Murry Sidlin | Photo by Jeff Roffman

A concert that explores the power of music in the darkest of times is being performed in southern California twice this month. The concert is called Defiant Requiem and in it conductor Murry Sidlin commemorates performances of Verdi’s Requiem by the prisoners at the Terezin concentration camp near Prague in the 1940s. When conductor Rafael Schächter was arrested and sent to Terezin in 1941 he brought with him a score of the Requiem. At the camp, he recruited a chorus of fellow prisoners and taught them the entire work by rote.

Murray Sidlin describes the camp and the performance. Hit play below to listen to our extended Arts Alive feature on the Defiant Requiem.

The Defiant Requiem concert combines a complete performance of the Verdi Requiem with video testimony from survivors. Upcoming performances are Tuesday, April 16, in Costa Mesa with Pacific Symphony and Wednesday, April 17, at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Learn more at

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