Spring Concert: Gaman

"While MOR's mission is to remember the Holocaust through music, its focus is also empathically on the present-day relevance of humanity's darkest chapters." -Thomas May, The Seattle Times

MOR's 20th season spring concert featured a world premiere by composer Christophe Chagnard, inspired by Japanese and Japanese American experiences during WWII. The program also featured a selection of Holocaust-era chamber music that speaks to the resiliency and courage of those artists who dared to create in the darkest of times.


August 6th (1995) Shinji Eshima (b. Berkeley, CA, 1956) Natasha Bazhanov, violin Jonathan Green, double bass


About the Concert:

World Premiere

Gaman: to persevere
Composer: Christophe Chagnard | Commissioned by Music of Remembrance


After the attack on Pearl Harbor, more than 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry – a majority of them American citizens – were forced to detention camps scattered across the western United States. French-American composer Christophe Chagnard’s work Gaman focuses on the experience of people forced into incarceration camps because of their Japanese ancestry during World War II. The title refers to the struggle to endure the unbearable with patience and dignity. Combining traditional Japanese and classical Western instruments, this work brings a powerful story to life through testimonies of the words and images created by three artists and poets during their captivity in the Minidoka camp: the words of poet Suma Yagi, the images of Roger Shimomura, and journal entries and art work of Kamekichi Tokita and Takuichi Fujii.



Full Program:

Pre-concert talk: Sean MacLean of KING FM in conversation with composer Christophe Chagnard and art historian Barbara Johns.

Erwin Schulhoff
Five Pieces for String Quartet (1923)

including the newly-discovered sixth piece, Alla Napoletana
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Natasha Bazhanov, violin
Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Walter Gray, cello

Long Live Life! A medley of songs from Terezín
Erich Parce, baritone
Mina Miller, piano

Mieczyslaw Weinberg
Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes,
Op 47 no. 3 (1949)
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Jessica Choe, piano

Shinji Eshima
August 6th,(1995)
Natasha Bazhanov, violin; Jonathan Green, double bass

Christophe Chagnard
Gaman: to persevere
World Premiere
Commissioned by Music of Remembrance

Erich Parce, actor & baritone
Ann Moss, soprano
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Laura DeLuca, clarinet
Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Walter Gray, cello
Jonathan Green, double bass
Ringtaro and Asako Tateishi, Fue Flute and Taiko Drums


MOR is grateful to the generous support of our sponsors and funders

consulate logoSeattle Funder bar


American Alien #2 painting image
American Alien #2, Roger Shimomura. Courtesy of Roger Shimomura
brochure cover image
MOR Ensemble
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Walter Gray, cello; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Laura DeLuca, clarinet