Holocaust Memorial and Related Works  

Alice Sherr
Alice Bacharach Sherr

Laurence Sherr’s mother was Alice Bacharach Sherr (1931–2009), a Holocaust survivor from Germany. His father emigrated from a shtetl in Poland in the early years of the Shoah. However, it was only after Sherr had established his professional career that he connected with his family history and ethnic heritage as a vehicle for compositional expression. Holocaust memorial compositions have been a central focus of his recent work, and his composition Flame Language was a top prizewinner in the 2010 Classical Lounge national competition. Two of his commemorative works are based on poetry by Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Nelly Sachs. Elliot Levine
Baritone Elliot Levine after premiering the ensemble version of Flame Language

Yad Vashem International Conference on Holocaust Education, 2012

Holocaust education is also an important activity for Sherr. Through international lectures, concerts, and presentations about his music, and about music and the Holocaust, Sherr is dedicated to creating greater awareness, and to fostering tolerance (see Duke Magazine profile and Web Articles). His 2011 Holocaust Remembrance Concert in Prague featured the music of two generations. Holocaust concert and educational activities in Germany, produced in the town where his mother and her family were persecuted, led to reconciliation and healing. He developed the global citizenship course “Music and the Holocaust” at Kennesaw State University, for which he has compiled a list of books, song collections, DVDs, CDs, and websites at Resources: Music and the Holocaust.

Keynote address at Holocaust Centre of New Zealand, Recovering Lost Voices international conference, 2014
Holocaust Memorial and Remembrance Works

Flame Language for baritone (or mezzo/alto) and chamber ensemble (2008)

Flame Language for baritone and chamber orchestra (2007)

Fugitive Footsteps for baritone solo and mixed chorus (2002)

Elegy and Vision for solo cello (1993); version for solo viola (2000)

Works with Judaic/Yiddish elements
Midnight Dance for solo violin (2009)

Illuminations for orchestra: Mvt. III (Moonlight Dances) (1997)

Holocaust Concert Events: Producer, Co-producer, or Guest Artist
A Holocaust Remembrance: Czech, Dutch, and American Chamber Music of Two Generations
Prague, Czech Republic, 2011

Abend der Erinnerung der Stolpersteingruppe Egelsbach
Egelsbach, Germany, 2009: Performance Pictures

Erinnerung: Geschichte und Musik
Seligenstadt, Germany, 2009

A Kristallnacht Commemoration
Atlanta, GA, 2002

Holocuast and Klezmer Lectures and Lecture-Recitals
Dr. Sherr's "Music at Auschwitz" and "Music at Theresienstadt" presentations are based on his on-site photo and video documentation and research, and include archival materials and interviews with survivors who performed in the camps. Other expertise includes "Music and Musicians Banned in the Nazi Era," "Holocaust Memorial Music," "Degenerate Music and Art," "Klezmer Music," and "Effective Strategies for Teaching Music and the Holocaust."
Lecture Descriptions

Upcoming Events

Past Events

"Creating Connections to Forbidden Voices: Strengthening the Legacy of Music Related to the Holocaust through Composition and Education"
Keynote speech, and performance of 3 Sherr Holocaust memorial compositions
"Recovering Forbidden Voices: Responding to the Suppression of Music in World War Two" international conference
St Andrew's on The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand
August 22-25, 2014

"Suppressed Music and Art during the Nazi Era," lecture plus performance of Sherr's solo cello composition Elegy and Vision
Limmud NZ 2014: A Festival of Jewish Culture and Learning
Auckland, New Zealand
August 17, 2014

"A Musical Reflection of Sorrow, Redemption, and the Universal in Nelly Sachs' Poetry: Laurence Sherr's Holocaust Memorial Flame Language"
"Continuities and Ruptures: Artistic Responses to Jewish Migration, Internment and Exile in the Long Twentieth Century" international conference
University of Leeds, England
July 7, 2014

"Music at Auschwitz: Aid to Survival or Dehumanizing Degradation?"
Jewish Museum of Prague, Czech Republic
June 12, 2014

