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Defiant Requiem Verdi’s "Messa da Requiem" at the Theresienstadt Ghetto

Concert Drama

The concert drama "Defiant Requiem" is dedicated to the Czech conductor and pianist Rafael Schächter, who performed Verdi's Messa da Requiem with hundreds of prisoners in the Theresienstadt ghetto around 70 years ago.

For the people in the Theresienstadt ghetto, music was an element of self-assertion in a daily camp life shaped by humiliation, misery, illness, and death. Initially performed in secret, the concerts were later abused by the Nazis for propaganda purposes. Rafael Schächter and almost all members of the choir were murdered by the Nazis.

Past event


Konzerthaus Berlin
Gendarmenmarkt, 10117 Berlin

The American conductor Murry Sidlin remembers with the "Defiant Requiem" the people in Theresienstadt for whom the Requiem and work with Rafael Schächter became a means of internal resistance. In his production, he links Verdi’s Requiem with film footage and eyewitness accounts from members of the choir. Seventy years after the last concert in Theresienstadt, we would like to remember the people who contributed under the most extreme conditions to a diverse cultural life in the Theresienstadt ghetto.

Artists of the evening

Murry Sidlin (conductor), the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra, the Young Ensemble Berlin Choir, and the Vocal Academy Berlin (director: Frank Markowitsch), Aga Mikolaj (soprano), Gerhild Romberger (mezzo soprano) , Steven Tharp (tenor) István Kovács (bass)
Iris Berben and Ulrich Matthes (speakers)

Sponsored by the German Capital Culture Fund (Hauptstadtkulturfond) and the "Remembrance, Responsibility, and Future" Foundation.

The Jewish Museum Berlin has an extensive program on offer surrounding the Defiant Requiem and the focal topic of the Terezín Ghetto.

With the support of the Friends of the Jewish Museum Berlin

Where, when, what?

  • When 4 March 2014, 8 pm
  • Where Konzerthaus Berlin

    Gendarmenmarkt, 10117 Berlin

    See location on map

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Events Accompanying Defiant Requiem: Terezín Remembrance Week (6)