On January 3, 2018, the Museum welcomed a remarkable multimedia experience to Louisiana Memorial Pavilion. “Songs of Ascent: Music from the Victims of World War II” featured live instrumental and vocal performances accompanied by video footage. Attendees heard the stories of and music by Holocaust victims Viktor Ullmann and Carlo Taube, composer and soldier Jehan Alain, composer and conductor Anton Webern, and the world premiere of a contemporary work by composer Patrick Dittamo based on poetry from the only official survivor of both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs, Tsutomu Yamaguchi.
As attendees arrived, they heard background music by Glenn Miller and the NBC Radio Orchestra, audio that plays on the archived stream until the performance starts at the 33-second mark.
Concluding an audience Q&A session that followed the performance, Colonel Peter Crean, the Museum’s Vice President for Education and Access, said the audience had heard music composed by a prisoner in a concentration camp, a composer killed by an American sniper, poetry written by the survivor of two atomic bombs, and music composed by a former captain in the US Army.
“What an amazing evening,” Crean said. “And I think it’s testament to the power of art and music to bring life.”
Bryan Pinkall — tenor
Reginald Pittman — tenor
Amanda Arrington — piano
Cora Cooper — violin
Patrick Dittamo — recorder, composer
Jair Holguin — flute