Exploring The Cultural Legacy Of The Terezín Ghetto
Drawing by Helga Weissova-Hoskova (b. 1932) showing a concert in the barracks.
The town of Terezín [pronounced tehr-eh-ZEEN] is located 38 miles northwest of Prague. From 1941 to 1945, it was a transition camp/ghetto that the Nazis used to hold Jews before deporting them to the death camps. The camp is widely known as the “show” camp where the Nazis staged performances by the Jewish internees to create the illusion of normalcy for Red Cross visitors in 1944 and for a propaganda film called The Führer Gives a City to the Jews.
But the Nazis’ use of Terezín as propaganda has obscured its remarkable and inspirational legacy. “The creativity and resourcefulness of those who passed through Terezín is astonishing,” says Hanna Arie-Gaifman, director of 92Y’s Tisch Center for the Arts and a Czech-born, Israeli-raised scholar of comparative literature and music who has been the driving force behind the series. “Despite inhumane conditions and constant deportations to Auschwitz, the internees of Terezín created a flourishing cultural life that would have been exceptional in a real town, never mind a Nazi ghetto.”
More than 2,400 lectures were offered on a wide variety of topics (more than one for each day of the camp’s existence). There were 55 performances of Hans Krása’s children’s opera, Brundibár. Composer Viktor Ullman wrote 20 musical works there, some still unfinished when he perished. The camp had not only orchestral and chamber concerts but a cabaret and a jazz band called “The Ghetto Swingers.” And the library was filled with 60,000 smuggled books. See posters and documents that provide some insight to broad range of performance activity, and a look at the daily life of the people interred in Terezín.
92nd Street Y presents a groundbreaking multidisciplinary series, Will to Create, Will to Live: The Culture of Terezín, from January 9 to February 16 to honor the people who passed through Terezín and explore the remarkable cultural legacy they left behind. The series features more than 20 events and educational programs; five free live webcasts; and one concert available via 92Y’s live satellite broadcast program.
In exploring the range of Terezín life, 92Y’s Will to Create, Will to Live: The Culture of Terezín draws from 92Y’s myriad specialties. The cornerstone of the program is a four-concert series with the Nash Ensemble of London, baritone Wolfgang Holzmair and pianists Shai Wosner and Russell Ryan performing music primarily played and written in Terezín itself.
For ten years, DanceTalk’s “Person of the Year” Lori Brizzi, recipient of the Hustle Hall of Fame’s Lifetime Achievement Award, hosts a monthly dance party in New York City, the Millennium Dance Party. And this New Year’s Eve, Brizzi is bringing the party to 92nd Street Y. Featuring Latin dance, swing dancing, and the Hustle, the dance party runs from 8pm until 2am, with hors d’oeuvres all night and complimentary champagne at midnight. A full cash bar will operate until 1am.
What’s more, if you show your ticket stub from A Champagne New Year’s Eve concert that ends at 10pm, you can purchase a ticket to the Millennium Dance Party for more than 50% off.
Our sought-after Jewelry Classes at 92nd Street Y use the most modern and fully equipped jewelry studios in New York City. What’s more, according to a comment on our Facebook page by Regina Rose Malone, they are the “best Jewelry Classes & teachers in NY!”
You can also consider purchasing a 92Y Gift Certificate for use at 92nd Street Y’s jewelry studios. That would make a fantastic holiday gift, because truth be told, a gift certificate to a 92Y Jewelry Class would be a fantastic gift any time of the year.
Watch a video filmed inside our Jewelry studios below, and learn more about the Jewelry Center here.
Do you think a little Beethoven might help calm your nerves on your subway commute? Than you’ll like what 21C is reporting: today, as part of the Make Music Winter Festival, The Knights “will perform back-to-back renditions of the Prelude from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 on all the station platforms of the Coney Island-bound F-train. Riders will be able to listen to the music as they wait on the platform, and will then hear snippets of the same music from inside the train whenever the doors open at a station.”
Sound delightful? We think it does!
On New Year’s Eve, you can hear more from The Knights at 92nd Street Y. We’re making sure, writesThe New Yorker, “that the Upper East Side will not lack for music on the last night of the year, presenting the dynamic Brooklyn chamber orchestra the Knights in its house début.” The Knights will perform two seminal works: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Terry Riley’s In C.
Time Out New Yorkdeclared it one of the “Best New Year’s Eve concerts in NYC.”
And of course, there is a “champagne-fueled toast during intermission.” As Hanna Arie-Gaifman, Director of Concert and Literary Programming wrote: “before it is gone forever, enjoy the last hours of 2011 with royal pleasures and noble company. Then rejoin us in 2012 for more wonderful music at 92Y. I wish you a healthy and happy New Year, and I look forward to seeing you again often.”
92Y Video: From the Poetry Center Archive: Art Spiegelman’s MetaMaus
Legendary comic-book artist Art Spiegelman returned to 92nd Street Y in early October, celebrating the 25th anniversary of Maus by sitting for a conversation with editor Hillary Chute—who he calls the “chief enabler” of his new book, MetaMaus, a project which emerged from him having granted her “free access to [his] rat’s nest of files, archives, artwork, notebooks, journals, books and dirty laundry.”
