UN Holocaust Remembrance Date Commemoration Features Concert by TAU Symphony Orchestra Thursday, January 24, 2008
Ceremony and concert will raise Holocaust awareness around the world
Maestro Zubin Mehta conducting students of the Symphony Orchestra of Tel Aviv University's Buchmann-Mehta School of Music
The United Nations will present an International Day of Commemoration memorial ceremony and concert for a distinguished international audience of diplomats and their guests in the General Assembly Hall on Monday, January 28, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. The ceremony will feature a concert performed by the Symphony Orchestra of TelAvivUniversity's world-renowned Buchmann-MehtaSchool of Music, in cooperation with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by the school's honorary president, Maestro Zubin Mehta.
The UN General Assembly established the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust (January 27) as an annual observance two years ago — set in motion by a resolution initiated by Israel's delegation — creating a commemorative venue for all 192 member states to pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust and their liberators. Invited guests will include Holocaust survivors from around the world.
Awareness and education
Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman, who will speak at the ceremony, stressed that “preserving the memory of the Holocaust should be an integral part of the international community’s agenda. But memory is only part of that assignment. We must promote awareness of the Shoah around the world, absorb its lessons, and educate the next generation and its youth, to ensure that such atrocities never occur again, to anyone, anywhere.
"This concert is a unique and important occasion for the nations of the world to join in this global Holocaust remembrance effort, and show that it is important to them as well.”
An international program
The concert program will include “Psalms” by Paul Ben-Haim, written during the Second World War; “Kol Nidre” by Max Baruch for cello and orchestra (with soloist Hillel Zori, faculty member of the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music); and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 (“The Destiny”).
The cost of bringing the 90-member student orchestra to the United States is being underwritten by philanthropist Josef Buchmann, a Holocaust survivor who was liberated from the Bergen-Belsen camp in 1945.
Mr. Kiyotaka Akasaka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, will introduce the program, which begins with a videotaped message from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and includes remarks by Israel's Ambassador Gillerman and the President of the sixty-second session of the General Assembly, Srgjan Kerim.
United States Representative Tom Lantos (DCA) will deliver the ceremony's keynote speech, “Civic Responsibility and the Preservation of Democratic Values," on the theme of "remembrance and beyond."
Distinguished student orchestra
The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University was founded in 2004 to ensure the future of Israel’s orchestras by preparing a new generation of exceptional young musicians — orchestral performers, conductors and others — for professional careers.
Since the school’s creation, more than 50 students have performed with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and 40 of the world’s leading musicians have visited the school to give master classes. In the summer of 2006 alone, seven students won prizes in prestigious international competitions, and the orchestra performed in some of Europe’s most distinguished venues, including the Konzerthaus in Berlin, to glowing reviews.
The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme
The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, as mandated by General Assembly resolution 60/7, aims to mobilize civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education, in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide. Since its establishment, the Outreach Programme has developed an international network of civil society groups, collaborated with world-renowned institutions and gained the support of experts in the field of Holocaust and genocide studies. The multifaceted Outreach Programme includes a film series, seminars, student briefings, discussion papers and innovative online information products. More information on the Outreach Programme can be found at www.un.org/holocaustremembrance. or contact Kimberly Mann, Chief, Advocacy Unit, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Symphony Orchestra of Tel Aviv University's Buchmann-Mehta School of Music