Concert for Day of Remembrance of Greek Jewish Martyrs & Heroes of the Holocaust

THESSALONIKI – A tribute concert will be held in honor of January 27, the National Day of Remembrance of Greek Jewish Martyrs and Heroes of the Holocaust, organized by the Israeli Community of Thessaloniki, in collaboration with the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra (TSSO) and the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, on Sunday, January 30, free and open to the public, the Athens News Agency reported.

The concert honors the memory of the six million victims of the Holocaust, including 67,000 Greek Jews, 50,000 of whom were from Thessaloniki.

The Lefkos Pyrgos of Thessaloniki lit for the National Day of Remembrance of Greek Jewish Martyrs and Heroes of the Holocaust. Photo: Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra

“In situations like this, such cultural collaborations highlight, with the vehicle of the notes of works of great musicians, the importance we must show every day in matters of solidarity, respect, and acceptance of diversity, as well as the defense of human rights,” David Saltiel, President of the Central Israeli Council and the Israeli Community of Thessaloniki, said in a press conference.

The concert will start with Psalm 22 in Judaeo-Spanish performed by soprano Mariangela Chatzistamatiou, setting the tone for the event. Then, the baton will be taken by the TSSO with Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber from the second movement of his String Quartet, Op. 11, and immediately after, the internationally renowned soloist Gil Shaham with TSSO, under the musical direction of its artistic director Zoi Tsokanou, will present the Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 61, by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Renowned violinist Gil Shaham. Photo: Chris Lee

“Musicians like Gil Shaham, the members of the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra, and the soprano Mariangela Chatzistamatiou, clearly have the sensitivity to understand very well the importance of such a stance based on the rejection of any ideology of hatred or violence- the need not to be complacent and inactive in the face of acts that try in one way or another to bring back the darkness that the Nazis tried to bring around the world, fortunately without success,” Saltiel said.

“Culture and music in particular, can be humanity’s weapon for spiritual uplift,” said Zoe Tsokanou in the greetings she sent, since she could not attend the press conference in person due to the inclement weather in Attica.

“The field of culture honors and respects the millions of innocent people who were violently uprooted, tortured, lost everything, and finally exterminated by the Nazi atrocities,” said Vasileios G. Gakis, President of the Board of Trustees of the Thessaloniki Concert Hall.

Stathis Georgiadis, President of the Special Concert Organization Fund of the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra, spoke about the high level of the artistic event which is presented free of charge.

Conductor Zoi Tsokanou. Photo: Amanda Protidou

The concert will take place on Sunday, January 30, 8 PM, at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, M1 – Music Friends Hall.

Proof of vaccination or recovery from illness certificate is required for entry. Tickets are available online:  www.tsso.gr.

During the press conference, the stalled plans for Thessaloniki’s Eleftherias Square were also discussed. “Eleftherias Square must become a memorial park. Of course, the Community cannot talk about the Municipality,” Saltiel said, noting that “the mayor must finally decide immediately and start this very important project that is not only in the scope of Greece, Jews from all over the world are waiting to see it. He will give the honor to the Jews of Thessaloniki, as the persecution started from there. This is a very historic place for us.”

He also referred to the Holocaust Museum, noting that by the end of the year the studies are expected to be completed to give permission for construction to begin. “These projects must go ahead and be done,” Saltiel concluded.


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