Sun Devils face the Wildcats in Tucson

January 11, 2011

Click">">Click here for Coach Sendek's website with daughter Kristin doing some of the interviews

How">">How good was Ty last year in Tucson? Click here to read Doug Haller's rewind from last year when he breaks it down Download Full Image

Check">">Check out FOX Sports Arizona's "DevilBall" website


Jan. 10, 2011

76-41 (.650) PAST FOUR SEASONS
The Arizona State's men's hoops team (8-7; 1-3 in the Pac-10), the only Pac-10 team to post 20 wins in each of the past three seasons, plays consistently solid Tulsa Wednesday (Jan. 12 at 6:30 p.m.) in a non-conference tilt before traveling to Tucson for its Territorial Cup Series game with Arizona on Saturday (Jan. 15) at 12:30 p.m. ASU has been hit with the injury bug, as last weekend starting point guard and senior leader Jamelle"> McMillan missed both games of the Bay Area home series due to a groin injury that has him questionable for this week. Prior to that hurdle, ASU had split the Oregon trip the weekend prior, losing at Oregon State 80-58 (Dec. 30 and winning at Oregon 60-55 to close Mac Court on Jan. 1, as the Sun Devils were without leading scorer Trent">">T... Lockett (14.7 ppg.), who missed both games with a sprained left big toe. Tulsa has posted four straight 20-win seasons, while Arizona and ASU split the season series last year with each team winning on the road, the first time that has happened in the series since 1965-66.

Tulsa, which finished 23-12 last year and had a final RPI of 68, is one of seven teams ASU has on its non-conference schedule who won at least 20 games last year and one of eight that was in the top 100 of the final RPI. New Mexico (30-5/RPI of 10), UAB (25-9/45), Weber State (20-11/85), Baylor (28-8/9), Richmond (26-9/25) and Nevada (21-13/73) all won 20, while St. John's finished with a RPI of 82. ASU is 0-2 vs. Tulsa, with a modern-day meeting at Chapel Hill, N.C., in the season opener on Nov. 10, 2000, as Tulsa won a 69-67 meeting. ASU also lost a road game at Tulsa 79-71 on Dec. 6, 1958. In case you were wondering, this is ASU's first experiment in the "let's play a game during Arizona week" in a decade, as the last time the Sun Devils did this was in the 1999-2000 season when they played at NC State after playing Arizona on a Wednesday. Yup...the coach at NC State was Herb">">Herb Sendek and one of his assistants was Sean Miller and NC State also had Archie">">A... Miller shooting three-pointers.

The Sun Devils are in their fifth season under 2009-10 Pac-10 Coach of the Year Herb">">Herb Sendek as last year's second-place Pac-10 team finished 22-11, the first time ASU had posted three straight 20-win seasons since JFK was President. ASU finished second in the Pac-10 (12-6) for the first time since 1980-81 after being picked for seventh in the preseason media poll and tenth by Sporting News. After posting just three 20-win seasons in the previous 25 seasons, ASU has posted three straight under Herb">">Herb Sendek in his four years. ASU was 8-22 in Coach Sendek's first year (2006-2007), but is 76-41 (.650) in past four and giving up just 60.9 ppg. in his 147-game tenure.

You try not to make too big of a deal about one injury but the facts are that in the past three seasons ASU is 50-23 (.684) with Jamelle"> McMillan and 5-5 (.500) without. In the past two seasons those numbers go to 28-14 (.667) and 2-4 (.333). Last year ASU gave up 57.1 points per game in the 29 games Jamelle played yet gave up 70.5 in his absence (four games) the point man in the zone, ASU opponents shot .450 from the field and .363 in the games he was missing, yet in the games he played those numbers dropped to .394 and .311...McMillan missed the Arizona tilt in Tempe last year when the Wildcats shot 18-of-24 (.750) in the second half and forced ASU into .302 shooting for the game en route to a 77-58 victory. ASU needed every bit of his 20 minutes in a 73-69 road win about a month later as he had two assists and no turnovers and ASU had just seven turnovers in the victory.

After winning just once in Tucson in the previous 24 seasons (1983-84 through 2006-07), ASU last year became just the third Pac-10 team to win three straight in McKale Center in the past 27 seasons (1983-84 to present) when it beat UA 73-69 on Feb. 21, 2010. Stanford under Mike Montgomery won four straight from 2001-2004 and UCLA under Ben Howland won three straight from 2006-08.

