UNESCO Artist for Peace Renaud Capuçon honors the memory of the victims of the Holocaust

January 27, 2022 marks the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp. On this special day, UNESCO honors the memory of the victims of the Holocaust through a virtual commemorative program.

UNESCO Artist for Peace and violinist Renaud Capuçon wanted to pay tribute to them and thus raise public awareness of the importance of the culture of memory for the present. Capuçon, accompanied by pianist Guillaume Bellom, chose two works: “The Schindler’s List Theme” by John Williams to symbolize sadness and “Aria from the Suit in D major” by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), to symbolize hope.

As recent years have seen a resurgence of hate speech, anti-Semitism, and discrimination, this commemoration reminds us of the importance of fostering peace and global citizenship through education in order to prevent violent extremism, uphold the principles of justice, and encourage sustainable development.

In 2021, Renaud Capuçon had already honored the memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Installed in the heart of Luigi Toscano’s exhibition “N’oublions pas”, he played Nigun (Baal Shem) by Ernest Bloch (1880-1895) accompanied by pianist Guillaume Bellom.

The photographer Luigi Toscano had exhibited 200 portraits of Holocaust survivors and other victims of Nazi persecution at UNESCO headquarters. To produce these portraits, Luigi Toscano traveled to the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Belarus, Ukraine, Israel and Russia to meet and photograph those who witnessed the Holocaust firsthand. This exhibition had already been presented at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the United Nations in Geneva, Washington DC, Berlin, Vienna, Brussels and Kiev.

That same year, Luigi Toscano was named UNESCO Artist for Peace.


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