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75 Years After Babi Yar – A Year of Commemoration

75 Years After Babi Yar – A Year of Commemoration

14 September 2016

Over 110,000 people were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators at Babi Yar near Kiev in the Ukraine in 1941.  The 75th anniversary of the worst of these massacres when 33,771 Jews were murdered on just two days, 29th and 30th September 1941, will be commemorated at a ceremony to be held at the Jewish Holocaust Centre (JHC) in Elsternwick on Sunday 25th September 2016 from 2:30pm to 4:00pm.  This commemoration will be hosted by the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), the Kangarusskis, the Forum of Russian Speaking Jewry, Russian Sunday School LIDER and the Association of Former Inmates of Nazi Concentration Camps and Ghettoes from the Former Soviet Union.

JCCV President Jennifer Huppert stated, “This commemoration will commence a year of activities to remember those who were murdered at Babi Yar.  There will be a reading of Yevtushenko’s famous Babi Yar poem as well as an audio visual presentation focusing on the former Soviet Union, and Kiev before the war.”

To mark the end of the 75th Jewish year since these horrendous events, the Zelman Memorial Symphony Orchestra will present a commemorative concert featuring Shostakovich’s Symphony No 13, which sets Yevtushenko’s poem to music.

The music will be preceded by a short commemorative ceremony and reading of the Babi Yar poem.  The concert will be held in Hamer Hall on Sunday 17 September 2017 at 2:00 pm.  This concert is being sponsored by the Pratt Foundation and Gandel Philanthropy.  JCCV, JHC, Courage to Care and the Jewish Museum of Australia are supporters of this event, as is the Arts Centre Melbourne.

This concert will see nearly 300 performers on stage in Hamer Hall: an orchestra of 95, a 200 strong male voice choir and Bass Baritone soloist, Adrian Tamburini, a Principal singer with Opera Australia.  The concert will be conducted by Mark Shiell, Zelman Symphony’s Artistic Director and Principal Conductor. The choirmaster will be well-known Russian-speaking choirmaster, Nicholas Cowall.  Wilma Smith, until recently Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, will be Guest Concertmaster.

The opportunity exists for good community choristers of all ages including senior school choristers to join the choir.  Choristers and instrumentalists who would like to participate in the male voice choir or the orchestra should apply via by 30th November this year.

Dr George Deutsch, organiser of the concert stated, “Zelman Symphony is amongst Melbourne’s best not-for-profit community orchestras and is the oldest such orchestra in Victoria.  It celebrated its 80th Anniversary in 2013 with two performances of Mahler’s iconic 8th Symphony with 580 people on stage including eight of Australia’s best opera singers as soloists in the Melbourne Town Hall to packed and appreciative audiences.”

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