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Yas Baravarian, Dr. Shelia Bolour To Chair “Defiant Requiem” Concert’s VIP Reception, April 17

From left, Dr. Sheila Yafai Bolour and Yas Yadegar Baravarian, reception co-chairs.
Reception to feature conversation with Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat. Concert, conducted by Murry Sidlin, to feature Pacific Symphony and Pacific Chorale with soloists and actors John Rubenstein and David Prather.

Posted Tuesday, March 5, 2019 - 1:03 pm

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and The Defiant Requiem Foundation will present a special performance of the acclaimed concert-drama Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín at 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 17 at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Proceeds will benefit the museum’s free Holocaust education programs.

The performance will be preceded by a VIP pre-concert cocktail reception chaired by Yas Yadegar Baravarian and Dr. Sheila Yafai Bolour. Baravarian grew up in Beverly Hills and was the first student member of the board of education. Previously an attorney at Ervin, Cohen & Jessup LLP, she now works in real estate management and investment, with properties in Beverly Hills. Bolour, who has lived in Beverly Hills for more than 10 years, is an internist who trained at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She serves on the L.A. cabinet of AIPAC and the L.A. board of Common Sense Media and is involved with Visionary Women.

The reception will feature a conversation with Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, who was instrumental in the Carter administration’s issuance of 50,000 special visas to Iranians, mostly Jews, whose lives were threatened by the Iranian Revolution. He has served in senior leadership positions in three U.S. administrations, including Chief Domestic Policy Advisor to President Carter, and Under Secretary of State, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union in the Clinton Administration.

Eizenstat has successfully negotiated major agreements with Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France and other European countries providing belated justice for victims of the Holocaust, including restitution of property, payment for slave and forced laborers, recovery of looted art and bank accounts, and payment of insurance policies.

Last month, Ambassador Eizenstat helped to negotiate an agreement with France that will provide compensation to survivors and their heirs for the French government’s role in deporting Jews to Nazi death camps via French trains.

Actress Mayim Bialik, Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, is honorary chair of the concert,  which was conceived and created by The Defiant Requiem Foundation President Maestro Murry Sidlin.

Presented worldwide more than 40 times since premiering in 2002, the performance tells the story of the courageous Jewish prisoners in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp (Terezín) who performed Verdi’s Requiem while experiencing the depths of human degradation.

With only a single smuggled score, they performed the celebrated oratorio 16 times, including one performance before senior SS officials from Berlin and an international Red Cross delegation. Conductor Rafael Schächter, who was forced to reconstitute the choir three times as members were transported to Auschwitz, told the choir, “We will sing to the Nazis what we cannot say to them.”

The performances came to symbolize resistance and defiance and demonstrated the prisoners’ courage.

The concert combines Verdi‘s music with video testimony from survivors of the original Terezín chorus and footage from the 1944 Nazi propaganda film about the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

Tony Award-winning actor John Rubinstein will portray imprisoned conductor Schächter, and David Prather will play the role of the Lecturer.

Music will be performed by the Pacific Symphony and Pacific Chorale, with soloists Aga Mikolaj, Ann McMahon Quintero, Edgaras Montvidas and Nathan Stark. Sidlin, will conduct the performance.

Rubinstein received a Theater World Award for creating the title role in the musical Pippin. In 1980 he won a Tony Award for his role in Children of a Lesser God. He has appeared in numerous films and television projects and was Emmy-nominated for his role in the series Family. Recent appearances include The Orville, Feud and This is Us.

Prather has appeared in various stage productions including Star Spangled Poetry, The Billy Dudes and Under the Concord Sky. As an actor, writer, director and master teaching artist, he has been affiliated with the Music Center for two decades. 

Best seats are available as part of sponsorship packages, which begin at $250. Sponsors are invited to attend both the VIP post-concert dessert reception and the pre-concert cocktail reception.  For more information about sponsorship packages, visit, email or call 323-456-5085.

Individual tickets are available at



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