Edinburgh International Festival 2014: exploring death camps through music
Holocaust survivor Samuel Pisar and the Pavel Haas Quartet among those contributing to EIF's music strand
This article is from 2014.
The man who wrote West Side Story also wrote this sweeping, tense work for a narrator, choir and orchestra, his tribute to Kaddish – a hymn traditionally sung in the synagogue at times of mourning. Holocaust survivor Samuel Pisar narrates his own story.
Usher Hall, 24 Aug, 7.30pm, £12–£44.
Tens of thousands, including many Jewish composers, musicians and artists, died in Terezín, a concentration camp north of Prague. For propaganda purposes, SS officials allowed them to keep making art and performing. Mezzo soprano Anne Sofie Von Otter performs cabaret songs, lullabies and instrumental works written or played in Terezín.
Queen’s Hall, 25 Aug, 11am, £8.50–£30.
A survivor of Majdanek, Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg and Dachau concentration camps, Pisar, a Polish Jew, escaped the Nazis and went on to become a human rights lawyer and UN ambassador. Following his narration of Kaddish Symphony two nights earlier, he will give a talk.
The Hub, 26 Aug, 5pm, £6 (£3).
This foursome is named after a Czech composer who drew from folk and jazz influences. Pavel Haas was imprisoned in Terezín work camp, and later died in Auschwitz in 1944. Here the PHQ perform three string quartets by Brahms, Schulhoff and Shostakovich.
Queen’s Hall, 28 Aug, 11am, £8.50–£30.
The final EIF concert places Jonathan Mills' Sandakan Threnody to honour British and Australian POWs who died in WW2 death marches in Borneo, alongside Janáček’s energetic Glagolitic Mass, a dramatic contrast of light and dark.
Usher Hall, 30 Aug, £8, £12–£44.