To mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, join us for an online concert from the Curia Julia in the Roman Forum with maestros Marco Valabrega (violin) and Nicola Pignatiello (guitar)
The Director of the Parco archeologico del Colosseo Alfonsina Russo and the President of the Jewish Community of Rome Ruth Dureghello extend an invitation to the public to join in celebrating International Holocaust Remembrance Day with an online concert courtesy of the maestros Marco Valabrega (violin) and Nicola Pignatiello (guitar). Like every year on this day, the Parco archeologico del Colosseo is coming together with the Jewish Community of Rome to celebrate International Holocaust Remebrance Day on 27 January. In consideration of the serious public health crisis, this year’s concert will be broadcast at 12:00 from the Curia Julia in the Roman Forum on the Parco archeologico del Colosseo and Jewish Community of Rome Youtube channels and Facebook pages. Holocaust Remembrance Day, instituted as a national holiday in Italy in 2000 and, five years later, as an international event by the United Nations General Assembly, celebrates the day that the gates of Auschwitz were torn down – 27 January 1945 – and commemorates the tragedy of the Holocaust.
“It is our duty to remember and reflect because, as Primo Levi wrote, ‘what has happened can happen again, as absurd and unthinkable as that might seem’. Unfortunately, we still bear witness today to Holocaust denial and demonstrations of intolerance or violence against people or communities on the basis of their ethnicity or religion”, says Director of the Parco archeologico del Colosseo Alfonsina Russo, “it is therefore our civic and ethical duty to loudly reaffirm our condemnation of any type of Holocaust denial and of all demonstrations of bigotry, racial hatred and religious and political fanaticism. An important tool of remembrance is music; having been used as a powerful form of resistance and condemnation in the past, it has now become a potent vehicle of memory”.
“To express the great pain they were forced to endure, many victims of the Holocaust turned to various forms of art. The drawings, diaries and melodies that speak of that tragedy go straight to our heart, allowing us to experience Remembrance by looking at history through a personal lens. We are thankful to the Parco archeologico del Colosseo for their desire to organize this concert, as it is through one of these artforms – music – that they take on the task of passing the torch of Remembrance”, said Ruth Dureghello, President of the Jewish Community of Rome.
In this journey of remembrance, listeners will be accompanied by the notes of the maestros Marco Valabrega on the violin and Nicola Pignatiello on guitar, performing compositions that evoke various aspects of Jewish culture: “Nigun” (in the Jewish liturgy “a prayer without words”) by Ernest Bloch (1888-1959), three compositions by maestro Valabrega – “Dreidel” (a four-sided spinning top with a Hebrew letter on each face), “Mazal” (in Hebrew, “Luck”) performed in the Hora style (a Jewish dance) and the Sephardic-inspired “Schegge” – and, to bring the concert to a close, the theme from Steven Spielberg’s celebrated film “Schindler’s List”.
Remembering is fundamental and this music keeps alive that memory which, as Liliana Segre said, “is the only vaccine against indifference”.