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Music of Remembrance 2019 Fall concert

Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Passage depicts a refugee’s struggle

N.A.P., Article retrieved from Music of Remembrance August 13th press release

Music of Remembrance (MOR) opens its 22nd season with world premieres of two pathbreaking works: Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Passage and Shinji Eshima’s Veritas. MOR will unveil these timely works as part of its program on Sunday, November 3 at 4:00 p.m. at the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall. Tickets are $55 and available at www.musicofremembrance.org.

Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Passage is a compelling work for string quartet with text by Kareem Lotfy. It depicts the struggle of a refugee seeking to escape violence and persecution in his home country in the Middle East. This is the second work that MOR has commissioned from the iconic Japanese composer, following his 2017 Snow Falls, an impassioned prayer about the urgency of preventing nuclear war.

The second premiere, Veritas, combines music of Japanese American composer Shinji Eshima with media design by Kate Duhamel of sculptures by Al Farrow. Farrow’s work, created with bullets and artillery, reflect his lifelong dedication to combating violence. Veritas makes a powerful statement about the frightful consequences of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and religious intolerance of all kinds.

Completing the program is Paul Schoenfield’s searing Camp Songs, an MOR commission and 2002 Pulitzer finalist. Baritone Erich Parce directs a new dramatic production and performs with soprano Karen Early Evans, reviving the grim humor, sardonic words and melodies that Polish dissident journalist Aleksander Kulisiewicz dared to create while a prisoner in Sachsenhausen. MOR’s stellar instrumental ensemble is drawn from Seattle Symphony artists.

Founded in 1998, MOR has remembered the Holocaust through music, bringing over 200 works to the stage. In addition to rescuing many historic works from undeserved obscurity, it has commissioned over 30 new works that remember the Holocaust and honor those who stood up in the face of injustice and persecution. MOR’s programming honors the resilience of all people excluded or persecuted for their faith, nationality, ethnicity, gender or sexuality. 

For more information, visit https://www.musicofremembrance.org/ or contact info@musicofremembrance.org.