Holocaust Concert a Tribute to Silenced Composers

Remembrance to Include Readings, Performance by Dallas Chamber Orchestra

April 22, 2009

The beauty and intimate musicality of chamber music will be juxtaposed against the cruelties and dehumanization of the Holocaust at the April 26 Holocaust Remembrance Concert, presented by the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies.

The concert begins at 2 p.m. in the University Conference Center and includes a performance by the Dallas Chamber Orchestra and recitation of Holocaust poetry by UT Dallas Founders Professor Fred Turner. Associate Professor Emeritus Gerald Soliday will also present a dramatic reading during the event.

Music to be performed was chosen by Dallas Chamber Orchestra director and UT Dallas faculty member Ronald Neal, who selected pieces from composers who became victims of the Holocaust.

“Music is a way of writing one’s thoughts, feelings and ideas in a universal language,” said Neal. “Until I had played the actual music of a Holocaust victim, these thoughts, these ideas, these feelings were something I had not understood.”

“When you prepare a piece of music for a concert, you live with the score for an extended period of time. You look at the notes; you think, ‘What is this person saying with these written symbols?’  Gradually, you begin understand the composer’s thoughts and you realize that the person who wrote the music is part of yourself, part of the world family.”

The event is open to the public.  Admission is free but reservations are required. For reservations and more information, call 972-883-2100 or email holocauststudies@utdallas.edu. The Holocaust Remembrance Concert is presented in cooperation with The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Dallas.

The 2009 concert will be the third time the Ackerman Center has participated in the international remembrance of the event that commemorates Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Memorial Day.  The full name of the day commemorating the victims of the Holocaust is “Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah”— literally the “Day of (remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism.”  It is marked on the 27th day in the month of Nisan, a week after the seventh day of Passover.

“I believe that one of the most emotional and disturbing moments I have experienced in a performance career of almost five decades happened during the first Holocaust Remembrance Concert at UT Dallas in 2007,” said Neal. “We performed a duo for violin and cello by Gideon Kline who was murdered in Auschwitz.  It is a work of only two movements and the unfinished second movement simply ends in the middle of a phrase.
           
“It is said that the writing stops at the point in time he was taken by the Nazis. In essence, we, the performers as well as the audience, were hearing and living his thoughts at the very moment Kline was taken to see and hear unimaginable atrocities, to suffer and to die.”

The Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies promotes the study of the Shoah (Holocaust) and of Jewish culture and history among UT Dallas students and the larger Dallas-Fort Worth community.  Over the past two decades, the center has developed an international reputation in its field.  The work of the center, housed in the University’s School of Arts and Humanities, is augmented and supported by the Ackerman Challenge Endowment, the Leah and Paul Lewis Chair in Holocaust Studies, the Burton C. Einspruch Holocaust Lecture Series and the Arnold A. Jaffe Holocaust Book Collection.


Media Contacts:  Karah Hosek, UT Dallas, 972-883-4329, karah.hosek@utdallas.edu
or Debra Pfister, UT Dallas, 972-883-2100, dhpf@utdallas.edu

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The Dallas Chamber Orchestra

The Dallas Chamber Orchestra is led by UT Dallas faculty member Ronald Neal.

Ackerman Center logo The event is open to the public. Admission is free but reservations are required. For reservations and more information, call 972-883-2100 or email holocauststudies@utdallas.edu.

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