Crossing Borders Music honors musicians from around the world forced from their homelands in Diaspora Composers. The performance will include Ruth Schonthal’s String Quartet “In Memoriam Holocaust.” As an American Holocaust refugee, Schonthal spent much of her life avoiding writing music about the Holocaust so as not to trivialize it. Late in her life, she finally decided to write this piece to encourage its remembrance and memorialize its victims. Like other people of the Bahá’í religion in Iran, Parisa Sabet faced persecution from the Iranian government, including not being able to attend college or university. So, sure risked her life and safety to study music at the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education, a grassroots school where the students and teachers face raids and imprisonment. Sabet, who currently resides in Canada, pays tribute to the Persian culture she left through her dynamic “When the Roses Laugh in Full-blown Beauty,” whose title and inspiration come from the Persian poet Rumi. Zvonimir Nagy’s exquisite “Fall, Leaves, Fall” and Grammy-nominated composer Miguel del Aguila’s “Charango Cappriccioso” round out an intensely stirring program.
The performance will take place in Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center and is free and open to the public.
The performance is the fifth in Crossing Borders Music’s six-concert series “Choosing Life and Freedom,” featuring music by composers who responded to terrible tragedies with music affirming life and to oppression with music affirming freedom.