In today’s featured recording, Spiegelman discusses one of the central questions which any reader of Maus can’t help but ask—Why Comics?—as well as how he has tried to honor both the historical record and his father’s own memories of living through the Holocaust.
In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Unterberg Poetry Center has presented across the decades, this blog has begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For access to other recordings, please click here.
Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.
In the video above, Elliott Carter talks about Greenwich Village when he was young, a place “filled with speakeasies.”
In honor of Elliott Carter’s 103rd Birthday on Sunday, December 11th, Boosey & Hawkes is offering Carter fans the opportunity to personally wish him a happy birthday via Twitter. Tweet your happy 103rd birthday wishes and include the hashtag #Carter103. Tweets submitted before Tuesday, December 6 at 5pm EST will be included on a birthday card and presented to Carter at Elliot Carter’s 103rd Birthday Concert on December 8 at 92nd Street Y! More details here.
In 1959, 17-year-old Jaime Laredo won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition, accepting his award from the Queen. Photo courtesy of the Laredo Family
Jaime Laredo has been artistic director of the Chamber Music at 92Y series since its inception on Dec 11, 1974 and has made his dedication to 92Y part of an illustrious career in classical music. We’re celebrating his 70th birthday at 92nd Street Y with two concerts on December 14 and December 15. The programs will feature many of his colleagues and former students.
Below is another photo from Laredo’s illustrious career. It shows The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio in January 22, 1977 at the White House, for a concert at the Carter inaugural reception.
Model Zhang Xue wearing the Jewelry of Delphine Leymarie
Delphine Leymarie started taking Jewelry I classes at 92nd Street Y in 2002, and continued until 2004. After a break, she returned and is again taking Jewelry classes at 92Y. And look where she is now! Those are her pieces in the photo above, as featured in the November issue of JCK magazine. See even made the cover! See a photo of that at bottom.
“It’s not my intention to be controversial or an investigative reporter. I want to talk to people about their lives and their careers,” Fern told WWD. “I see this as an extension of what I’ve always done in my job, which is to try to explain the fashion industry, how it works and give it the respect it deserves — and that it is not entirely about silly, frivolous people.”
Today we have an interview with one of the giants of the piano, and good friend of 92nd Street Y, Peter Serkin. Honored to count him as a long-time friend, Serkin’s debut at 92Y was October 30, 1965, with the Guarneri String Quartet, when he was still in his teens.
One of our joys at 92Y is the opportunity that Mr. Serkin is giving us in this performance—to be part of the creative process. On December 10, we are fortunate to present Peter Serkin’s world premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s Adagio, which follows the premiere of his Scherzo in 2008; 92Y was proud to be a commissioner of both works.
Please enjoy an interview with him below:
As you began planning for the recital on December 10, how did you begin? What was the initial spark?
The first thing that I felt sure about was that I wanted to include a work by Charles Wuorinen, composed for this concert. Then on the same program, I thought of playing Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations.
Wuorinen had composed a work for my previous recital at 92nd Street Y in 2008. His Scherzo was a fast and exuberant piece, so I thought that this time, it might be an Adagio. When I asked Charles if he would write an Adagio, I mentioned that I had just had a dream of this piece, and in it, towards its ending, there was a sense of everything kind of stopping….
I have played much of Wuorinen’s music with great pleasure, beginning with his beautiful Fourth Piano Concerto. There has also been Flying to Kahani with chamber orchestra, Time Regained with full orchestra, and three works that were all premiered here at 92Y: the Second Piano Quintet, the Scherzo for solo piano and now this Adagio. In the 1970s, he collaborated with my quartet Tashi. One work, Tashi, was prepared in two versions: one for us with large orchestra, the other for us alone. Other Wuorinen works for Tashi were Fortune and arrangements of pieces by Josquin and Thomas Morley. How fortunate we are to have a living master like Wuorinen composing such varied and wonderful works for us.
Here’s the Tokyo String Quartet and Hanna Arie-Gaifman, Director of Music and Literary Programming, in the green room of 92nd Street Y with a well-deserved glass of champagne after Saturday night’s concert. Cheers!
Following its acclaimed three-season Beethoven cycle of string quartets and piano sonatas, the Tokyo String Quartet now begins an exploration of the great modern innovator of the string quartet, Belá Bartók, with a two-season cycle of his quartets. The cycle starts this season on November 5 and continues March 17 and April 28. Purchase a series subscription here. Here the Quartet members discuss their cycle programming and performing at 92Y as its string quartet-in-residence.
You are performing this cycle following your tremendously successful Beethoven cycle. Do you see a relationship between Beethoven and Bartók?
Clive Greensmith, cello: Theirs were certainly two of the most influential, profoundly individual voices to have left their mark on the string quartet genre. Both composers remained committed to the art form throughout their creative lives, and their fascination for the medium seemed to help forge their own distinctly personal styles. Both were consummate craftsmen and musical pioneers, and they found in the string quartet an ideal expressive outlet for some of their most personal works.
In Bartók, there is often an overwhelming sense of strangeness. The uncompromising demands he places on both player and listener seem to create a tremendous inner tension. Even today, his “sound world”—eccentric, richly colored and bursting with creative force—demonstrates that this music has lost none of its passion or power. We would certainly have no trouble ascribing the exact same sentiments to the quartets of Beethoven!