“Aid to Survival or Dehumanizing Degradation?: The Functions, Personnel, Repertoire, and Impact of the Prisoner Orchestras at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp”
College Music Society Mid-Atlantic and Southern Chapters Joint Conference
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
February 14, 2014 (cancelled-weather)

"A Musical Reflection on Sorrow, Redemption, and the Universal in Nelly Sachs' Poetry: Laurence Sherr's Holocaust Memorial Flame Language" lecture-presentation
Colloquium, XXIV. CZECH REPUBLIC FORFEST FESTIVAL 2013 - International Festival of Contemporary Arts with Spiritual Orientation
Kromeriz, Czech Republic, 2013

“Gypsy and Klezmer Music"
Ulus Jewish School, Istanbul, Turkey, 2013

"Banned Music and Musicians in the Nazi Era," lecture plus performance of Sherr's solo cello composition Elegy and Vision
University of North Georgia, Dahlonega, GA, 2013
Composers who were declared "degenerate" and music that was banned by the Nazi regime will be the focus of Dr. Sherr's presentation. The event is produced in connection with the United Stated Holocaust Memorial Museum exhibition "Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings" on display at North Georgia University.

"'Degenerate Music': Banned Composers in the Nazi Era" Lecture-Recital, with violinist Jocelyn Adelman and pianist Amanda Halstead
Kristallnacht Commemoration Event, Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, GA, 2012

"Teaching the Holocaust through the Lens of Music: Guiding Students to Historical Understanding, Cultural Awareness, and Greater Tolerance"
Eighth International Conference on Holocaust Education, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel, 2012

"Designing a College Course on Music and the Holocaust: Examining History through the Lens of Music to Achieve Global Learning Objectives"
College Music Society National Conference, Richmond, VA
, 2011

“Shoah Memorial Music: Historical Precedents and the Development of Laurence Sherr’s Work,” lecture plus performance of Sherr's solo cello composition Elegy and Vision
Jewish Museum of Prague, Prague, Czech Republic, 2011

"Klezmer Music: History and Style" (lecture-performance with Oy Klezmer!)
Shearith Israel Synagogue, Atlanta, GA, 2011

"Cultural Control in Nazi Germany: Degenerate Art and Music", (Theater) Acting Styles class lecture
Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, GA, 2011

"Music at Terezín"
Temple Beth-El, Birmingham, AL, 2011

“Nelly Sachs: Holocaust Poet and Nobel laureate”, concert commentary for Flame Language performances
   • Holocaust Remembrance Concert, Prague, Czech Republic, 2011
   • Friendship Presbyterian Church, Athens, GA, 2010
   • Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, GA, 2008

“Nelly Sachs’ Poetry: Inspiration for Laurence Sherr’s Holocaust Memorial Compositions”, Contemporary (German) Culture class lecture
Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, GA, 2010

“Gypsy and Klezmer Musical Styles, and their use in Western Classical Music”
   • Introduction to World Music class lecture, Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, GA, 2011, 2006
   • Art in Society class lecture, Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, GA, 2010

“Bacharach-Katz Familie Geschichte und das Holocaust denkmal Musik von Laurence Sherr” (“Bacharach-Katz Family History and the Holocaust Memorial Music of Laurence Sherr”), Holocaust memorial events
   • Abend der Erinnerung der Stolpersteingruppe Egelsbach, Egelsbach, Germany, 2009
   • Erinnerung: Geschichte und Musik, Seligenstadt, Germany, 2009

“Oy Klezmer!: A Composer-Theorist's Interdisciplinary Work Leads in Unexpected Directions”
College Music Society National Conference, Atlanta, GA, 2008

“Laurence Sherr’s Holocaust Commemorations: The Evolution of an Aesthetic”, pre-concert lecture
Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, GA, 2008

“Oy Klezmer!: The Evolution of Klezmer Music in Europe and America”
Lecture-Performance for Kennesaw State University Sturgis Library “Let’s Talk About It!” book discussion program, Atlanta, GA, 2008

“Music and the Holocaust”
Summer Scholars Institute for Holocaust Study, Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, GA, 2008

“Composer Laurence Sherr’s Holocuast Commemorations”, featured dinner speaker for Museum of History and Holocaust Education event
Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, GA, 2008

“A Musician’s Journey Home”
William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, Atlanta, GA, 2000


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