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EXILED: MUSIC BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH (article first published : 2007-02-10)

One of the events accompanying the Seeking Refuge exhibition running at the Durban Jewish Centre until February 14 is what promises to be an extraordinary free concert on February 11.

Exiled: Music between Life and Death is a one-off concert linked to the theme of the exhibition. Conceived by Prof David Smith and Dr Pamela Tancsik (Opera Studio & Choral Academy, University of KwaZulu-Natal), it covers classical and African music, some of it never performed before on this continent.

With the help of narrators -Bernice Rosenberg-Beare of Israel and Pierre Matate of the DRC and co-ordinator of refugees at Emmanuel Cathedral - the audience will discover the musical 'routes' of refugees from two separate emigrations.

The first half of the programme presents vocal and chamber music by Jewish composers, all of whom suffered persecution under the Nazis in the 1930s. Some, like Kurt Weill, managed to make a second career in exile; others found their experience of emigration insecure and heart-breaking. A third group of talented young composers ended up in the ghetto Terezin and were later murdered in Auschwitz.

The second half of the concert recalls the music of South African exiles - Miriam Makeba, Todd Matshikiza and Abdullah Ibrahim. It also introduces new songs from people recently exiled from the DRC and Zimbabwe, now living in Durban. The music and the narration show that exile and refuge are not only matters of the past, but daily realities on our doorstep.

Sponsored by Friends of Music, Exiled: Music between Life and Death takes place at 19h00 on February 11 at the Durban Jewish Centre.

The exhibition Seeking Refuge is open daily from 09h00 to 16h00 (except Saturdays). On Sundays, opening times are from 09h00 to 13h00. Further information from Ruth Mink on 031 335 4452.




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