Saturday's Arizona game is the second of eight scheduled FOX Sports Net Sun Devil games in 2010-11. ASU is 11-5 in the past two years on FSN, including three victories over Arizona, a win over No. 13 Washington in the 2009 Pac-10 Tournament and another victory over the Jimmer Fredette-led and NCAA Tournament-bound BYU Cougars in December of 2008. The Sun Devils were 9-0 on FSN in 2008-09.

Some say it is the great preparation. Maybe it had something to do with having two NBA draft picks two years ago. Some of it had to do with Derek">">D... Glasser being the school's best free throw shooter. Whatever it is, Coach Herb">">Herb Sendek has turned ASU into a solid road team. ASU is the only league team to post a winning road record in league tilts in each of the past two seasons, as it has gone 5-4 in each season.

ASU has won 17 road games in the past four seasons, and a big reason why is the clutch free throw shooting of seniors Rihards">"... Kuksiks and Ty">">Ty Abbott. Kuksiks is now 28-of-34 (.824) from the charity stripe in road games, while Abbott is 43-of-54 (.796).

When Trent">">T... Lockett was not in the lineup the opening Pac-10 weekend ASU had to replace a player who in the Pac-10 ranked 11th in scoring (14.7) and rebounding (6.5) and fifth in field goal percentage (.571) and in minutes per game (33.5).

ASU is 21-12 (.636) in games games decided by six points or less/OT in the past four seasons, including a 5-2 mark this year. ASU is 3-0 this year in games of three points or less. The 21 wins is the most in the Pac-10 in that time as is the .636 winning clip.

Arizona State (21-12/.66)
UCLA (20-12/.625)
Washington State (17-12/.586)
Oregon (11-10/.524)
Washington (13-14/.481)
USC (18-20/.474)
Oregon State (16-18/.471)
Stanford (13-16/.448)
California (15-19/.441)
Arizona (16-23/.410)

ASU 69, UAB 66 (Nov. 20, 2010)
ASU 59, Weber State 58 (Nov. 26, 2010)
ASU 78, @Nevada 75 (Dec. 17, 2010)
ASU 56, North Carolina A&T 50 (Dec. 23, 2010)
ASU 60, @Oregon 55 (Jan. 1, 2011)

With leading scorer Trent">">T... Lockett out and all three of ASU's seniors in foul trouble at Oregon on Jan. 1, a trio of Sun Devils stepped up win. First-year players Carrick">">C... Felix had season highs of 19 points, six boards, four assists and 34 minutes while Brandon">">... Dunson did the same with 14 points and 29 minutes. Sophomore Ruslan">">R... Pateev (career highs with 10 points in 28 minutes) also helped the cause as ASU continued its solid work in close games.

The first six games the Sun Devils played at home just once (69-66 win over UAB on Nov. 20). Among major conference teams, only ASU and Virginia Tech played just one home game in their first six contests...ASU also was the last major college team to play just one home game, as its second home game wasn't until Dec. 5, a 67-61 loss to Richmond...ASU has played five road games, three neutral games and seven home games...when ASU played at Oregon on Jan. 1, it was ASU's fifth road game of the year and Oregon's 12th home game.

ASU swept UA in the regular season for the second straight time in 2008-09 and then topped the Wildcats in the Pac-10 Tournament for a five-game win streak against the state rival for the first time since a nine-game streak from 1979-83 prior to the 77-58 loss in Tempe on Jan. 23, 2010...ASU has now won six of the past seven against UA...prior to the five-game Sun Devil streak, UA had won 24 of 25 over the Sun Devils, with two 12-game Wildcat win streaks sandwiched around a Jan. 23, 2002, Sun Devil win in Tempe...ASU has held the Wildcats to just 62.4 ppg. in nine games under Herb">">Herb Sendek and is 6-3, while in the 39 games prior (1987-88 season through 2005-06) UA had averaged 86.6 points and went 34-5.

Last season's second -place Pac-10 finish matched ASU's best in its 32 seasons of Pac-10 play and its 12 wins were the most since 1994-95. ASU has notched at least 11 Pac-10 wins eight times, Herb">">Herb Sendek has done it in each of the past two seasons.

