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UK premiere of work by Deirdre Gribbin marks 80th anniversary of Kindertransport

Tue 25 September 2018

Internationally acclaimed contemporary composer and Trinity Laban Professor of Composition Deirdre Gribbin brings her new work for violin and soprano, Kindersang, to London’s JW3 Centre on Tuesday 6 November 2018.

The new work marks the 80th anniversary of the first child arrivals in England under the Kindertransport, or Refugee Children Movement, programme.

International performers Nurit Stark (violin) and Caroline Melzer (soprano) are based in Berlin and have performed in venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall and the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin.

Deirdre Gribbin has set 11 poems by Kinderstransport survivor Lotte Kramer to newly composed music. Lotte Kramer was 15 when she came arrived from Mainz, Germany on one of the last Kinderstransport trains. Many of her poems reflect on her childhood leading up to the time she was separated from her parents.

The Kristallnacht pogrom on the 10 November 1938 directly prompted action to rescue 10,000 unaccompanied Jewish children from occupied Europe. Lotte was one of them.

Professor Gribbin was inspired to write the music when she read Lotte’s characterful poems, which tell a story which is humanely relevant today.

She says – “My connection to the Kinderstransport survival stories is deeply personal. My husband is Jewish, I often think about what would have happened to my son Ethan, who has Down Syndrome, had he lived in German-occupied Europe during that time.”

Kindersang is a timely reminder of the courage and obstacles faced by refugees today.

After the world premiere of Kindersang at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival earlier this year, The Irish Times said –

“Gribbin’s settings are both meditative and dramatic, the violin often a magnifier of the words’ emotional thrust. A more gripping performance than that by Melzer and Stark of this piece, which is clearly intended to go from heart to heart, would be hard to imagine.”

The evening lasts one hour and also features work by Bach (cantata Ich Habe Genug), Heinrich Bieber (The Protecting Angel), and traditional Jewish music, arranged by Deirdre Gribbin.

JW3 can be found at 341-351 Finchley Rd, London NW3 6ET.