A concert-drama event showcasing the works of 15 composers imprisoned in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp (Terezín) during World War II is coming to Buckhead.
Ahavath Achim Synagogue will host The Defiant Requiem Foundation’s “Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezín Composer” Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. This performance is the featured 2019 Fran Eizenstat and Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture, the synagogue’s signature annual event that previously has drawn Nobel Peace Prize and Pulitzer Prize winners and U.S. presidents as speakers.
“Hours of Freedom” will combine video, music and narrative to highlight compositions by Viktor Ullmann, Gideon Klein, Pavel Haas, Rudolf Karel and about a dozen others. Fourteen of the 15 composers were Jewish, and the 15th was a member of the political underground.
Much of this music was the last composed by these gifted artists, many of whom were in their 20s and 30s when they died. In the camp they wrote down their music on whatever paper they could find, including toilet tissue.
“Several were destined to be the next generation of significant Czech composers, following in the footsteps of Dvořák, Smetana, Janáček, Martinu and Suk,” a news release stated. “Some of their compositions reflect the personal, eyewitness account of the agony and suffering of camp life, while others express the assurance of a return to life as it was before the war.”
The music is performed by vocalists Arianna Zukerman, Leah Wool and David Kravitz, concertmaster and solo violinist Herbert Greenberg, cellist Julian Schwarz, pianist Phillip Silver and the Hours of Freedom Chamber Players.
Murry Sidlin, the foundation’s founder, created and wrote “Hours of Freedom” and will conduct this performance.
The synagogue is located at 600 Peachtree Battle Ave. NW in Atlanta. Admission is free but preregistration is required. For more information or to preregister, visit www.aasynagogue.org/hours-of-freedom. For more information on the foundation, visit www.defiantrequiem.org.