- In-person event
- ≈ 1 hour 40 minutes · With intermission
In a special concert to mark Holocaust Remembrance Week, the Grammy-Nominated ensemble Yiddish Glory makes its National Arts Centre debut with a new concert program of songs written in Ukraine and Moldova that were thought lost to history.
Led by Canadian Historian Anna Shternshis (University of Toronto), Yiddish Glory resurrects songs collected during World War II by ethnomusicologist Moisei Beregovsky from Holocaust victims and survivors. They tell stories of how Soviet Jews lived and died under the German occupation, used music to document Nazi atrocities, fought in the Red Army, worked in the home front in Central Asia, and made sense of it all through Yiddish music. After World War II, Beregovsky was arrested during Stalin’s anti-Jewish crackdown. He was sent to the gulag, his collection was confiscated, and died thinking it was forever lost. Miraculously, the collection was rediscovered at the Vernadsky National Library in Kyiv, Ukraine, and the songs were brought back to life by Yiddish Glory.
This special event at the National Arts Centre will feature several Canadian premieres, including songs from Karlovka, a labor camp of Mykolaiv region of Ukraine, where prisoners lived on the premises of pig breeding factory. Another Canadian premier is a piece called “Where is God?”, created in the Bershad ghetto in 1942, in the midst of a cold winter, this angry song curses both God and the humans that abandoned the Jewish people when they needed empathy most.
This lecture/concert features performances of these previously unknown materials, giving voices to Jewish women, children, and men who never got to tell their stories, but left us their incredible songs.
Historian Anna Shternshis (University of Toronto)
Psoy Korolenko, Vocals (New York)
Alice Zawadzki, Vocals, Violin (London, UK)
Robert Horvath, Piano (Toronto)