Unfinished Lives – The concert

Bente Kahan and Ronen Nissan are honored to present: UNFINISHED LIVES – THE CONCERT

Music, poetry, and cabaret from Theresienstadt – voice, guitar, and strings

Bente Kahan: vocal/ musical compositions set to Ilse Weber’s poetry
Ronen Nissan: All musical arrangements/guitar

Additional artists in the string quintet version:

Marcin Markowicz (first violin), Malwina Kotz (second violin), Marzena Malinowska (viola), Jan Skopowski (cello), Paulina Roslaniec (double bass)

English translations:

Ilse Weber: David Keir Wright, Cabaret Songs: Dahlia Pfeffer Luxemburg

This unique musical project brings back to life the music and lyrics of Jewish musicians, composers, and writers who, despite being persecuted by the Nazis, continued to create and perform in the ghettos and concentration camps.

Bente Kahan and Ronen Nissan have joined forces in order to bring this artistic work to its justified place, that of a concert stage, not just as an act of remembrance, but rather for its own sheer artistic value.

The program of “Unfinished Lives” includes

  • Poetry by Ilse Weber, set to music and performed by Bente Kahan, either in their original languages as well as in English.
  • Cabaret Songs as composed and performed in Theresienstadt ghetto, and performed by Bente Kahan
  • compositions by Viktor Ullmann and other composers

Most works are presented in new orchestral arrangements by Ronen Nissan, in three versions:

  1. String quintet + guitar,
  2. String orchestra + guitar,
  3. Full orchestra.

“Unfinished Lives – The Concert” is conceived modularly, i.e. the various parts of the program can be exchanged or performed independently.

The first performance of “Unfinished Lives” took place at the “White Stork” Synagogue, Wroclaw, Poland, on November 8, 2017. The first performance of the cabaret songs in the new arrangements took place on November 8th, 2018, with Bente Kahan as a soloist, Ronen Nissan, and a string quintet from the National Forum of Music (NFM) in Wroclaw including concertmaster Marcin Markowicz.

“Unfinished Lives – The Concert” is an ongoing project which continues to evolve and develop,  bringing this important music to as wide an audience as possible.

“Unfinished Lives – The concert” is a cooperation between The Bente Kahan Foundation, the National Forum of Music in Wroclaw (NFM) and the city of Wroclaw, and is linked to the exhibition with the same name created by Bente Kahan for the White Stork Synagogue (Fundacja Bente Kahan, Wroclaw, Poland).