St. John the Divine, North America's largest Anglican cathedral, will host "Music in Desperate Times: Remembering the Women's Orchestra of Birkenau," performed by Ars Choralis on March 28. The show is based on memoirs and histories of how music saved the lives of a few dozen women in a concentration camp.
The Birkenau orchestra existed for 18 months during the Holocaust; over 50 women and three different conductors made up its membership. It was directed by Alma RosÃ©, who is credited with perfecting the musicians. All but one of the orchestra's members survived the camp.
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