Interview by Michelle Latour, Classical Singer Magazine, March 2015:
Because We Remember Them:
World War II and the Holocaust in the Arts
A commemoration through personal accounts,
music, dance, film, and drama.
(Flagstaff, AZ – March 2015) In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Northern Arizona University’s School of Music, Theater Department, NAU Community Music and Dance Academy and the College of Arts and Letters will present “Because We Remember Them: World War II and the Holocaust in the Arts - A commemoration through personal accounts, music, dance, film, and drama.
This presentation takes place at 8 p.m., May 2, 2015 in Ardrey Memorial Auditorium on the campus of NAU. The concert is part of a semester-long series of events titled “Commemorating 70 Years: The Liberation of Auschwitz and the End of World War II Remembered.”
This unique evening will not only be a remembrance of the events of the WWII era and the Holocaust, but also a celebration of the artistic works that live on despite the tragic events of the time. The event, organized by Deborah Raymond, Associate Professor of Voice at NAU, will include music and drama by composers and authors who lived in the Nazi camp in Terezin, Czechoslovakia (and were later deported); as well as commentary from NAU Director of Opera Theatre Nando Schellen, who spent his childhood in the Netherlands and Belgium during the war.
Raymond said she hopes the audience comes away from the multi-media event not only more educated and aware, but also uplifted by the beauty of the art that was created during such a painfully intense time.
“While war rages now in many parts of the world, we cannot erase from our minds the inconceivable atrocity which attacked our civilization 70 years ago,” she said. “It’s easy to remove ourselves from these events, since most of us were not alive at the time, and they didn’t occur in our country. They did, however, take place within our own Western culture and still affect countess people today.”
“The beautiful, inspiring music these composers created will connect us to all who suffered and all whose lives were ended so incomprehensibly.”
The program includes works by Erwin Schulhoff, Viktor Ullmann, Gideon Klein, Pavel Haas, Vitezslav Horpatsky,Felix Prokes, Mauel Chebsky, Leo Strauss, Myra Strauss-Gruhenberg, Ellwood Derr, Ilse Weber; with childhood memories by Nando Schellen.
Press release, Because We Remember Them, 2015: