During World War II, the Nazis set up a concentration camp near Prague, called Terezin. Many of the prisoners were accomplished creative artists and, in an act of defiance, one imprisoned conductor gathered 150 inmates to learn and perform Verdi’s Requiem entirely from memory. The singers had no music.
That story was recreated in a special concert, first performed at Terezin and portrayed in the documentary, “Defiant Requiem.”
Murry Sidlin is the conductor responsible for that event. He also organized the Defiant Requiem Foundation to continue the musical legacy. The foundation is presenting “Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezín Composer.”
“City Lights” host Lois Reitzes spoke with Sidlin about the concert to be performed at the Ahavath Achim synagogue December 5.