Phoenix from the Ashes: A Song Cycle

Music by Judith Lynn Stillman

Words from
“VEDEM: the Secret Magazine of the Boys of Terezín”
&
“I Never Saw Another Butterfly” by children from Terezín

“Phoenix from the Ashes: A Song Cycle” features seven songs for soprano and piano composed by internationally renowned pianist, Judith Lynn Stillman. The songs were inspired by and set to poems and stories written during World War II by children at Terezín concentration camp.

“Phoenix from the Ashes: A Song Cycle” had its premiere in 2012 where it was performed by Judith Lynn Stillman as pianist and Lori Phillips, soprano, of the New York Metropolitan Opera.

Eighty-two year-old Sidney Taussig, a survivor of the Terezín concentration camp, was the honored guest. Of the scores of boys who knowingly put their lives in danger to create Vedem, he was the only one who remained in Terezín until its liberation in May 1945. He had the insight and courage to bury nearly 800 pages of the manuscript in the hopes that it might survive World War II. After the camp was liberated, Taussig retrieved the magazine, brought it with him to Prague and made sure, in the years that followed, that Vedem was published so that his friends would never be forgotten.

Stillman describes how she was inspired to write these songs in the following radio WBZ interviews:

judy-and-sydney-150x134
Sidney Taussig

Watch performances from the premiere:

“For Children” (excerpt)
Music by Judith Lynn Stillman
Words by Hanuš Hachenburg
Lori Phillips, Soprano
Judith Lynn Stillman, Piano


“With You, Mother” (excerpt)
Music by Judith Lynn Stillman
Words by Zdenek (Orce) Ornest
Lori Phillips, Soprano
Judith Lynn Stillman, Piano
Rhode Island College Chorus

Phoenix from the Ashes: A Song Cycle” was the highlight of the 2014 Holocaust Remembrance Day events at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C.

© 2017 Judith Lynn Stillman.   All rights reserved.