From 1942–1944, Anne Frank, her family and four others hid in a secret annex in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. Anne kept a diary during this time, chronicling her thoughts and her hopes for the future. In August 1944, the group was discovered and deported to concentration camps in Germany. After the war, Anne’s diary was found and published by her father, who was the family’s only survivor. Her diary became a bestselling book that has helped to educate generations about the horrors of the Holocaust.
“Annelies,” a moving oratorio based on this timeless book, will be presented by the Red Rocks Music Festival, in collaboration with the ASU School of Music, during concerts on April 9 and 10. The title is inspired by Anne Frank’s original name, and is made up of a setting of words from her diary.
The score is written by James Whitbourn and the libretto by Melanie Challenger. Guest artists will include Arianna Zukerman, soprano, Grammy-award-nominated artist for the “Annelies” recording; Larry Wyatt, professor and director of choral studies at the University of South Carolina, conductor; Ben Wyatt, faculty of the Renaissance Music Academy of Virginia, cello; Joshua Gardner, assistant clinical professor of clarinet at ASU, clarinet; David Ehrlich, Fellow of Fine Arts at Virginia Tech University, Moss Arts Center, violin; and Teresa Ehrlich, executive director and piano faculty of the Renaissance Music Academy of Virginia, piano; and the ASU Chamber Singers.
The Red Rocks Music Festival aims to educate, engage and challenge audiences through a unique collaboration of musicians from leading Arizona performing arts organizations and world-acclaimed artists. An integral part of the festival’s mission is education, offering master classes and workshops for young musicians to learn skills from master musicians, as well as outreach educational music programs that inspire students to appreciate and continue their interest in the arts.
“As director and founder of the Red Rocks Music Festival, this is a momentous occasion for me to see the performance of ‘Annelies’ as an Arizona premiere,” says Moshe Bukshpan. “I look forward to witnessing audience engagement and reaction to the message of hope for a better tomorrow as expressed in the Anne Frank diary, and set to beautiful music.”
Pre-concert talks with ASU School of Music professor David Schildkret will take place before the April 9 concert, at 7 p.m. and before the April 10 concert, at 2 p.m.
Schildkret, who will prepare the 16-member graduate student chorus for this performance, is enthusiastic about his involvement in this collaboration and sees the importance of it on a broader scale.
“As the survivors of World War II and the Holocaust are now mostly gone, it is important that we find ways to experience those terrible events anew,” says Schildkret. “Otherwise, we risk the very worst outcome: that we will forgot the horrific consequences of hatred and scapegoating and in so doing, repeat the atrocities of the past.”
The “Annelies” concerts will take place at Temple Chai, Phoenix, on Saturday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. and at Katzin Concert Hall on the ASU Tempe campus on Sunday, April 10, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 for general admission and $8 for students with ID. For more information, go to: asuevents.asu.edu/content/asu-chamber-singers-and-red-rocks-music-festival-james-whitbourn's-annelies
School of Music Communications Liaison