1980-81, 16-2/2nd/Ned Wulk
1979-80, 15-3/2nd/Ned Wulk
2009-10, 12-6/2nd/Herb Sendek
1994-95, 12-6/3rd/Bill Frieder
1982-83, 12-6/T-3rd/Bob Weinhauer
2008-09, 11-7/T-3rd/Herb Sendek
2002-03, 11-7/4th/Rob Evans
1992-93, 11-7/T-3rd/Bill Frieder

Senior Ty">">Ty Abbott now has 1,146 career points which is 22nd on the Sun Devil career list. Chad">">Chad Prewitt (1998-2002) is 21st at 1,177 while Dennis">">... Dairman ranks 20th at 1,220. Abbott also has 104 starts, one of only seven Sun Devils to have started 100 games in their careers. Jeff"> Pendergraph has the ASU record with 120 starts. When Abbott scores in double digits, ASU is 41-17 (.707) including 29-14 (.674) in the past three seasons. Abbott missed the Nov. 25 Houston Baptist game due to a knee bruise.

Two of ASU's top individual scoring Pac-10 road efforts have come in the past three years in Tucson. Ty">">Ty Abbott had 28 last year in the win that included a streak of making eight straight shots, while Jeff"> Pendergraph had 31 in a come-from-behind win on Feb. 10, 2008. ASU was down 22-6 in that game. Pendergraph's 31 points was the most by a Sun Devil in the series since Mario Bennett had 35 on March 11, 1995, in double-overtime win in Tucson.

36, James">">James Harden at Oregon (Feb. 5, 2009)
33, Ike">">Ike Diogu at California (Feb. 7, 2004)
31, Jeff"> Pendergraph at Stanford (Jan. 2, 2009)
31, Ike">">Ike Diogu at #13 Washington (Feb. 24, 2005)
31, Steve">">Steve Moore at UCLA (Feb. 10, 2005)
29, Jeff"> Pendergraph at Arizona (Feb. 10, 2008)
29, Shawn">">S... Redhage at Washington (Feb. 8, 2003)
28, Ty">">Ty Abbott at Arizona (Feb. 21, 2010)
28, Ike">">Ike Diogu at Stanford (Jan. 6, 2005)

Freshman Kyle">">Kyle Cain had 17 rebounds vs. Houston Baptist on Nov. 25, the most by a Sun Devil since Jeff"> Pendergraph had 19 at Oregon on Feb. 8, 2007. The 17 boards is tied for second-most by a freshman in ASU history with Mario Bennett, who had 17 vs. Oregon on Feb. 1, 1992. Ike">">Ike Diogu has the ASU freshman record with 18 vs. Oregon on March 13, 2003, in the Pac-10 Tournament. He then posted 16 boards vs. Long Beach State in 26 minutes on Dec. 21 and had 14 boards (but zero points) in just 23 minutes vs. North Carolina A&T on Dec. 23.

18 by Ike">">Ike Diogu vs. Oregon @Pac-10 Tournament (March 13, 2003)
17 by Kyle">">Kyle Cain vs. Houston Baptist @Great Alaska Shootout (Nov. 25, 2010)
17 by Mario Bennett vs. Oregon (Feb. 1, 1992)
16 by Kyle">">Kyle Cain vs. Long Beach State (Dec. 21, 2010)

Senior Rihards">"... Kuksiks is 31-of-73 (.425) from the three-point stripe in the past 12 games. Kuksiks posted his eighth 20-point game of his career with 20 points at Nevada on Dec. 17, and ASU is 6-2 in those games. He now has 246 career three-pointers in his career, fourth on the ASU chart. Eddie">">Eddie House is third with 250. He became the 34th member of ASU's 1,000-point club against Long Beach State, as he now has 1,038. The senior is 25-of-51 (.490) from the three-point stripe in his past eight games against ranked opponents. He has been clutch in close games the past two years, as ASU has played six games of two points or less (and is 4-2), and he is 22-of-46 (.478) from three. He matched career-highs in points (27) and rebounds (nine) in the Jan. 8 win over No. 24 Washington last season. He had six 20-point games in 2009-10 with 27 vs. USF and #24 Washington, 25 at Oregon, 24 vs. USC and UCSB and 21 vs. Jacksonville, with ASU going 5-1 in those games.

TOP SCORING GAMES FOR Rihards">"... Kuksiks
27 vs. #24 Washington (Jan. 8, 2010)
27 vs. San Francisco (Nov. 20, 2009)
25 at Oregon (Jan. 14, 2010)
24 vs. USC (Mar. 4, 2010)
24 vs. UCSB (Dec. 21, 2009)
21 vs. Jacksonville (Mar. 16, 2010/NIT)
20 at Nevada (Dec. 17, 2010)
20 vs. Syracuse (Mar. 22, 2009 @Miami/NCAA)

Arizona State inked Mesa, Ariz., senior Jahii Carson in the November signing period. The 5-11 energizer is a consensus top-50 pick by anyone who follows the recruiting world, and Clark Francis' Hoop Scoop rankings in Basketball Times he is the second-highest Pac-10 recruit at No. 24, behind only Washington's Tony Wroten (No. 22).

