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FAU Presents a Holocaust Remembrance Concert

Event to Honor Memory of Hungarian Composer Samuel Blasz

BOCA RATON (December 12, 2011) – Florida Atlantic University’s Lifelong Learning Society (LLS), Division of Research, and Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, along with U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch, will present “A Tribute to Artists of the Holocaust: Seven Decades Later, A Survivor Remembers.” The event, which will include musical performances, a lecture and readings, will take place on Thursday, January 5, 2012 from 1 to 5 p.m., in the Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.

This special event honors the memory of Hungarian composer Samuel Blasz, as well as the memories of the countless victims of the Holocaust. Blasz was the chief cantor and a composer for the Temple in Eger, Hungary prior to the start of the Holocaust. He also composed music for the Council of Catholic Bishops.  As Blasz fled his home at the start of World War II, he hid his compositions in the basement. While he did not live to the end of the war, his daughter, Eva Blasz Egri, survived and was able to return to the home and retrieve his works.

The event provides an opportunity to educate people about the Holocaust through music and historical text. Deutch will provide the welcome to the event, and also will read a story about Blasz written by Blasz Egri. Heather Coltman, Ph.D., interim dean of the Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, along with concert pianist Birgit Fioravante, soprano, will perform pieces written by Blasz. Duo Turgeon also will play a two-piano performance of selections by Wladyslaw Szpilman, the composer and performer made prominent in the movie, “The Pianist,” and Hans Gal, a composer exiled from Germany. The Arden Duo also is set to perform a new composition by Stuart Glazer.

Alan L. Berger, Ph.D., FAU Raddock Family Eminent Scholar chair in Holocaust Studies, will offer the keynote speech with his lecture titled “Spiritual Resistance: Art in the Face of Atrocity.” Berger will discuss aspects of Jewish creativity in the Theresienstadt Ghetto. He will talk about Vlasta Schonova, a Holocaust survivor who performed, directed and wrote plays as a prisoner in Theresienstadt, and Petr Ginz, an artist and writer who did not survive the Holocaust. Ginz kept a diary while at Theresienstadt that included drawings, as well as edited a secret magazine.

The event is sponsored in part by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council and Broad and Cassel Attorneys at Law. Tickets are $10 in advance for Lifelong Learning Society members and all tickets are $15 at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 561-297-2410, visit, or go to the LLS office in the Meyerson Continuing Education Hall, Boca Raton campus.


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

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