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Event Series Event Series: Defiant Requiem

Defiant Requiem

March 30, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

On March 29–30, the McGillicuddy Humanities Center and the School of Performing Arts welcome renowned conductor Murry Sidlin for a film screening and lecture as part of the 2022–23 MHC symposium on Recovery, Rediscovery and Resilience.

On Wednesday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Minsky Recital Hall, Murry Sidlin will host a screening of the film Defiant Requiem. On Thursday, March 30 at 3 p.m. in Minsky, he will deliver a lecture, which will include a performance by Silver Duo (Phillip and Noreen Silver)

Defiant Requiem, a feature-length documentary film, highlights the most dramatic example of intellectual and artistic courage in the Theresienstadt (Terezín) Concentration Camp during World War II: the remarkable story of Rafael Schächter, a brilliant, young Czech conductor who was arrested and sent to Terezín in 1941. He demonstrated moral leadership under the most brutal circumstances, determined to sustain courage and hope for his fellow prisoners by enriching their souls through great music. His most extraordinary act was to recruit 150 prisoners and teach them Verdi’s Requiem by rote in a dank cellar using a single score, over multiple rehearsals, and after grueling days of forced labor. The Requiem was performed on 16 occasions for fellow prisoners. The last, most infamous performance occurred on June 23, 1944 before high-ranking SS officers from Berlin and the International Red Cross to support the charade that the prisoners were treated well and flourishing.

Murry Sidlin, a conductor with a unique gift for engaging audiences, continues a diverse and distinctive musical career. He is the president and creative director of The Defiant Requiem Foundation, an organization that sponsors live concert performances of Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín and Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezín Composer; as well as other projects including the documentary film, Defiant Requiem; a new docudrama called Mass Appeal, 1943, which was premiered in June 2017; and The Rafael Schächter Institute for Arts and Humanities at Terezín. In addition, he lectures extensively on the arts and humanities as practiced by the prisoners in the Theresienstadt (Terezín) Concentration Camp.

This event is free and open to the public.


March 30, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Minsky Recital Hall
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469 United States


Beth Wiemann