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”A Twentieth-Century Passion"

Friday, 28 June, 2013 - 5:06 pm

A 90 year old man falls down a flight of stairs in his house, strikes his head forcefully in a wall corner, rushes to the hospital with his head open and gets 22 stiches. Shortly after you go to visit him. How would you expect to find him? 

My expectations probably weren't very different than yours. When I went to the home of our congregant Dr. Peter Gary this week, after his bad fall. Here is what I found: Peter as sharp as ever, as charming as usual and as eloquent as he has always been. If not for the black and blue mark around his eyes and the big bandage on the crown of his head - I wouldn't have been able to tell any difference. We got into a deep and fascinating discussion about Jewish faith and I enjoyed every moment of the lively conversation. Believe it or not, I didn’t hear a word of kvetching, complaining or grumpiness.

Driving back home I realized that I really had no reason to wonder. Peter, who  the Nazis killed his mother in front of his eyes, who spent four years of his life in death camps, who was liberated at the age of 21 weighing 35 KG with no family or any soul to care for him, created with his own hands an extremely honorable carrier of conductor, composer, professor and physician. Is it a surprise that this personality would get over the 22 stiches on his head?!

In Peter's living room, on the coffee table there was a heavy book of manuscripts - the handwritten notes of a world premiere of Dr. Gary’s oratorio, "A Twentieth-Century Passion" that he wrote in memory of the six Million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis. This master piece of original music will be played for the first time in a world class concert with full orchestra and two choirs on April 2, 2014 at the Farquhar Auditorium by the University of Victoria.

Through the music of ”A Twentieth-Century Passion" Dr. Peter Gary will express with great emotions the suffering of the Jewish people through the century, but also the rise of our nation from the ashes and our victory against evil. Aside for being the passion of the 19th century, it tells the story of the composer - our beloved Dr. Peter Gary, may he continue to be well and be a source of inspiration to us all, for many years to come.

Comments on: ”A Twentieth-Century Passion"

Susan wrote...

Beuatiful. Amen.

Ruth Stark Kwasnica wrote...

I rmember Dr Gary from many years ago when he so impressed my children (at Clarmont School) with his history of the Holocaust. Get well soon. RSK