SCoJeC was delighted to participate in several good causes at once with our concert of Music in the Time of Anne Frank, which was not only part of our contribution to Scottish Interfaith Week and Remembrance Week, but also continued our fundraising for the Aberdeen Synagogue roof repair fund.
The performer at this timely concert was Fulbright Scholar Deborah Nemko of Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. On the eve of the anniversary of the Nazi pogrom of Kristallnacht, she brought to life the long-lost compositions of victims and survivors of the Nazis, featuring piano works by Daniel Belinfante and Fania Chapiro, two Dutch-Jewish composers whose lives were forever changed by the invasion.
Marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the concert also recalled the young girl who left her mark on the world through her diary of observations and collected thoughts while in hiding in the "Secret Annex" in Amsterdam. Deborah said:
"It is hard not to be inspired by courage and wisdom of a child named Anne Frank. … By performing and presenting piano compositions written around the time of the most famous young victim of the Holocaust, I hope to promote an understanding not only of the difficulties Jewish musicians composing, sometimes in hiding, but also the monumental spirit of Jews whose voices would not be stifled in the darkest of times."
The concert was live-streamed from the Telefunken Elektroakustik studios in Connecticut, USA, which contributed to the full concert experience for all who attended from Scotland, the USA, and many other countries.
Following the concert, the evening ended with the auction of a hand-made “Lockdown Quilt” made by Debby Taylor of Aberdeen. Expertly presided over by Edward Green of Edinburgh, this raised a further £200 for the Aberdeen Synagogue’s roof fund.
We are grateful to the Netherlee and Clarkston Charitable Trust and Telefunken Elektroakustik for their support.