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Auschwitz Testimonies



Auschwitz Testimonies

Theatrical reading curated by the International Primo Levi Studies Center and the Study Center Vasilij Grossman. Reading selection by Domenico Scarpa e Marco Sisto.

Tuesday, January 29 | 6:30 pm

Free admission. Click here to RSVP.


Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Primo Levi’s birth.

On the occasion of the Holocaust Remembrance Day 2019, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, in collaboration with the International Primo Levi Studies Center and theStudy Center Vasilij Grossman, presents: “From Treblinka to Auschwitz: a dialogue between witnesses”. This theatrical reading of extracts from “Auschwitz Testimonies” by Primo Levi and Leonardo De Benedetti and “The Hell of Treblinka”, by the Russian writer and journalist Vasily Grossman.

Performance by Michael Miranda, actor , and Martin Julien, actor.

Live music by Robbie Grunwald, piano, and Drew Jurecka, violin, clarinet.


Click here to read James Strecker's interview to Martin Julien.


International Primo Levi Studies Center

The International Primo Levi Studies Center (Centro Internazionale di Studi Primo Levi) is dedicated to acquainting people with Primo Levi. A witness of Auschwitz, he is one of the most outstanding writers read in contemporary Italy. He was a chemist and an intellectual who was always ready to lend an ear to the questions of the younger generations. Hence the center addresses itself to people in the fields of liberal arts and sciences and as well as those members of the general public, young and old, who would like to appreciate his thought and his personality.

The center is based in Turin, the city where Primo Levi lived from 1919 to 1987. It aims to collect the editions of his works, their numerous translations published all around the world, their critical bibliography and all kinds of written and audiovisual documentation on his figure and on his reception. It also aims to support scholarly research and to mount its own initiatives, such as the annual Primo Levi Lecture every fall, in order to encourage discussion on topics that were most dear to Levi.

The center is an association founded in April 2008. Its founding members are the Piedmont Region (Regione Piemonte), the City and the Province of Turin (Città e Provincia di Torino); the Compagnia di San Paolo; the Turin Jewish community (Comunità ebraica di Torino); the Foundation for Books, Culture, and Music (Fondazione per il Libro, la Cultura e la Musica); and the family of Primo Levi.

Study Center Vasily Grossman

The Centro Studi Vasilij Grossman has been based in Turin since 2006, following the initiatives organized on the occasion of the 100-year anniversary of the birth of the Russian writer V. Grossman Berdicev, (1905 – Moscow, 1964), which consisted in an exhibition and a conference dedicated to the volume: “Life and Fate”.

The retrospective was later shown in many Italian cities and also in Russia, Usa, France, Israel, Argentina, England and Luxembourg. Many other cultural initiatives, such as the three international conferences that took place in 2016 and in 2009 in Turin and in 2014 in Moscow, and editorials have allowed the establishment of a network of scientific and cultural relationships with institutions and scholars worldwide. Furthermore, the Centro has developed an important center of online documentation, with over 30,000 records in continuous growth (

The Centro is the only institution dedicated to V. Grossman and is committed in spreading the authors work and his values at an international level.

Michael A. Miranda

Michael is a thirty-year veteran actor whose career spans across the mediums of Film, Television, Theatre and Radio. For the screen Michael can be seen in the acclaimed feature film Kidnap Capital; appeared in CTV’s Lives of the Saints, based on Nino Ricci’s trilogy, starring the legendary Sophia Loren, for which Michael received an ACTRA nomination for Outstanding performance. He also appeared in the CBC Mini-Series Il Duce Canadese, about Canada’s internment of Italians during the Second World War. Most recently Michael can be seen in the film Little Italy. Other credits include, Murdoch Mysteries, Suits, and Frankie Drake Mysteries

For the stage Michael performed in Bhopal (Cahoots Theatre), The Love List (Globus Theatre), Mambo Italiano (Sudbury Theatre Centre) and originated the role of Paolo in Salvatore Antonio’s family drama In Gabriel’s Kitchen; which received a Governor General’s Award nomination; and Espresso Manifesto’s Lab series, an opportunity for Michael to present some of his own work in Storytelling.

