Classical 91.5


Gerry Szymanski

It was the ultimate cynical propaganda; when the Nazis created Terezin, they billed it as a "health spa," sending prominent Jews whose disappearance would be noticed, had earned medals in the previous wars, and those who older than 65 there. In the beginning, there was a vibrant cultural life with concerts, lectures, and covert education for the many children housed. In truth, it was a way station for the prisoners, most of whom would be shipped to death camps.

This was to be a big year for Cordancia Chamber Orchestra, as it celebrated its 10th year; part of the celebration included a performance on Backstage Pass in February.

Gerry Szymanski

This was to be a big season for Cordancia Chamber Orchestra, as it celebrated its 10th year; part of the celebration included a performance on Backstage Pass in February.

Photo: Gerry Szymanski

Ten years ago, Pia Litak and Kathleen Suher decided to start a chamber orchestra that would present tuneful, innovative concerts. They called their new group Cordancia, and today it's better than ever. On the next Backstage Pass, Pia, Kathleen, and the group join Julia Figueras to celebrate their tin anniversary.

November 1941: The Czech town of Terezín (Theresienstadt in German) begins use as a concentration camp by the Nazi regime. Among the people deported to this garrison town were numerous artists, who continued to write and perform in the camp. Terezín existed with a dual purpose. It was a ghetto that served as a transit point to the Nazi death camps. Additionally, it became the backdrop for a carefully constructed propaganda campaign which the Nazis used to deny the existence of the Final Solution.

Cordancia promises to bring "vibrant music to our vibrant community," and you don't get much more vibrant than the November, 2018 concert: Music from South America, Mexico, and Cuba. In a progam filled with color and rhythm, conductor Rachel Lauber and Cordancia ripped through Alberto Ginastera's Danza No. 4, a joyous celebration of the dance.

Suher/Liptak: Andy Olenick

Bobby McFerrin: 23rd Psalm
Richard Proulx: Psalm 133
Richard Nance: Psalm 42

In these days of high speed and fraught emotions, who doesn't want a moment of peace? That's what Madrigalia offered when it combined forces with the Cordancia Chamber Orchestra for "Songs of the Soul" in May, 2017. Together, they offered up a concert filled with settings from the Book of Psalms--each one unique and thoughtful. You'll hear modern settings of three psalms, beginning with vocalist Bobby McFerrin's song,  dedicated to his mother.

Madrigalia is composed of 18 highly skilled vocalists from the Rochester area. Known for its beauty of sound and artistic excellence, the ensemble presents unique and challenging programs of choral music built around intriguing themes. Their music draws from all times and places, spanning the riches of classic choral styles, the vast range of compelling music being written in our time, and the intriguing musical expressions of cultures throughout the world.

Cordancia was formed in 2009 by violinist Pia Liptak and oboist Kathleen Suher. The ensemble offers up eclectic programs that blend the traditional with the unexpected. They appeared in the holiday edition of Classical 91.5's Backstage Pass in December 2014.