Concert Archive

Verdi: Requiem | Schoenberg: A Survivor from Warsaw


The Boston University Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Chorus performed at Symphony Hall on Monday, November 21. Professor Andrew Shenton of the BU School of Music and School of Theology gave a pre-concert talk entitled “Countering Violence: Singing What We Cannot Say”, which describes the common thematic elements of the two works being performed, Arnold Schoenberg’s “A Survivor from Warsaw”, and Giuseppe Verdi’s “Messa da Requiem.”

View the complete concert program.


The concert opens with Schoenberg’s “A Survivor from Warsaw,” The twelve-tone work tells the story of a Holocaust survivor who is struggling to recall a traumatic experience from the Warsaw Ghetto. “A Survivor in Warsaw” ends with a small male chorus singing the Jewish prayer Shema Yisroel. The BU Symphony Orchestra is joined by narrator Frank Kelley, and led by conductor and BU professor David Hoose.


The major work of the concert is Giuseppe Verdi’s “Messa da Requiem,” often considered to be one of the greatest requiems ever written. Ironically, this Catholic Mass was performed by prisoners at the Terezin concentration camp during World War II in defiance of the Nazis. BU professor Ann Howard Jones conducts the BU Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Chorus, joined by four prominent alumni of the BU School of Music Opera Institute: Michelle Johnson, soprano; Daveda Karanas, mezzo-soprano; Clay Hilley, tenor; and Morris Robinson, bass.



Romeo et Juliette

April 21 and 23, 2011

The Boston University College of Fine Arts presented Charles Gounod’s opera Roméo et Juliette, running April 21-24 on the mainstage of the Boston University Theatre. The opera features conductor William Lumpkin, stage director Sharon Daniels, singers from the BU School of Music Opera Institute and vocal program, with the BU Chamber Orchestra. Production, costume, and lighting design are by students from the BU School of Theatre, assisted in build by Huntington Theatre Company staff. Jules Barbier and Michel Carré’s libretto will be sung in French, with English supertitles by Allison Voth.

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Mendelssohn’s Elijah, conducted by Ann Howard Jones

April 11, 2011

Musicians from the Boston University College of Fine Arts returned to Boston’s historic Symphony Hall to perform Mendelssohn’s masterpiece Elijah. The concert features the BU Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Chorus, conductor Ann Howard Jones, soprano Liz Baldwin, mezzo-soprano Penelope Bitzas, tenor Martin Bakari, baritone James Demler, and soprano Kira Winter singing the role of The Youth. Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah, perhaps his most endearing and embracing work, is a vivid depiction of the prophet’s dramatic life, expressed through thrilling musical story telling, brilliant arias, and grand and vibrant choruses. The featured soloists in this epic work include students and faculty from the BU School of Music, where Jones is a Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities.

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A Centennial Celebration of Roman Totenberg

BU Honors Legendary Violinist and Educator at Symphony Hall
November 22, 2010

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