In recent years Michael has been exploring the Ceramic Arts, with an emphasis on creating full-sized masks and helmets, and is pleased to be attending the Central Tech Arts program in the new year

Michael is honoured, once again, to be part of this evening’s presentation and to speak the words of the profound and prolific Signore Primo Levi.

Martin Julien

Martin has also made a specialty of performing the spoken word in concert with musical ensembles, both large and small. For eleven years, he intermittently toured North America playing the title role in Tchaikovsky Discovers America with dozens of symphony orchestras, including the Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, and Vancouver Symphonies. For ten years, he was the premier spoken word artist for the Toronto Masque Theatre in their series of baroque and contemporary cabarets, performing the works of such poets as Shakespeare, Byron, Shelley, and Whitman with musical ensembles of eight-to-twelve in venues as diverse the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, The Gladstone Hotel, Trintiy-St. Pail's Centre, and the Jane Mallett Theatre.

Recently, he successfully defended his PhD dissertation on subjectivity and acting methodologies for the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies in the University of Toronto, where he held a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship for 2015-2017. He has been an instructor of acting, theories of acting, acting through song, theatre history, and modern play study at such institutions as the University of Toronto, York University, Humber College, Sheridan College, Randolph Academy, and Soulpepper Academy. His work has been published by Routledge, TDR, Stanislavski Studies Journal, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Intermission, Playwrights Canada Press and Canadian Theatre Review. He is the senior editor of the groundbreaking publication Theatre Passe Muraille: A Collective History, to be published by Playwrights Canada Press in January 2019 as part of the theatre's 50th anniversary year.

Robbie Grunwald

Robbie Grunwald is a keyboardist, composer, and producer based in Toronto, Canada. Trained in classical and jazz music, Robbie fits equally well into any musical setting from a free jazz improvisational ensemble, to an electro pop band, to a traditional klezmer group. The many facets of his playing make him a highly sought after player on the Canadian Music scene.

As a performer, Robbie has recorded and performed with many of Canada’s prominent songwriters and musicians. He is a regular session player in Toronto. He has acted as musical director for groups, and composes for film, television, and video. You may have seen Robbie perform at a variety of prestigious festivals and venues including: The 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Massey Hall, The Montreal Jazz Festival, Teatro Lloseta in Mallorca Spain, The Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival, The Ashkenaz festival, Montreal’s Places Des Arts, Halifax’s Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, the Kill Your Pop music festival in Dijon France, and The North York Centre for The Performing Arts.

Robbie started his piano studies at the age of six progressing through the Royal Conservatory of Music curriculum. He Attended the NMC jazz camp in 1992, where he participated in workshops and master classes with some of Canada’s great Jazz musicians including Alex Dean, Phil Nimmons, Kevin Turcotte, Gary Williamson, and Mark Eisenman. He went on to study jazz performance and theory, and subsequently studied composition. In addition to composition projects and maintaining a busy performance schedule, Robbie completed his PhD in Theoretical Chemical Physics at the University of Toronto in 2008.

Drew Jurecka

Drew Jurecka is a Toronto-based accomplished violinist who is comfortable in many genres. He has spent the last ten years playing jazz, pop, rock and other contemporary styles in Toronto. Though violin is his primary instrument, he also works frequently as a performer and recording sideman on viola, saxophone, clarinet and mandolin.

Trained classically at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with David Updegraff. During his final year Drew played a solo with the great Dave Brubeck and his quartet at Severance Hall.

While at the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, Drew had the opportunity to play at the Hollywood Bowl with Diana Krall, Dianne Reeves, and Shirley Horn. He has played, written or arranged on more than 150 records, including several JUNO winning and Grammy nominated albums. Drew is a faculty member at Humber College where he has helped to develop a unique jazz strings program.


Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Time: At 6:30 pm

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura, the International Primo Levi Studies Center and the Study Center Vasilij Grossman

Entrance : Free


Spadina Theatre, 24 Spadina Rd, Toronto