UNC Wilmington Presents "Days of Remembrance" Events to Reflect on the Holocaust, April 28-May 3
Submitted to: Events 
Posted: April 13 2008


Leading up to Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, the University of North Carolina Wilmington will present a week-long series of events focused on Holocaust remembrance. Yom Hashoah, which will be observed this year on May 2, is an international time of reflection on, and remembrance of, the millions of Shoah victims who perished during the Holocaust.

The UNCW Office of Cultural Arts, in partnership with local and regional community and arts organizations, will present a unique series of educational programs, concerts, exhibits, lectures and films reflecting on the moral and spiritual questions raised by the devastating events of the Holocaust. Days of Remembrance: Reflections in Art, Music, Film and Dance (April 28 – May 3) features special guests of national and international prominence.

Keynote Speaker Gottfried Wagner

Days of Remembrance keynote speaker Gottfried Wagner is a highly regarded author, musicologist and humanitarian, and the great-grandson of composer Richard Wagner. Wagner, as co-founder of the international Post-Holocaust Dialogue Groups, has been neither shy nor hesitant in his efforts at dialogue, and has written numerous accounts of his own family history and its close relationship with Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. He speaks from a very personal perspective about the fractured relationship between Germans and Jews.

"For both Germans and Jews, there remains a kind of trauma that emerges from the events between 1933 and 1945, a trauma that focuses on their family histories," Wagner said. "There is a great wall that divides these two communities, and Germans stand before it in a shocked silence or engage in a shy and hesitant effort at dialogue, a dialogue with a Jewish community for whom this shared history has only one meaning: the history of destroyed and broken branches from family trees that lie in ruins."

Wagner's keynote address, takes place at 8 p.m., Tuesday, April 29 at Kenan Auditorium.

Celebrating Paul Schoenfield

The music of Paul Schoenfield reflects on the events of the Holocaust not through words, but through the composer's art. A program of Schoenfield's recent works, nominated for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in Music, will be performed by the award-winning Opus Two chamber ensemble. The ensemble and special guests will present works from their newly released collection Souvenirs: Music of Paul Schoenfield (Azica Records), including Schoenfield's Sparks of Glory, a composition directly inspired by and derived from traditional Jewish sources and writings from the Holocaust.

The concert takes place at 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 30 at Kenan Auditorium.

Art and Social Conscience Exhibit

The week also marks the premiere of a new exhibit at Wilmington's Cameron Art Museum. Art and Social Conscience: Holocaust (May 2 – Oct. 9) begins its five-month run with a special opening reception on Thursday, May 1. The exhibition comprises works by art faculty members from throughout the University of North Carolina statewide system, responding to the Holocaust and its larger context of mankind's inhumanity to man. The May 1 opening reception welcomes the public at 7 p.m. The evening also includes a multi-media presentation by keynote speaker Gottfried Wagner, about a new opera by Janice Hamer (composer) and Mary Azrael (libretto) based on his memoir Lost Childhood.

Other Days of Remembrance Events

The Days of Remembrance series begins at 8 p.m., Monday, April 28 in the Beckwith Recital Hall with a multi-media concert featuring UNCW Department of Music faculty Robert Nathanson (classical guitar), Barry David Salwen (piano) and Nancy King (soprano) with guest pianist, Norman Bemelmans; and a screening of Alain Resnais' powerful and provocative award-winning film about Auschwitz, Nuit et brouillard (Night and Fog, 1955, 30 mins). The series concludes on Saturday, May 3 with an original performance by UNCW Resident Artists alban elved dance company. Choreographer and artistic director Karola Lüttringhaus presents Inertia, a full-length work, which utilizes a fierce, athletic style of dance, striking imagery and historic Jewish melodies to explore the artist's reflections on the horrors of the Holocaust. Norman Bemelmans will be featured as a guest pianist.

The series also includes a panel discussion and luncheon on Friday, May 2 at Cameron Art Museum, featuring Gottfried Wagner, Norman Bemelmans, Deborah Velders and Don Furst; a theater performance for local high school students; and a teacher workshop for the region's middle and high school teachers.

Tickets for the evening performances range from $6 - $18, with special rates for students and teachers. For more information, visit uncw.edu/arts or call the Kenan Auditorium Box Office at 910.962.3500 or 800.732.3643.


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    Dana Fischetti
    University of North Carolina Wilmington

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