Music in Desperate Times: Remembering the Women’s Orchestra of Birkenau

PhotoCredit Ars Choralis AndreaBStern Ars Choralis, a non-profit organization of 48 amateur singers, will perform “Music in Desperate Times: Remembering the Women’s Orchestra of Birkenau”

Saturday, March 28th at 8:00pm

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave.
New York, NY 10025

$150 (dress circle), $45 (front reserved), $35 (front unreserved), $25 (house) or 866.811.4111.

“Music in Desperate Times: Remembering the Women’s Orchestra of Birkenau” is a concert – presented by the Woodstock, N.Y.-based choral ensemble Ars Choralis – that interweaves orchestral music with spoken memoirs to bring back the voices and music of the only World War II women’s orchestra. Though over one million people were murdered in the Birkenau gas chambers, the lives of this small group of female prisoners were spared because they played beautiful music.
Based on personal memoirs and historical records, “Music in Desperate Times” will tell the story of this extraordinary group of women through readings, choral music and representative orchestral music played in the camps (Schumann, Chopin, Puccini and traditional music).
The musicians will don lavender scarves and white blouses similar to those worn by the Birkenau musicians and recreate the unusual instrumentation of the original ensemble: violins, mandolins, accordion, recorder, flute, cello, piano and percussion.

Photo by Andrea B. Stern

Ars Choralis is a nonprofit organization composed of 48 highly disciplined amateur singers dedicated to celebrating the human spirit through the performance of choral music of all periods and styles. They will be accompanied at this event by a small orchestra made up of professional and non-professional instrumentalists representing the Birkenau orchestra.