Musical liturgy dedicated to Holocaust Remembrance Day is April 7 at Detroit's Orchestra Hall
The world premiere of the first complete musical liturgy dedicated to Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, will be presented on Sunday, April 7 at 4 p.m., when 150 voices ascend to the stage of Detroit's acclaimed Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, to perform Daniel Gross' I Believe - A Shoah Requiem, at a community-wide interfaith observance.
An a cappella cantata, I Believe is scored for cantor, soloists, choir, and children's choir. I Believe features several traditional prayer texts such as the Mourner's Kaddish and the El Malei memorial prayer, and includes the poetry of noted Holocaust survivors Paul Celan and Primo Levi.
Archbishop Allen Vigneron, Reverend DeeDee Coleman, Reverend Kenneth J. Flowers, Reverend Dr. Oscar King III and Father Garabed Kochakian will be joined in the interfaith observance by Rabbi Aaron Bergman, Cantor Daniel Gross, Rabbi Joseph Krakoff, Cantorial Soloist Neil Michaels, Rabbi Michael Moskowitz, Rabbi Daniel Nevins, Cantor Pamela Schiffer, Rabbi Arnie Sleutelberg and Rabbi Daniel Syme.
Composed in 2009, Gross created I Believe as a response to the lack of musical liturgy for this highly significant and powerful day on the Jewish calendar. Gross has dedicated I Believe to his grandmother Masha Gross, who was the only member of her immediate family to survive the Holocaust.
Her parents, eight brothers and sisters, and countless other relatives were killed in Belzec Concentration Camp. "This piece was written to honor her memory and that of the family I will never know…and to honor all those who lost their lives, both remembered and forgotten," said Gross. "It is my hope that this piece will provide a medium that allows people of all faiths to connect to their individual pasts and ancestors," he said.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Manhattan School of Music, The Juilliard School and The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Gross studied composition with George Crumb, James Primosch, Jay Riese and Bruce Adolphe. As a performer, Gross has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, the Pittsburgh Opera, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the National Symphony Orchestra, among many others.
Gross is the cantor of Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and will serve as the cantor for the premiere of I Believe. He will be joined on stage by dramatic soprano Lauren Skuce Gross, baritone Neil Michaels and seven choirs including the Adat Shalom Synagogue Choir and Ruach Youth Choir, Hillel Day School Ruach Choir, Madrigal Chorale, Temple Shir Shalom Choir, West Bloomfield High School Chamber Choir, and Zamir Chorale of Metropolitan Detroit. Conducting the combined choirs will be GRAMMY Award-winning conductor Jerry Blackstone, Director of Choirs and chair of the conducting department at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.
Reserved seating for the general public is sold out, however, wait-listing is available by calling Adat Shalom Synagogue at 248.851.5100.
Limited reserved is available for Holocaust Survivors and their families also by calling Adat Shalom.
The sold out program will be broadcast live by Detroit Public Television and can be viewed on WTVS Channel 56, or online at dptv.org.