The Violin Channel recently caught up with Jewish-American violinist Ariel Horowitz and double bassist Sebastian Zinca to discuss their emotional upcoming performance project: 'Seed for Peace: Bringing Music to Auschwitz'.
In a VC-exclusive blog, the recent Juilliard School graduates talk us through their upcoming concert on June 30th at the Auschwitz German Nazi concentration and extermination camp, in Poland - and their mission to use music as a means of global healing and addressing social responsibility.
"In 1944, a ten-year-old girl named Eva Mozes Kor was shipped to Auschwitz Concentration Camp along with the rest of their family and their entire village. Seventy-one years later, Ariel stumbled upon Eva at her home and museum (CANDLES Museum) in Terre Haute, Indiana, a museum dedicated to Eva’s message powerful message that forgiveness is the key to healing. Eva expressed to Ariel her deep desire to hear music performed at Auschwitz where the fates of over one million Jews and members of other targeted groups - including the members of her own family - were decided during World War II.
On June 30th, we are going to try our best to fulfill Eva’s dream and perform at Auschwitz. We’re going to physically stand and make music in the space where the blood of our ancestors was shed; where they were gassed and burned and tortured and made to feel inhuman. Every time we learn something new about this awful tragedy that killed so many Jews and others, our brains can't wrap themselves around the fact that these stories are real; that six million real, living, and breathing Jews were slaughtered in one of the most awful genocides in history.
Art stands a chance to confront the unthinkable, and this is our hope in taking our music to Auschwitz. Meeting Eva and hearing her story has been deeply thought-provoking and shaping for both of us. We are honored to have Eva’s powerful message at the core of what we are doing. It is our dream to use our music to share her mission in the spirit of global healing.
The study of the Holocaust and of Eva’s life and journey has led us to realize that the Holocaust was not an isolated incident in history. We are living in a world in which violent and hateful rhetoric and action have become appallingly normal. It is our responsibility as artists to use our voices to promote and strive for the type of world we wish to see; to exemplify the best and most beautiful aspects of the human condition. Although the Holocaust in many ways seems terrifyingly close to our present global climate, the fact that people like Eva who have suffered so profoundly can choose not to forget, but to forgive, is a guiding light.
-Ariel & Sebastian"