Pac-10 Conference Top-50 Signings
22. Tony Wroten (Washington)
24. Jahii Carson (Arizona State)
34. Norman Powell (UCLA)
40. Josiah Turner (Arizona)
44. Jabari Brown (Oregon)
47. Nick Johnson (Arizona)

Herb">">Herb Sendek, 84-63 (.571) at ASU, is in his 18th season as a head coach in 2010-2011 and has averaged 19.4 wins per season. He led the NC State Wolfpack to five straight NCAA appearances from 2002-06 and is now 338-221 (.605) and was 191-132 (.591) at NC State. The 47-year-old (born Feb. 22, 1963) Pittsburgh, Pa., native remains the third-youngest coach in the Pac-10. Only Duke posted more ACC wins (regular season and ACC Tournament) than NC State's 53 from 2002-2006. An overlooked note is his 10-year stay at NC State. To compare it to the Pac-10, since the league expanded to 10 teams in 1978-79, only five coaches have coached at their schools for at least 10 years: Lute Olson (24/Arizona), Ralph Miller (19/Oregon State), Mike Montgomery (18/Stanford), Ernie Kent (13/Oregon) and Ben Braun (12/California).

Lorenzo Romar, Washington-9th
Ben Howland, UCLA-7th
Herb">">Herb Sendek, ASU-5th
Johnny Dawkins, Stanford; Mike Montgomery, Cal; Craig Robinson, OSU-3rd
Ken Bone, Washington State; Kevin O'Neill, USC; Sean Miller, UA-2nd
Dana Altman, Oregon-First Year

Herb">">Herb Sendek became just the second Sun Devil coach to earn Pac-10 Coach of the Year in ASU's 32 Pac-10 seasons in 2009-10, as Ned Wulk won the honor in 1978-79. What is even more eye opening is the 30 years between Sun Devil winners. That is nothing new for Coach Sendek. His 2003-04 ACC honor was NC State's first in 15 seasons, as Jim Valvano was the last Wolfpack coach to win the honor prior to Coach Sendek in 1988-89.

Trent">">T... Lockett opened some eyes real quick in 2010-11. It started with a then career-high 22 points in the season opener at New Mexico (Nov. 16) where two of his dunks placed him No. 2 on SportsCenter's Top-10 and he has been nothing solid since. He had a career-high with 24 points vs. Weber State on Nov. 26 in Alaska. A native of Golden Valley, Minn., and a student in Barrett, the Honors College, he comes from one of the top high school programs in the country (Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minn.). He earned a spot on the five-man Pac-10 All-Freshman Team in 2009-10. He has 20 double-figure scoring games, including a 17-point, six-rebound and eight assist effort against Stanford on Jan. 30, 2010. He posted his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 boards vs. Richmond on Dec. 5. Trent missed both games of the Oregon road trip on Dec. 30-Jan. 1 with a sprained big left toe.

24 vs. Weber State (Nov. 26, 2010)
22 at New Mexico (Nov. 16, 2010)
19 vs. UAB (Nov. 20, 2010)
19 vs. San Francisco (Nov. 20, 2009)
18 vs. Houston Baptist (Nov. 25, 2010)

ASU is now 5-1 when it leads at the half in 2010-11 and 62-15 under Herb">">Herb Sendek...ASU has won 17 games under Herb">">Herb Sendek when it has trailed at the half including the Dec. 23 56-50 win over North Carolina A&T when it trailed 29-23 at intermission. ASU shot just 20-of-57 (.351) in the victory, its second-lowest mark in a win under Coach Sendek. The lowest shooting mark was a 16-of-56 (.286) mark in a 53-47 win at Arizona on Jan. 21, 2009...senior Jamelle"> McMillan has 269 career assists and just 132 career turnovers. He had six steals vs. Long Beach on Dec. 21, the most by a Sun Devil since James">">James Harden had seven vs. USC on March 13, 2008, in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament.

After coaching in more than 500 career games at three schools and in seven NCAA tournaments and having eight former assistants currently serving as head coaches at the D-I level, Herb">">Herb Sendek is still the third-youngest coach in the Pac-10 even with seven new hires in the past three seasons.

