Directions and current safety regulations for your visit

Remembrance of BIIb

13 July at 7pm
Large Courtyard, Trade Fair Palace

This year, we once again remember the July events associated with the liquidation of the Terezín family camp at Auschwitz.
At 7pm on 13 July in the Large Courtyard of the Trade Fair Palace, New York-based Czech composer, conductor, and flutist Petr Kotík will present a commemorative musical composition dedicated to the places associated with the deportation of members of his own family. He has called his composition: Sound & Silence.

text: Gertrude Stein
music: Petr Kotík
soprano: Irena Troupová and Zuzana Barochová
flute: Petr Kotík and Daniel Havel
violin: Anna Romanovská
percussion: Martin Opršál and Filip Závorka
trumpet: Adam Richter a Jan Červenka

Simultaneous performance of excerpts from the following compositions: There is Singularly Nothing, Many Many Women, Drums, Antonio/Collage.

Schedule of the evening
6:30pm Large Courtyard opens to the public
7pm opening of commerative evening
8:30pm approximate end of program

Moderace / Hosted by: Jan Bumba

Registration required. Contact us at:

Photo Matt Carr

The series of upheavals that society has experienced over the past more than one hundred years is reflected in more than the catastrophe we commemorate on 13 July.

These “upheavals” affect our entire social, intellectual, and artistic life – which I in no way mean to compare to politics and which does not directly relate to it.

One such upheaval or great change in music was in the late nineteenth century, when Claude Debussy declared that the system of harmonic cadence had come to an end and that de facto any chord can be associated with any other. This revolutionary idea marked the birth of “modern music.” Shortly thereafter, Arnold Schönberg discovered the possibility of abandoning tonality and giving each tone in a twelvenote scale equal importance. And in his compositions, concerts, and lectures a little less than fifty years later, John Cage demonstratively called attentionto the importance of silence.

Cage changed the concept ofthe pause, and in its place created silence. Before this, pauses had defined the rhythm and phrasing of lines of music. Cage turned pauses into true silences with the same weight as sound. This step allowed for a different level of musical expression. Moreover, Cage rejected the distinction between musical and non-musical sound. “All that makes sound can be used in a composition, including silence,” he said.

All of these thoughts came to mind when I was invited by the Memorial of Silence to hold a concert on the anniversary of the BIIb Terezín family camp.

Petr Kotík,
New York, 16 May 2023

The concert is held under the auspices of President of the Czech Republic Petr Pavel and Minister of Culture Martin Baxa.