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January 6, 2015 3:49 pm

Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra to Perform at UNESCO Headquarters, Mark 70th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation

avatar by Anav Silverman / Tazpit News Agency

Auschwitz Entrance. Photo: Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum.

Auschwitz Entrance. Photo: Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum.

The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra will perform at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on Monday, January 26, at the special opening concert of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year will mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

The concert will be conducted by the orchestra’s music director, Maestro Frédéric Chaslin, a second generation Holocaust survivor who comes from France. Chaslin’s mother was hidden by a Danish fishing family during the war.

The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra was invited by UNESCO Secretary General Irina Bokova to perform at the UNESCO Headquarters. It will open with the world premiere of Maestro Chaslin’s “Ode to Peace,” which was composed in honor of the recently marked United Nations International Day.

A central piece of the concert will be Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 in B flat minor, Op. 113, “Babi Yar”, which was composed to the words of the well-known Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko. The program will also feature “Suite Yiddish” by composer and Holocaust survivor Norbert Glanzberg, who was a friend and musical partner of Parisian singer Edith Piaf during the German occupation. Piaf managed to smuggle him to Nice at the French Riviera in the unoccupied zone, and Glanzberg eventually survived the war.

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Yair Stern, CEO of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, said that performing at UNESCO Headquarters was a symbolic honor. “We are proud to have been granted the honor to perform at UNESCO headquarters in Paris on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz,” remarked Stern.

“There is a lot of symbolism in the fact that this concert takes place in Paris, in this period of rising anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in France and Western Europe. We hope that the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra’s performance will send a message of encouragement and support to the Jewish community in France,” he said.

The Orchestra’s journey to Paris will be made possible with the assistance of the Division for Cultural and Scientific Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and through the generous support of the Patrick & Lina Darhi Foundation, PLFA, the international news channel i24, the Rothschild Foundation, the French Foundation for Holocaust Remembrance (Fondation pour la Memoire de la Shoah), and JNF France.

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