About

Created and conducted by Maestro Murry Sidlin, Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín features a full performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem Mass. The performance includes actors, historic film footage from Terezín and interviews with original chorus members relating the full, impassioned story of how and why these Jewish prisoners, who faced death every day, chose to learn and perform the Verdi Requiem during their darkest hours.

Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín has been performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; Lincoln Center in New York City; in Jerusalem as part of the Israel Festival in May 2012; before an audience of 5,000 in Budapest in 2010; at St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague; and in Terezín itself. The concert was performed in Berlin on March 4, 2014.

The Defiant Requiem Foundation, in partnership with Partisan Pictures, produced Defiant Requiem, a moving and powerful feature-length documentary film that tells the inspirational story of how and why conductor Rafael Schächter recruited a chorus of 150 fellow prisoners and taught them the powerful and enormously demanding Verdi Requiem by rote.  Narrated by actor Bebe Neuwirth, the film has been broadcast on PBS and on BBC4 in the U.K and received numerous awards nationwide, including two Emmy nominations.

Posted: Jan-11-2016
Latest News
Defiant Requiem

Imagine 150 starving people, suffering degradation, fear and disease without help, coming together to sing Verdi’s Requiem, soloists and all, with the help of an out-of-tune piano missing some keys and one piano score only.

Posted: Jun-12-2017
Latest Acclaim

The performance was full of character, now gentle and tender, now anguished and despairing.

— Boston Globe
Posted: Apr-28-2015
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Posted: Mar-23-2017