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Brundibar Arts Festival to mark Holocaust Memorial Day with event at Northumbria University

27th January 2016

Northumbria will tonight host a Classical Recital for Holocaust Memorial Day as part of the Brundibar Arts Festival. The recital will take place in the University’s Rutherford Hall on City Campus from 7pm.

Brundibar Poster - To Embed (1)

The festival takes its name from the popular children’s opera Brundibar by Jewish Composer Hans Krása. It premiered in 1943 by the children of Thereienstadt Concentration Camp. The name of the festival is a direct tribute to those children, who brought positivity in desolate times. 

Artistic Director of Brundibar Arts Festival, Alexandra Raikhlina, set out to create an annual programme of events in Newcastle and Gateshead that showcased the little known music written during the Holocaust.

Alexandra said: “The greatest music, art and literature has often emerged from the most threatening of circumstances, bringing comfort and expression to those in need. Once I started to research this subject, I discovered a vast wealth of relatively unknown, yet wonderful music that has struggled to get the recognition it deserves on its own merit, despite the broad range of cultural and musical activities we enjoy here in the UK.

“During the Festival, works by these lesser known composers will be shared and explored alongside well-loved works from the more mainstream repertoire, therefore claiming its rightful place in our concert halls.

“There are dwindling numbers of Holocaust survivors who can tell their stories first hand. Our generation carries the responsibility to find new ways to tell them, and what better way than through music and the arts?”

Renowned artists at tonight’s recital  include Katya Apeksheva (piano), Yoshie Kawamura (piano), Jan Bradley (percussion), Dominic Childs (saxophone), Steven Hudson (oboe), Alexandra Raikhlina (violin), Simon Wallfisch (baritone, ‘cello) and James Weeks composing and conducting. Further performances will be by the string quartet Edinburgh Quartet and traditional dance music ensemble Horovod.

Tickets for this event are free, but must be obtained in advance via the Sage Gateshead’s booking office. For more information and to purchase tickets go to: http://www.sagegateshead.com/event/brundibar-arts-festival39210/

Tonight’s concert is just one of a number of events taking place as part of Brundibar Arts Festival. For more information about the full festival programme go to: www.brundibarartsfestival.com

Image: A poster for Brundibar at Theresienstadt/Terezin, in watercolor by an unknown artist.

Banner Image: Terezin-Theresienstadt Concentration Camp Gate, Arbeit macht frei [Work makes (you) free] Acknowledgement: By Godot13 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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