslovakia. Enter the cultural center of this unique Jewish Ghetto for an interactive experience of how prisoners regained hope, courage and dignity in the midst of monumental suffering, disease and death. […]


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Teach the story of Jewish prisoners of the Nazis who used music to defy their oppressors, find courage and sustain hope. The Defiant Requiem curriculum was developed by staff and educational consultants to the Foundation and peer-reviewed by a curriculum review panel composed of private, public, and parochial teachers from the DC/MD area.  […]


50th Performance of Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín

Since the world premiere performance on April 20, 2002, the concert-drama Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín has had an unmistakable and unique connection with audiences and performers alike. Everyone knew they were experiencing a different kind of concert – one that pairs some of the most astounding music ever written with an unparalleled story of human resilience. […]


Edgar Krasa: A Life Profile

Edgar Krasa’s decision to become a cook saved his life more than once, saved his parents’ lives, and took him from Prague to Israel, Tasmania, New York and ultimately to Newton Centre, just outside of Boston, where he lived since 1963.

Edgar Krasa was born in 1924 in Karlsbad, in the German part of Czechoslovakia, Sudentenland. In 1933, with pre-war pressures already mounting, the family moved to Prague. When Edgar was around 14, his aunt encouraged him to learn to cook, so that he would always be around food. He became a cook’s apprentice, and began working at the restaurant where he trained. When the restaurant he worked at was […]



The Defiant Requiem Foundation established The University Residency Project in early 2014 to provide grants of up to $25,000 to schools of music and music departments at outstanding academic institutions interested in bringing a performance of Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín and other Terezín related events to campus. […]