This poignant, uplifting documentary about Seattle-based chamber music organization, Music of Remembrance (MOR)
Unsilenced features the work of Music of Remembrance (MOR), a Seattle-based chamber music organization. MOR's mission is to rediscover forgotten works by Holocaust-era musicians and commission new works from some of today's leading composers. MOR's founding director, Mina Miller, takes the lessons of the holocaust, the messages of Music of Remembrance, to high schools throughout Washington State.
Producer John Sharify, six-time winner of the coveted National Edward R. Murrow prize for journalism, has created this new film casting light not only on the way MOR rediscovers Holocaust-era music, but on its path-breaking work commissioning new music from some of today's leading composers. A multiple Emmy-award-winner, Sharify worked for KOMO 4 News for nearly 18 years. He wrote and narrates the documentary.
Founded in 1998 by concert pianist Mina Miller, MOR's mission would be to ensure that the musical witnesses to the Holocaust were heard. Relying on the help and advice of a small group of visionaries, Miller decided to tell their stories as these musicians would have wanted--through performance (and recordings) of their work. A decade later, with over a dozen world premieres, six U.S. premieres, and four recordings, MOR has become one of Seattle's leading musical organizations, with press clips from the Los Angeles Times to Opera News.
As its devoted audiences know, MOR also works to build bridges to the past, through the commissioning of new works that draw on personal Holocaust histories. The documentary focuses on this pathbreaking work, which includes an ever-growing list of famous contemporary composers:
* Acclaimed American opera composer Jake Heggie wrote For a Look or a Touch (2007) for MOR to tell the true story of two gay teenage lovers the Nazis separated forever.
* Lori Laitman's The Seed of Dream (2004) is based on the poetry of Vilna Ghetto survivor Abraham Sutzkever.
* Thomas Pasatieri's Letter to Warsaw (2003) conveys the firsthand experiences of poet/cabaret artist Pola Braun in the Warsaw Ghetto.
* American composer Paul Schoenfield has written two works for MOR: Camp Songs (original Polish version 2002/English version 2004), which was a Pulitzer Finalist, and most recently, Ghetto Songs (2008).
* David Stock has contributed A Vanished World (2000), a tribute to pre-War shtetl life.
* Seattle Symphony conductor Gerard Schwarz has picked up the composer's pen twice, to warm praise, with In Memoriam (2005), and Rudolf and Jeanette (2007), dedicated to his grandparents, killed in the Holocaust.
"An extraordinary film about one of Seattle's most innovative and compelling musical group!" says Seattle Symphony Music Director Gerard Schwarz.
"'Unsilenced' was just a pure work of genius! It was so well done, so informative and so touching," says MOR Board Member Joyce Rivkin.