JERUSALEM (EJP)---The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Monday Leonard Bernstein’s “Kaddish - Symphony No. 3” with a Libretto, “A Dialogue with God” written and narrated by Holocaust survivor Samuel Pisar, at a special concert at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
Maestro John Axelrod, Soloist Danna Glaser (soprano), Narrator Dr. Samuel Pisar, the Tel Aviv Chamber Choir, and singers from the New Israeli Vocal Ensemble and the Ankor Choir will perform Bernstein’s “Kaddish” for the first time in Israel.
The concert will take place in the presence of Israeli President Shimon Peres and is sponsored by Lily Safra, President of the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation.
Hundreds of Holocaust survivors have been invited to attend this special event, which is being held in partnership with the Organization of Holocaust Survivors in Israel.
"Kaddish" is an expression of the human need to artistically convey a cry from the heart. In the aftermath of the Shoah, such cries have been channeled through a wide range of art forms, including prose, theater, cinema, dance, drawing and sculpture.
And of course, through music and poetry, two forms of aesthetic expression so effectively integrated in "Kaddish".
This monumental symphony was first heard in Tel Aviv in 1963. In 2001, Holocaust survivor Samuel Pisar composed a new text for the symphony, which he called "A Dialogue with God".
The world premiere of Bernstein’s Kaddish symphony along with the text by Pisar took place in 2003, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival of Arts conducted by John Axelrod, and has since been performed to international acclaim around the world.
"A Dialogue with God" is influenced by Dr. Pisar’s own biography as a survivor of Auschwitz.
Pisar was born in Poland, and survived Auschwitz and Dachau before being liberated by the US Army at the age of 16. He was the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust.
After the war, Pisar resumed his education in Paris, and ultimately earned doctorates from Harvard and the Sorbonne, as well as honorary doctorates from other American, European, and Australian universities.
Pisar has worked for the UN, UNESCO, and consulted to the US State Department, various House and Senate Committees and President John F. Kennedy.
He is the President Founder of Yad Vashem Society in France. He has been an advocate of human rights globally, and his books have been translated into 20 languages.