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The final arrangements have been made for the concert that is organized to memorialize the composers that lost their lives in a concentration camp during the second world war in Istanbul. Pianist-composer Renan Koen and the guest of honor of the concert, music historian-writer Dr. Gottfried Wagner got together before the hotly-anticipated concert.
The architect of the project, pianist-composer Renan Koen and the guest of honor of the concert music historian-writer Dr. Gottfried Wagner got together for the final rehearsals of the concert- Holocaust Remembrance Concert- that is going to take place tonight at the Zorlu Performance Arts Center Drama Stage in collaboration with the municipality of Sisli, 500th Year Foundation, and Anatolian Culture. The famous music historian Gottfried Wagner accompanied Renan Koen who is by the piano for the final preparations.


Pianist-composer Renan Koen who was carrying out evaluations after the rehearsal said, “The project is based on a concentration camp that was built in Terezin within the boundaries of Czechoslovakia. In this concentration camp, all the artists were in captivity. The artists continued to create there. When I first heard about this, I was amazed by it. I started to research the composers due to my curiosity on how they continued to create in those circumstances, as they were in captivity. Then, I contacted a foundation in Terezin. They sent me the whole list of composers. Later on, I researched the piano and choral pieces. Finally, I started to use these to build this concert project. The thing that affected me the most with these composers and their works is the fact that they continued to create even in such circumstances, they never gave up on music or themselves, everyday they sustained their positive resistance within, fed this, and documented these to pass them on to the future generations through music. This was very important for me.”.


Renan Koen informed us that they had decided on inviting someone that stayed in the concentration camp and then they contacted music historian/writer Dr. Gottfried Wagner and said, “after building this event, there was a common idea to invite someone who had lived in this camp and survived. Then, I had the idea of inviting Dr. Gottfried Wagner, and I e-mailed him. I told him that a concert was going to be organized with valuable collaborations, and asked him if he would like to give the opening speech. He replied immediately and told me that he would do that with pleasure, not only that, he added and asked me if we could build the entire event together. We had a very busy month, and tonight we are going to watch three of his valuable works.”.
Gottfried Wagner told us that they had been working very hard for the project and added, “our determination is to remember significant formations. [This] Extraordinary music shows us that we shouldn’t give up even in the worst moments and we should stand up and struggle with evil. So this bond means delivering a message that is very humane.”
Wagner also said that there is a responsibility concerning the communication with the future generations, and that the bridges are going to have important roles in future combinations.
Wagner added that he was very pleased that Renan Koen had contacted him and said, “I was very happy when Renan contacted me. We had the chance to talk on Skype. We share a similar view on how the future must be shaped. This caused an intense dialogue to form for the project. We can see each other whenever we want. Thanks to Skype, you have a chance to talk simultaneously with people that are in different continents, that are anywhere. This presents a great opportunity to establish projects such as tonight’s.”.
In tonight’s concert that will be at Zorlu Performance Arts Center Drama Stage at 20:30, compositions of the composers that lost their lives at the Theresienstadt concentration camp will be performed.
Interview from Rehersal before Concert / Newspaper / Sabah / April, 13 2015 / Source
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