Kristallnacht Commemorative Concert in Wellington

October 22, 2020 by A J-Wire community service announcement
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The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand in partnership with Te Kōki, the New Zealand School of Music – Victoria University of Wellington, and supported by the Public Trust Hall and the Adam Foundation has announced its Kristallnacht Commemorative Concert.

This concert commemorates Kristallnacht / “The Night of Broken Glass”, aka the November pogrom. During 9 -10 November 1938, carefully orchestrated anti-Jewish violence was carried out across Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland. Over the next 48 hours rioters – often neighbours, not strangers – ransacked and damaged more than 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses, homes, and schools, and burned over 200 synagogues. Police stood by. Firemen were present not to protect the synagogues or Jewish buildings but to ensure that the flames did not spread to adjacent “Aryan” property. 91 Jews were murdered, and an additional 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Kristallnacht marked the beginning of the systematic eradication of a people, it was the prelude to the Holocaust that was to follow.

The theme for this year’s concert is resilience and reinvention – composers who escaped the Holocaust and were forced to create a new identity and in the process, reinvented the role of the film score.

Join us for a unique performance of classical and jazz music created by Jewish European composers in exile in Hollywood, performed tonight by acclaimed New Zealand artists.

The program features composers of Polish, Hungarian, Italian, German and Austrian heritage who migrated to Hollywood, such as Mieczysław Weinberg, Erich Korngold, Ernst Toch, and Franz Waxman.

There was a substantial need for film composers in Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s, as the film industry was booming thanks to the advent of the talkie. Korngold won two Oscars for his film soundtracks.

This concert will be a multimedia experience, with visual excerpts from corresponding films.

We will conclude the evening with a jazz tribute to Blue Note Records, New York – jazz’s top label, who recorded legendary African-American musicians of the 20th century at a time of racial strife, founded by German-Jewish immigrants Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff. Today, Blue Note has worked with current stars like Norah Jones and Jason Moran.

This year, for the first time, the Kristallnacht commemorative concert will take place in the elegant, modern and central, Public Trust Hall – the building having been extensively renovated, and generously sponsored for the concert, by building owners Maurice and Kaye Clark.


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