This program considers the role of music in combating genocide-imposed silence and brings into dialogue the diversity of historical and current experiences of genocide and exile. Featured are exile-inspired works by refugee composers (Hans Eisler, Frédéric Chopin, and Dino Rešidbegović); art songs by Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert set to Goethe’s and Eichendorff’s poetry on exile; a 1942 piano trio by Dmitri Shostakovich; a quartet by Brooklyn College faculty member, Dr. Ramin Heydarbeygi, composed in 2015 and set to Persian poetry dealing with refugee life and exile; premiere of the commissioned piano trio by Dr. Brégégère based on melodies from The Stonehill Jewish Song Collection, the newly available archive of songs of Holocaust refugees; and a presentation by Dr. Litroff and the QCC Jazz Ensemble of Jazz standards associated with Frances ‘Chickie’ Ishihara White, a singer who began her career in the Minidoka Japanese internment camp in the 1940’s.
Dr. Andre Bregegere - http://abregegere.com/
Dr. Jennifer Gliere - http://jennifer.gliere.org/bio.php
Dr. Mirna Lekic - http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/music/LekicM.html
Dr. Scott Litroff - http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/music/LitroffS.html
Ensemble 365: soprano Sara Paar, violinist Karen Rostron, cellist Marta Bedkowska-Reilly, pianist Mirna Lekic - http://www.mirnalekic.com/Ensemble365
Songs of Syrian Refugees - https://www.songlines.co.uk/explore/features/songs-of-the-syrian-refugees
Music and the Holocaust - http://holocaustmusic.ort.org/
Refugee Music Project - https://www.facebook.com/refugeemusicproject/
Music of the Ghettos and Camps (A Teacher’s Guide) https://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/arts/MUSVICTI.htm
The CD liner notes assignment, completed by the students enrolled in Dr. Lekic's Introduction to Music course was designed as a complement to the "Echoes of Exile" program, with the aim of building on the content of the concert and enlarging the relevant repertoire through the multicultural lens of the QCC community. Each student was asked to contribute two compositions dealing with exile, displacement, and the refugees, and to write accompanying liner notes. Putting to use music’s particular power to recognize individual stories, this assignment also served as a means of unifying many diverse styles, languages, and perspectives, across time and through a common theme. The resulting class playlist, featured below, includes music addressing the Holocaust, conflicts and mass displacement in India/Pakistan (during the partition), Iran (after the 1979 Revolution), Ireland, Cuba, Colombia, and Syria, as well as exile experienced by African Americans and the Roma in their home countries. We hope that this archive will prove a valuable resource for course enrichment and further exploration of multiple musical traditions.