The North American debut of Orchester Jakobsplatz Munich at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine Oct. 17 will highlight two days of music, lectures and film celebrating Jewish culture and honoring its history.
The Orchester was founded by conductor Daniel Grossmann in 2005, in order to honor the musical history of the Jewish population in Germany, as well as foster the presence and resurgence of Jewish culture. The ensemble features musicians from more than 20 countries. In its first North American tour, it will play four concerts, including one in Orono.
The two-day event at the Collins Center begins 7 p.m., Oct. 16 with the documentary, “Defiant Requiem,” honoring the prisoners of Theresienstadt (Terezín) concentration camp.
Prior to the Oct. 17 concert, there will be a symposium starting at 4:30 p.m., featuring three lectures. Daniel Grossmann will speak on Jewish life in contemporary Germany and the work of composer Erwin Schulhoff. UMaine Professor of History Alex Grab will speak about the artistic life in Terezin concentration camp, where one of his relatives, opera singer Hedda Grab-Kernmayr, helped found Freizeitgestaltung, the organization formed to oversee all aspects of cultural life in the camp. UMaine Professor of Music Phillip Silver will speak on the Nazi’s attempt to undermine and destroy the reputations of Felix Mendelssohn and Gustav Mahler.
The concert by Orchester Jakobsplatz Munich will follow and feature Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No. 12 in G minor, Gideon Klein’s “Partita for Strings” and Mahler’s “Adagio” from Symphony No. 10. In addition, saxophone soloist Daniel Gauthier will perform Erwin Schulhoff’s “Hot Sonate”.
The symposium is free and open to the public. Tickets for “Defiant Requiem” are $5; tickets for the Orchester Jakobsplatz Munich concert are $20 and $30. All are available by calling the Collins Center box office at 581-1755 or online at collinscenterforthearts.com.