Hagay Amar, manager of the Yeroham Conservatory.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
"Did you practice?” asks a stern Italian-accented voice. After a young musician answers in the affirmative, he fires back skeptically, “Are you sure?” Members of the adolescent orchestra, busy in rehearsals at the music conservatory in Yeroham in February, are unfazed by the high standards demanded of them by their maestro as he tells them to repeat selections over and over, until they meet his satisfaction. These teenagers, who hail from the peripheries of southern Israel, appreciate the opportunity to be conducted by an international professional composer, Prof. Francesco Lotoro.Moreover, they are aware that the challenge at hand is far greater than practicing for an ordinary concert. The music they are tackling is the fruit of a decades-long mission by Lotoro to gather and reconstruct music composed in the concentration camps during the Holocaust. These young musicians have been tasked with the important mission of bringing that music back to life.