Premier of Murry Sidlin's new Concert-Drama "Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezin Composer"

We are pleased to report that we premiered our new concert-drama at Terezín on May 17 entitled "Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezín Composer."  Using 14 instrumentalists, four singers,  video, and two narrators, "Hours of Freedom" follows 15 composers imprisoned in Terezín in the early 1940’s for whom composing was an essential, compelling act of artistic expression and survival.   This music was created in an unspeakably violent and degrading environment where composing would seem to be an irrational, irrelevant and useless act.  "Hours of Freedom" explores music of the eyewitness and music of the hopeful visionary and entertainer through 15 short compositions, all of which were composed in Terezín.

The title, "Hours of Freedom", is a quote from prisoner Rabbi Leo Baeck.  In his writings about life in the camp with the lectures, the music and all of the creative artistic events held there, he compares those moments to what life was before Terezín.  These moments offered momentary relief from the horrid conditions, providing the prisoner population temporary relief or “hours of freedom” as Rabbi Baeck referred to them. 

For reviews and articles on the performances of "Hours of Freedom" please go to:  


Upcoming Performances:

  • June 2, 2016:  Jerusalem, Israel - Israel Festival Jerusalem, Henry Crown Hall

For more information please go to the Defiant website (see link above)

To read the latest Report from Murry Sidlin, President of the Defiant Requiem Foundation, please go to the Defiant Requiem Foundation Website where you can read the latest eNewsletter, December 15, 2015.​​

​On Sunday, November 16, Defiant Requiem Foundation Board Chair Stuart Eizenstat delivered the 35th Annual Jerome Nemer Lecture at the University of Southern California Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life.  To read more about this and the full lecture please see the link below.​ 

For the latest news on the Defiant Requiem Foundation and recent performances of the concert/drama, "Defiant Requiem, Verdi at Terezin"; the "Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezin Composer" and news about our Documentary Film, "Defiant Requiem", please go to the Defiant Requiem Foundation Website where you can read the latest eNewsletter, July 15, 2015.​​

The Terezin Legacy: University Residency Project

Established in 2014 with a generous grant from Gretchen M. Brooks, the Residency Project provides grants of up to $25,000 to schools and departments of music at outstanding North American colleges and universities to bring The Terezin Legacy to their campus.  Smaller grants are available to present the new concert/drama, "Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezin Composer".  Events include a live performance of concert/drama, Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin, a screening of the documentary film Defiant Requiem and panel discussions to explore the Terezin Paradigm.

For more information please go to the Defiant website.

Report from Murry Sidlin, President of the Defiant Requiem Foundation

I am pleased to report that we presented the live performance of Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín five times between March 9 and May 7, 2015.  Sold-out concerts were held at Lincoln Center in Avery Fisher Hall in New York City; Oklahoma City; Tulsa; Boston’s Symphony Hall; and at the San Diego Symphony, bringing the total number of performances over the past few years to a total of 30.  In addition to the performances, we were repeatedly privileged to receive excellent press reviews in all of these cities including, on March 8, a full page feature story in the Sunday New York Times.  Please see the link below to the website of our publicist in New York, Gail Wein, at Classical Music Communications, where you may access all of our reviews and stories.

In all, we estimate that we performed for about 12,000 people over the last five most recent concerts, and approximately 65,000 people have experienced the live concert-drama since its initial performance in 2002.  This number includes more than 5,000 attendees in Budapest in 2010; Jerusalem; Berlin; Prague; Washington, DC; Atlanta, and three performances on the grounds of Terezín.  

On May 7, our documentary film was shown over national television in France, adding that prestigious broadcast to PBS, BBC4, and national television in Brazil.  That, combined with the large number of festivals, religious organizations and academic institutions that have shown our film, we can estimate that several million people have seen the documentary.

There are many potential performances and film screenings ahead of us in 2016 and 2017 and our General Manager, Mark Rulison, is working  very closely with Board Chair Stuart Eizenstat to speak with many possible hosts in more than ten cities, foreign and domestic.

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Murry Sidlin

Conductor/Concert Innovator/Educator

​Founder and President of The Defiant Requiem Foundation

Creator of Illuminations Concerts