Requiem 2021: Multimedia Project Commemorates the 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks

  • NEW YORK, New York
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  • August 18, 2021

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Requiem 2021 poster

Immersive multimedia project and VR exhibition September 9 & 10, 2021

Czech Center New York in collaboration with Harmony Foundation and Czech Consulate General in New York are pleased to present Requiem 2021, a multimedia project commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Directed by Anna Eva Kotyza and set to the powerful score of Requiem “Oratio Spei” (Prayer of Hope) by the noted contemporary Slovak composer Juraj Filas, Requiem 2021 is an immersive cinematic artwork that will be projected on the walls of Bohemian National Hall.

Requiem 2021 features original animation mixed with clips of documentary footage creating a compelling and meditative tribute to the Filas’ score and expressing empathy with those whose lives were forever changed.  

“This project honors the memory of the victims and also sheds a light on the thousands who have suffered in the years since,” says Anna Eva Kotyza. “To this day, first responders, construction workers, policemen, and bystanders are succumbing to cancer and other diseases a direct result of the toxic fumes and debris. Growing up a stone's throw away from the World Trade Center, I remember friends and neighbors getting their lung cancer diagnosis, still others who were struggling to return to normalcy after the horrors they had seen.”

“I am sincerely happy that the young generation is not indifferent to the events which are still very much alive in our hearts and which, sadly, have not lost their relevance as a memento for the entire world,” says Juraj Filas.

Requiem “Oratio Spei” was being finalized by Juraj Filas just as the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were unfolding in real-time on television. Shocked by these horrendous acts of terrorism, Mr. Filas was moved to dedicate his work to the victims of 9/11.

 The program will feature the recording from the 2013 Prague's Rudolfinum with singers from the Metropolitan Opera in New York, thanks to the efforts of the Harmony Foundation. Ana María Martínez - soprano, Matthew Plenk - tenor, Filip Bandžak - baritone, Kühn Mixed Choir, Prague Symphony Orchestra - FOK conducted by Kent Tritle.

An accompanying VR exhibition features three virtual reality works by visual artist Markéta Gebrian, America’s Got Talent semi-finalist Alex Dowis, and VR Director Anna Eva Kotyza. Featuring individual tracks from Filas’ score, the works include a documentary focused on the first responders, an abstract, poetic journey to the realms of the soul, and an immersive black-light theater performance piece.

Program is produced by Harmony Foundation and Czech Center New York in cooperation with the Czech diplomatic missions in the US (Czech Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Czech Embassy in the United States, Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York), Czech expatriot organizations United in BBLA and supported by EUNIC New York, Polish Cultural Institute in New York and Consulate General of the Slovak Republic in New York.

About Anna Eva Kotyza:

Anna Eva Kotyza is an American director of Czech and Slovak heritage focusing on film and VR. She is the winner of the 2020 ARTGRID x ARTLIST Editing Challenge - Ad Category. Anna Kotyza concentrated on Film and Business in NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, contributing to opening NYU’s 1st VR Museum, “Château d'Art Futur.” She graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy, majoring in Motion Picture Arts, where she received the prestigious "Young Artist" award. She continuously explores themes of love, identity, and home. She feels the need to investigate new immersive storytelling mechanisms to understand and re-experience the past, present, and future in her work.

About Juraj Filas:

One of the most important Slovak modern day composers, Juraj Filas is the author of more than 90 opuses including symphonic works, cantatas, concertos, Te Deum, Requiem, a TV-opera, compositions for big brass-band and a vast number of chamber music. Filas uses a lyrical and emotional musical language with which he strives to maintain the distinct European musical traditions of some of the masters, such as Verdi, Beethoven and Mahler. Winner of multiple awards, Filas’s compositions are performed by soloists, ensembles and orchestras worldwide including the Beethovenfest in Bonn, Germany; the Prague Spring Festival; by the ORF, Vienna; in the Tonhalle of Zurich; as well as in London, Glasgow, St. Gallen, Geneva, Fulda, Paris, Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, Mexico City, and at Carnegie Hall, New York, and by the choir and orchestra of sacred music at Sacred Space, New York.

About Czech Center New York:

The Czech Center's mission is to actively promote the Czech Republic by showcasing Czech culture, innovations and creativity in the US. Its program covers visual and performing arts, film, literature, music, architecture, design and fashion, science and social innovations. As well as hosting its own events, the Czech Center offers support for other groups organizing interculture initiatives among Czech and US partners.

The Czech Center also seeks to further enhance cultural relationships between the US and the Czech Republic through curatorial visits, media tours and artistic residencies; helping to generate creative dialogue among artists, scholars, scientists and cultural activists from both countries. The Center promotes instruction of Czech language and provides series of Czech language courses.
The Czech Center, a contributory organization of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, opened in New York in 1996. The Czech Center is part of a worldwide network of 26 branches across 3 continents including the Czech Houses in Moscow, Jerusalem and Bratislava. The Czech Center was a founding member of the EUNIC.

Czech Center New York
321 E 73rd Street
New York, New York

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