Laurence Sherr
Holocaust Remembrance Compositions, Lectures, & Concerts

Alice Bacharach Sherr
Sherr is active as a composer of Holocaust remembrance music, lecturer on Holocaust music topics, producer of remembrance events, and Holocaust music educator. Performances and lectures have been given in the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, England, Norway, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and across North America. The poetry of Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Nelly Sachs is featured in two of his compositions. A recent work, Sonata for Cello and Piano–Mir zaynen do!, integrates Holocaust songs from the partisans, ghettos, and camps. Sherr’s mother was Alice Bacharach Sherr (1931–2009), a Holocaust survivor from Germany; his concert and educational activities in the German town where his mother and her family were persecuted led to reconciliation and healing (see Duke Magazine profile).
Inbal Megiddo and Anna Grinberg perform the cello sonata, Brisbane, Australia, 2016

Yad Vashem International Conference on Holocaust Education, Israel, 2012
Through international lectures about his music, Holocaust music topics, and the pedagogy he developed for teaching the Holocuast through music, Sherr is dedicated to fostering greater awareness and tolerance (see KSU Magazine profile). His Music of Resistance and Survival Project, which features his cello sonata, connects audiences with the lost and forbidden voices of Holocaust song creators. He developed the global citizenship course “Music and the Holocaust” at Kennesaw State University, for which he compiled a list of reference materials at Resources: Music and the Holocaust.
Keynote address at the Recovering Forbidden Voices International Conference, New Zealand Holocaust Centre, 2014

Holocaust Remembrance Works
Sonata for Cello and Piano–Mir zaynen do! (2014), the key component of the Music of Resistance and Survival Project
      Integrates songs from the partisans, ghettos, and camps

Flame Language for baritone (or mezzo/alto) and chamber ensemble (2008)
      On poetry by Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Nelly Sachs

Flame Language for baritone and chamber orchestra (2007)
      On poetry by Nelly Sachs

Fugitive Footsteps for baritone solo and mixed chorus (2002)
      On poetry by Nelly Sachs

Khayele's Waltz for bassoon and cello (2017)
      Integrates a song from the Vilna ghetto

Elegy and Vision for solo cello (1993); version for solo viola (2000); version for bassoon and cello (2017)
      In memory of his brother named after their aunt who perished at Auschwitz

Works with Judaic/Yiddish elements
Doina & Dances Overture for orchestra (2015)
      Rhapsodic and dance styles influenced by klezmer music

Midnight Dance for solo violin (2009)

Illuminations for orchestra, Mvt. III: Moonlight Dances (1997)
      Klezmer-style sections

Baritone Elliot Levine after premiering the ensemble version of Flame Language, 2010

Fugitive Footsteps performed by Kieran Raynor, baritone and Cantoris Choir, Thomas Nikora, conductor, Wellington, New Zealand, 2014

Lectures and Lecture-Performances
Lecture descriptions

Dr. Sherr has presented lectures and lecture-performances for universities, conservatories, schools, museums, national and international conferences, synagogues, and civic groups in north America, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Australia, and New Zealand.

His "Music at Auschwitz" and "Music at Theresienstadt" lectures are based on his on-site photo and video documentation and research, and include archival materials and interviews with survivors who performed in the camps. Other lectures that draw on his expertise include "Suppressed Music and Art during the Nazi Era," "Holocaust Memorial Music," "Klezmer Music," and "Effective Strategies for Teaching Music and the Holocaust." His lectures include media-rich slide presentations.

Holocaust Centre of New Zealand, Wellington, NZ, 2016, with Steven Sedley, HCNZ founding chairman

Holocaust Concert Events: Producer, Co-producer, or Guest Artist

Pure vs. Degenerate concert, Atlanta, USA, 2016–providing commentary with Atlanta Opera Music Director Arthur Fagan

Music of Resistance and Survival concert, Prague, Czech Republic, 2015–Petr Nouzovský performing the cello sonata

Music of Resistance and Survival: A Holocaust Remembrance Concert, Atlanta, USA, 2015–Cantors Nancy Kassel and Deborah Hartman perform source songs for the cello sonata

Victims and Survivors, Wellington, New Zealand, 2014–Inbal Meggido plays Elegy and Vision

Music of Resistance and Survival, Kristallnacht Commemoration, Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, USA, 2017

Remembrance on October 26, 2017: 75 Years Since the Arrest of Jewish Men in Norway
Jødisk Museum
Oslo, Norway

Songs Not Silenced: Music Forbidden in the Holocaust
Atlanta, USA, 2017
AIB Special Presentation (concert highlights in a one-hour TV program)
WABE-FM radio interview
Atlanta Journal-Constitution article
Atlanta Jewish Times article

Holocaust Memorial Concert: Music of Resistance and Survival
Auckland, New Zealand, 2016 (poster below)

Music of Resistance and Survival: Educational concert for students
Auckland, New Zealand, 2016

Pure vs. Degenerate: The Nazi War on Music
Atlanta, USA, 2016

Songs of Identity and Survival: A Kristallnacht Remembrance
Wroclaw, Poland, 2015

Music of Resistance and Survival
Prague, Czech Republic, 2015

Remembering the Silenced Voices of Holocaust Song Creators: Weaving Songs of Resistance and Survival into a New Cello Sonata
Atlanta, USA, 2015

Favored and Forbidden Cello Recital
Lincoln, USA, 2015

Music of Resistance and Survival: A Holocaust Remembrance Concert
Morning concert for students
Evening concert for the public
Atlanta, USA, 2015

Victims and Suvivors
Wellington, New Zealand, 2014

'Degenerate Music': Banned Composers in the Nazi Era
Atlanta, USA, 2012

A Holocaust Remembrance: Czech, Dutch, and American Chamber Music of Two Generations
Prague, Czech Republic, 2011

Silenced Voices – Music of the Holocaust
Atlanta, GA, 2012

Abend der Erinnerung der Stolpersteingruppe Egelsbach
Egelsbach, Germany, 2009: Performance Pictures

Erinnerung: Geschichte und Musik
Seligenstadt, Germany, 2009

A Holocaust Commemoration: Honoring the Victims, Survivors and Liberators of the Concentration Camps
Atlanta, USA, 2005

A Kristallnacht Commemoration
Atlanta, USA, 2002