Please note that the above video is to Movements II and III of the four-movement work, excerpted due to the fifteen-minute limit for application purposes.
In the year 2000, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance center Yad Vashemposthumously awarded Ho Feng-Shan the title “Righteous Among the Nations” for saving the lives of more European Jews than any other single individual during the Holocaust. As China’s Consul General to Vienna from 1938-1940, he issued exit visas to any Jewish person requesting them, allowing them to leave Austria legally and reach safety elsewhere in the world via Shanghai and other Chinese ports. Dr. Ho issued over 4,000 such visas, by conservative estimates, despite orders from his superiors to desist. On one occasion, an armed SS officer held him at gunpoint while he interposed his own body to protect a Jewish family. Ho Feng-Shan never breathed a word of his heroic actions to his wife, children, or friends—they were discovered by his family and Yad Vashem years after his 1997 death.
Thomas Yee’s firm belief is that the performance of music matters—in order to wed beauty and culture, but also to teach, to inspire, and to impart stories like that of Ho Feng-Shan. Thus, he crafted his own libretto and composition to embody this powerful story in music. Though the lessons of history may seem flattened into the distant past, performance art can manifest and bring them alive for the modern audience. May we never forget, but remember—and by remembering, learn.
Righteous Among the Nations: The Story of Ho Feng-Shan