Message from the president and founder, Murry Sidlin
Popularists (noun): Those who spread ideas or messages among the people.
I am most pleased to report to you that we presented the live performance of Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín five times between March 9 and May 7, 2015. Sold-out concerts were held at Lincoln Center in Avery Fisher Hall in New York City; Oklahoma City; Tulsa; Boston’s Symphony Hall; and at the San Diego Symphony, bringing the total number of performances over the past many years to a total of 30. In addition to the performances, we were repeatedly privileged to receive excellent press reviews in all of these cities including, on March 8, a full page feature story in the Sunday New York Times. Below this article, we have provided a link to the website of our publicist in New York, Gail Wein at Classical Music Communications, where you may access all of our reviews and stories.
In all, we estimate that we performed for about 12,000 people over the last five most recent concerts, and approximately 65,000 people have experienced the live concert-drama since its initial performance in 2002. This number includes more than 5,000 attendees in Budapest in 2010; Jerusalem; Berlin; Prague; Washington, DC; Atlanta, and three performances on the grounds of Terezín.
On May 7, our documentary film was shown over national television in France, adding that prestigious broadcast to PBS, BBC4, and national television in Brazil. That, combined with the large number of festivals, religious organizations and academic institutions that have shown our film, we can estimate that several million people have seen the documentary.
There are many potential performances and film screenings ahead of us in 2016 and 2017 and our General Manager, Mark Rulison, is working very closely with Board Chair Stuart Eizenstat to speak with many possible hosts in more than ten cities, foreign and domestic.
I am also pleased to report that we premiered our new concert-drama at Terezín on May 17 entitled Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezín Composer. Using 14 instrumentalists, four singers, video, and two narrators, Hours of Freedom follows 15 composers imprisoned in Terezín in the early 1940’s for whom composing was an essential, compelling act of artistic expression and survival. This music was created in an unspeakably violent and degrading environment where composing would seem to be an irrational, irrelevant and useless act. Hours of Freedom explores music of the eyewitness and music of the hopeful visionary and entertainer through 17 short compositions all of which were composed in Terezín.
The title, Hours of Freedom, is a quote from prisoner Rabbi Leo Baeck. In his writings about life in the camp with the lectures, the music and all of the creative artistic events held there, he compares those moments to what life was before Terezín. These moments offered momentary relief from the horrid conditions, providing the prisoner population temporary relief or “hours of freedom” as Rabbi Baeck referred to them. We will soon announce a few upcoming performances of Hours of Freedom.
Our Foundation’s mission is to illuminate the legacy of Terezín, and we continue to remain faithful to that mission. We are committed to do all that we can to have the name of Terezín enter common vocabulary, and for people everywhere to know something about the artistic, talented and defiant prisoner society that grew and flourished in the camp. Terezín is synonymous with faith, courage, determination, and responding to the worst of man with the best of man. In the concert hall, in the movie theater, in schools, our mission is that of the popularist—to spread the legacy among the people.
I wish you all a wonderful summer, and thank you for your great interest and continued support of the important work of our Foundation and its dedicated staff.
Read our Reviews!
Please click on the link below to access all of our concert reviews and press articles organized by Classical Music Communications.