|"Defiant Requiem" in St Vitus Cathedral in Prague, June 2013. Photo by Josef Rabara|
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra presents the Messa da Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi with a powerful historical and humanitarian element. "Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín" is a multimedia experience featuring a complete live performance of the Requiem that remembers and honors the prisoners of Terezín, a Nazi ghetto and concentration camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia.
Conceived and created by Murry Sidlin, the "Defiant Requiem" tells the story of courageous Jewish prisoners in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp during World War II who performed the famous Verdi Requiem Mass. This powerful, inspirational multimedia performance combines the magnificent music of Verdi with testimony from survivors of the original chorus and footage from propaganda film.
In 1944, the prisoners performed the Requiem for Nazi officers and members of the International Red Cross. Verdi's work, originally a Catholic Mass for the dead, took on new meaning when directed at the Nazi oppressors: "nothing shall remain unavenged", the prisoners sang. "...from the ashes, the guilty man to be judged..."
The concert will be conducted by Murry Sidlin, the creator, president, and artistic director of The Defiant Requiem Foundation, which presents concerts and other events, offers programs for Holocaust education, hosts survivor stories on its website, and produced a 2012 documentary film about Terezín.
"Let the Verdi Requiem sing as something other, more deeply, more profoundly than the great composition that it is", said Sidlin in a recent Chicago Tribune interview. "It's the great composition that served to inject blood and spirit and breath into people who were being deprived of life's values and living."
Sidlin will lead the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Community Chorus of Detroit, and soloists Jennifer Check (soprano), Ann McMahon Quintero (mezzo-soprano), Issachah Savage (tenor), and Nathan Stark (bass) in performance of the complete score, interspersed with historic film footage and recitations by actors.
Sunday, May 7
Los Angeles: 12:00 noon
Detroit, New York, Toronto: 03:00 PM
London: 08:00 PM
Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Madrid: 09:00 PM
Moscow, Kiev, Jerusalem, Athens: 10:00 PM
Monday, May 8
Jakarta: 02:00 AM
Live on Livestream
The Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
♪ Messa da Requiem (1874)
(Defiant Requiem conceived by Murry Sidlin)
Jennifer Check, soprano
Ann McMahon Quintero, mezzo soprano
Issachah Savage, tenor
Nathan Stark, bass
Community Chorus of Detroit
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Murry Sidlin
Live from Orchestra Hall, Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit
Sunday, May 7, 2017, 03:00 PM EDT (UTC-4) / 10:00 PM EEST (UTC+3)
Live on Livestream
|Photo by Josef Rabara|
Murry Sidlin, a conductor with a unique gift for engaging audiences, continues a diverse and distinctive musical career. He is the president and creative director of The Defiant Requiem Foundation, an organization that sponsors live concert performances of Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín and Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezín Composer, as well as other projects including the documentary film Defiant Requiem. Additionally, he lectures extensively on the arts and humanities as practiced by the prisoners in the Theresienstadt (Terezín) Concentration Camp.
Sidlin began his career as assistant conductor of the Baltimore Symphony under Sergiu Comissiona, after which he was appointed resident conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra by Antal Doráti. He has served as music director of the New Haven and Long Beach symphonies, the Tulsa Philharmonic, and the Connecticut Ballet. For eight years he was resident conductor of the Oregon Symphony and, from 2002 to 2010, he served as Dean of the School of Music at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
While with the Oregon Symphony, Sidlin created the Nerve Endings series, which featured innovative concerts designed to attract and engage new audiences and expand the traditional role of the symphony orchestra. Among the most popular of the more than 25 Nerve Endings programs were Sigmund Freud and the Dreams of Gustav Mahler, Russian David/Soviet Goliath (Shostakovich vs. Stalin), and Aaron Copland's America. In April 2002, Sidlin presented the first performances of the Defiant Requiem, and since the premiere he has led more than 30 performances, including three in the Czech town of Terezín, the site of the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp.
Sidlin studied with the legendary pedagogues Leon Barzin and Sergiu Celibidache. He was appointed by Presidents Ford and Carter to serve on the White House Commission of Presidential Scholars. He won national acclaim for the television series Music Is..., a ten-part series about music for children that ran on PBS for five years. In May 2011, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. In September 2011, the Archbishop of Prague presented him with the medal of St Agnes of Bohemia for his dedication to illuminating the legacy of Terezín.
Live on Livestream: All Past Events
Giuseppe Verdi: Messa da Requiem – Tamara Wilson, Alisa Kolosova, Dimitri Pittas, Morris Robinson, BBC Proms Youth Choir, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Marin Alsop
Giuseppe Verdi: Messa da Requiem – Julianna Di Giacomo, Karen Cargill, Steve Davislim, Henning von Schulman, Gothenburg Symphony Chorus & Orchestra, Joana Carneiro
Giuseppe Verdi: Messa da Requiem – Michèle Crider, Markella Hatziano, Gabriel Sadé, Robert Lloyd, London Symphony Chorus & Orcherstra, Richard Hickox (Audio video)