Melodies in Memorial: Heinz Hall To Host Holocaust Remembrance Event

Apr 24, 2014

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) will join Holocaust survivors at Heinz Hall Sunday evening to commemorate Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“Remembering Through Music,” presented by the Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, features four musical interludes by a quartet of PSO musicians and a candlelight ceremony with six Holocaust survivors.

Abe Salem, a 95 year-old survivor, and a choir from the Pittsburgh School for the Choral Arts will sing a rendition of the Jewish partisan song, and a person who was saved by Oskar Schindler will perform traditional Jewish songs.

The survivors will light candles in memory of their families who perished in the Holocaust.

Samantha Chilton, senior associate at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, said the organization is partnering with the PSO because music can reveal a lot about moments in history.

“We believe that music is a universal language,” Chilton said. “It has the power to cross chronological and geographical borders to share a story, history and to awaken emotions.”

Chilton said she has heard numerous stories from survivors about how they would often sing songs in the concentration camps as a means of personal expression to stay positive.

“During the Holocaust, music and art allowed people to hold onto their humanity and kind of gave them a glimmer of hope in a time of darkness, despair and death,” Chilton said.

Yom Hashoah begins on Sunday evening and ends Monday.

The event, which is free, starts at 6:30 p.m. Attendees must RSVP.