More than just a concert: Music rescued from the depths of the past, performed to inspire the future.
Francesco Lotoro, an Italian composer, pianist and music teacher, brings to life music composed in the concentration camps. Lotoro will perform a concert in Toronto presented by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in collaboration with Foundation ILCM (Institute of Concentrationary Music Literature), 918 Bathurst, and iConcerti – Classical Music Artist Management.
Amidst the horrors of the concentration camps, musicians kept playing and secretly composing in the hope that their music would some day be played again in a spirit that celebrated life and the defiant survival of people.
The monumental repertoire of music written in concentration camps would mostly have been lost had it not been for the work of Francesco Lotoro, who managed to recover thousands of musical testimonies, scouring archives and camp barracks, interviewing musicians interned in lagers and anybody who might have been involved in their diaries, who kept scores that miraculously survived or was simply a witness of events that involved them.
The compositions selected for this concert will be performed by Francesco Lotoro, piano, Cantor Charles Osborne, Igor Gefter, cello, Mark Skazinetsky, violin.
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TORONTO CONCERT PROGRAM
Karel Berman (1919 – 1995)
Terezín Suite (for piano)
Józef Kropiński (1913 – 1970)
Złota jesień (for baritone & piano)
Prózno! (for baritone & piano)
Klavierstück (for piano)
Pieśń bez słów (for violin & piano)
Dlaczego? (for violin & piano)
Emile Goué (1904 – 1946)
Deux Impromptus (for piano)
Duet (for violin & cello)
Rudolf Karel (1880 – 1945)
Pankrác Valzer Op. 42c (for piano)
Berthold Hummel (1925 – 2002)
Abendlied (for baritone & piano)
William Hilsley [Hildesheimer] (1911 – 2003)
In Old Seville [from 6 Songs] (for baritone & piano)
Zygfryd Maciej Stryjecki (1918 – 1998)
Wino (for piano)
Sándor Kuti (1908 – 1945)
Sonata (for violin)
David Grünfeld & Zikmund Schul
Uv’tzeil Knofecho [arranged by Zikmund Schul, reworked by Francesco Lotoro] (for baritone & piano)
Arturo Coppola (1913 – 1998)
Elegia [In memory of Vincenzo Romeo] (for cello & piano)
Anonymous Musician from Märzbachtal
Zi is mein herz (for male voice)
Cantor Charles Osborne
A native of Suffern, NY, Cantor Charles Osborne is internationally recognized as a singer, composer and conductor. He attended Hartt School of Music, studying there with Cantor Arthur Koret, and the Cantors Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. His original compositions include four oratorios, a symphony, concerti for flute, guitar, viola and harp, and more than 200 choral pieces.
Cantor Osborne has taught at Hartt College, the Jewish Theological Seminary, Northeastern University, and the Hebrew College of Boston. He is the founder and director of Kol Rinah—Boston’s Jewish youth chorus—and a regular participant in the North American Jewish Choral Festival and the “Hazamir” National Jewish High School Choral Festival, with which he toured Israel as music director during the summers of 1996 and 1997. His piece “Samachti” is one of the most popular pieces of synagogue music in the world. The beauty of this setting inspired us to include this psalm in our Temple Sinai prayer book.
Internationally acclaimed cellist Igor Gefter joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2006.
Prior to his move to Toronto, Mr. Gefter held the position of Associate Principal Cello with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. While still a student at The Juilliard School in New York, Igor was invited to play in the cello section of the New York Philharmonic; serving as an acting member and an extra cellist, this special relationship lasted for over eight years. Highly regarded for his expertise as an orchestral player, Mr. Gefter has been invited to perform with the Boston, Chicago, and Detroit Symphony Orchestras. In 2009 Mr. Gefter was invited by the Seattle Symphony to serve as a guest principal cellist in the opening week of the 2009–10 season.
Mr. Gefter’s numerous honors include multiple Chalmers Performing Arts Awards from the Ontario Arts Council as well as four consecutive B-Grants from the Canada Council for the Arts to study abroad. In 1997 Igor was a recipient of the John B.C. Watkins Fellowship from the Canada Council. In 1991 Mr. Gefter won first prize in the Canadian Music Competition, which resulted in numerous recitals throughout Canada. While studying in New York, he won the Mannes Concerto Competition and performed as a soloist at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
An active participant in international music festivals, Mr. Gefter serves as principal cellist for the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming every summer. In the past, Igor has served as principal cellist for the “Festival of the Two Worlds” in Spoleto, Italy, the International Chamber Music Festival in Venezuela, and the International Symphony Orchestra in Israel.
Igor made his début at the age of eight as a winner of the National Young Artist Competition, the first of seven consecutive competitions that he won before the age of 13. At 14, as one of the most distinguished young cellists in Russia, he was chosen to perform at the Recital Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Mr. Gefter holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Harvey Shapiro and Aldo Parisot. He completed his post-graduate studies in the studio of Carter Brey.
Igor enjoys spending time with his wife, Kristina, his son, Daniel and his daughter, Eliana. His hobbies include reading, photography and technology. Mr. Gefter performs on a wonderful Christopher Dungey cello, made especially for him in 2013.
Mark Skazinetsky, is Associate Concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and a native of Odessa, Ukraine. Upon completing his music education at the State Conservatory of Odessa he was awarded a degree with honours in all four qualifications of performer, teacher, chamber instrumentalist, and orchestral player. At age fifteen he won first prize in the Ukrainian Competition for Young Talents and subsequently performed the Bruch G Minor Violin Concerto with the Odessa State Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 1979 he immigrated to Canada and was immediately appointed Assistant Concertmaster with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and Stratford’s Chamber Ensemble. One year later he joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Skazinetsky is a prominent chamber musician and can be heard frequently on the CBC radio and in recital halls throughout the country. He is a founding member of the Maple Trio and of The Moveable Feast, with the latter of which he recorded a CD with flautist Susan Hoeppner.
He was also among a group of musicians that Glenn Gould chose for his last recording and conducting debut (Wagner: Siegfried Idyll; Sony Classical). More recent engagements have included performances in Italy, both in recital and as soloist with the Orchestra Sinfonica della Provinvia di Bari. He is currently on staff at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, and as well with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
Mr. Skazinetsky is also actively pursuing a conducting career. Since his conducting debut with a University of Toronto ensemble in Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat, Mark Skazinetsky has been appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Huronia Symphony Orchestra and has conducted orchestras such as the Hamilton Philharmonic, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Toronto Festive Orchestra, I Virtuosi di Toronto (at its inaugural concert), the New Hamilton Orchestra for two consecutive seasons, the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Northern Lights Music Festival in Ajijic Mexico.