Soprano Arianna Zukerman to Star in ‘Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezín Composer’

By David Salazar

The Defiant Requiem will present Murry Sidlin’s “Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezín Composer” on Dec. 5 at the Ahavath Achim Synagogue in Atlanta, Georgia.

The performance will be headlined by soprano Arianna Zukerman and will also feature mezzo-soprano Leah Wool and baritone David Kravitz, under the music director. Instrumentalists include Herbert Greenberg, Julian Schwarz, and Phillip Silver.

The work showcases music by 15 composers, including Viktor Ullmann, Gideon Klein, Zigmund Schul, Pavel Haas, Rudolf Karel among others, imprisoned in Theresienstadt Concentration Camp during World War II.

“My father’s parents were both Holocaust survivors. Their spouses were killed and they survived and met in Warsaw at the end of the war,” Zukerman stated in a press release. “They both had a skill that the Nazi’s deemed useful: my grandmother was a manicurist and my grandfather was a musician. He played in the Auschwitz orchestra and then when the prisoners were put on forced march out of the camps, he was forced to play accordion at night while the Nazis drank. One night he played until they all passed out, and then he ran. Music saved him as it did some of the artists we profile in the concert, ‘Hours of Freedom.’”