The Liberation of Auschwitz: A Concert

Today is a special anniversary. On this date 70 years ago, Allied forces liberated Auschwitz, putting an end to the unbelievable atrocities that took place there.

In the years that have followed, Auschwitz has become short-hand reference to all the inhumanities of the Nazi regime. A universally-understood metaphor of horror.  More than 1.1 million people were killed there, in what became the Nazis’ largest death camp. Approximately 90 percent of those who died at Auschwitz were Jewish, although Roma, Poles, gay prisoners and those of other ethnicities were killed at the camp as well. 

Today is a day to reflect on these atrocities, but it is also a day to honor the survivors and their families. To honor the Jewish community and its enduring strength. And to commit ourselves to not let such monumental injustices happen again.

It is late notice, I apologize, but if you are free, I recommend a special concert at Ted Man Concert Hall in Minneapolis that seeks to reflect on these events and call for healing.

Tonight, the Apollo Male Chorus under the direction of Dr. Sean Vogt will present The Liberation of Auschwitz. The concert is artistically conceived so that it begins in the light, moves through the darkness, and re-enters the light; as such, it symbolically represents the U-shaped Jewish menorah.

The program includes:

William Walton, Spitfire Prelude and Fugue

James Bassi, Five Hymns (movements 1-3)

Steve Reich, Different Trains (#1: “America–Before the War”)

Arnold Schoenberg, A Survivor from Warsaw

Steve Reich, Different Trains (#3: “America–After the War”)

Aaron Copland, Preamble for a Solemn Occasion

James Bassi, Five Prayers (movements 4 and 5)


A key element of the program is the world premiere of James Bassi’s Five Prayers. Commissioned by The Apollo Club, it is a five-movement symphonic song cycle for male chorus, solo baritone, orchestra, and dancer.

This is a perfect tribute that captures the powerful emotions of this historic day. I hope you can make time for this concert.

 * * *

The Liberation of Auschwitz

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
Pre-concert discussion with Composer and Artistic Director at 6:15 p.m.

The Apollo Male Chorus, with special guests:

David Winkworth – Narrator in A Survivor from Warsaw and Preamble for a Solemn Occasion and Chorus member of St. John The Evangelist Episcopal Church.

Aaron James – Baritone soloist of New York City Opera and The Met, long-time Male Choir Soloist with Congregation Shearith Israel and Milken Archives project.

James Andrews – Classically trained Ballet Dancer from New York City who has performed with the Joffrey Ballet as well as Boston, Tulsa, and Atlanta Ballet companies.

Members from the Minnesota Orchestra and Minnesota Opera Orchestra.

5% of proceeds from this concert will be donated to the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota & The Dakota



Tickets are on sale now through the University of Minnesota box office.
By Phone: 612-624-2345
Ticket Prices: $34 – $88 (all ticketing fees included)

5% of proceeds from this concert with be donated to the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota & The Dakota.



Ted Mann Concert Hall
University of Minnesota
2128 4th Street South
Minneapolis, MN 55455




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