Inspired by the heroism of Chiune Sugihara and the thousands of Jewish lives saved through his decisions and actions during WWII, Lera Auerbach created the music, libretto, and artistic concept for Symphony No. 6, “Vessels of Light,” for Violoncello, Choir, and Orchestra. Auerbach weaves a multilayered tapestry of words and music with Yiddish poetry, the art of Japanese Kintsugi, the mystical Shevirat ha-kelim (“breaking of the vessels”), and the silent words of biblical Psalm 121 in a work she dedicates to Chiune Sugihara and all those who risk everything to save others.
Symphony No. 6 “Vessels of Light,” is a commission by Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, and The American Society for Yad Vashem. The commission was catalyzed by the world-premiere performer of the symphony, Japanese-American violoncellist Kristina Reiko Cooper, whose husband’s father, Irving Rosen, was rescued thanks to the life-saving visas granted by Chiune Sugihara. Yad Vashem honored Sugihara as one of the Righteous Among the Nations for his actions during that dark chapter of our recent history.
Philharmonic Hall, Kaunas
Kristina Reiko Cooper, cello / Kaunas State Orchestra / Kaunas State Choir / Constantine Orbelian, conductor