Sean Miller (42), Arizona, 11/17/68
Johnny Dawkins (47), Stanford, 9/28/63
Herb">">Herb Sendek (47), ASU, 2/22/63
Craig Robinson (48), OSU, 4/21/62
Lorenzo Romar (52), UW, 11/13/58

Herb">">Herb Sendek has eight former assistants who are D-I coaches, the best mark of any coach in the nation in 2010-2011, ahead of Mike Montgomery and Rick Pitino (seven each). Twelve-year sidekick Mark">">Mark Phelps earned the Drake spot in the spring of 2008 after serving for 10 years on the staff at NC State and for two years at ASU. Former NC State sidekick John Groce also earned the Ohio University position in the spring of 2008. The others are Jim Christian at TCU (Miami assistant in 1995-96), Charlie Coles at Miami of Ohio (Miami assistant from 1994-96), Larry Hunter at Western Carolina (NC State assistant from 2001-05), Ron Hunter of IUPUI (Miami assistant from 1993-94), Ohio State's Thad Matta (Miami assistant in 1994-95) and Arizona's Sean Miller (assistant at both Miami from 1993-95 and at NC State from 1996-2000).

Senior Ty">">Ty Abbott averaged 15.2 points and 5.5 boards in the final 18 games and was 56-of-138 (.406) from the three-point stripe in that time last season...had monster road tilt last year with 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting, including 5-of-8 three-pointers, in season-high 39 minutes in 73-69 win at Tucson on Feb. 21, 2010...posted a season-high 29 points vs. Stanford, including seven three-pointers, and also added a career-best 12 rebounds, all on the defensive end...played 38 minutes, posted 20 points and matched season highs in assists (four) and steals (three) vs. Pac-10 champion California on Jan. 28...missed one game in 2009-10 after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in mid-October.

1. Derek">">D... Glasser, 2006-10, 131
2. Jerren">">Je... Shipp, 2006-10, 129
3. Jeff"> Pendergraph, 2005-09, 126
4. Eddie">">Eddie House, 1996-2000, 124
5. Four players with 122
Ty">">Ty Abbott, 2007-present, 115
Rihards">"... Kuksiks, 2007-present, 109

After losing its first eight Pac-10 road games under Herb">">Herb Sendek, ASU is 16-14 (.533) since...ASU swept the Oregon trip for the second straight year in 2009-10...ASU has now won the past three in Tucson and is 3-1 at UA under Herb">">Herb Sendek after winning once in Tucson in the previous 23 tries (win was in 1994-95, from 1983-84 through 2006-07 period)...ASU won four straight Pac-10 roadies in 2008-09 for the first time since the 1980-81 team won five 2009-10, ASU shot 72.1 percent from the free throw line on the road, which was better than the opponent's in their own arenas (.685). ASU shot 35.4 percent from the three-point stripe in road games last year and held opponents to just 35.2 percent.

Washington (12-8/.600)
Arizona State (11-9/.550)
California (10-11/.476)
UCLA (9-10/.474)
Arizona (7-13/.350)
Oregon State (6-14/.300)
WSU (6-14/.300)
USC (4-14/.222)
Oregon (4-16/.200)
Stanford (4-16/.200)

UCLA (17-11/.607)
Arizona State (15-14/.517)
Washington (15-14/.517)
California (14-16/.467)
Washington State (12-17/.414)
Arizona (11-18/.379)
USC (9-18/.333)
Stanford (9-20/.310)
Oregon (7-22/.241)
Oregon State (6-23/.207)

Concert, lecture series to honor Holocaust composers

January 12, 2011

Marcel Tyberg, an Austrian composer who studied at the Vienna Academy of Music, took on the challenge of finishing Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, using notes and sketches the famous composer had left at his death.

Tyberg did complete the work sometime during the middle of World War II, and if not for a terrible turn of events, Tyberg’s music, and his name, might well have been as famous as that of Schubert. Handwritten manuscript by Marcel Tyberg. Download Full Image

But shortly after finishing the composition, which he named his Third Symphony, Tyberg, who was then living in Italy, was arrested by the Nazis and eventually met his end at the notorious Auschwitz death camp.

Just before he was sent to Auschwitz, Tyberg stuffed his score into a suitcase and gave the case to a friend. Somehow, some way, the suitcase made it to Buffalo, N.Y., where it remained unopened for several decades.

In another twist of fate, the music made its way to The Phoenix Symphony and became part of an unusual, and moving, series, titled “Rediscovered Masters: A Concert Series Honoring the Music of Jewish Composers Who Were Silenced.” The series, which began in fall 2010 and continues through spring 2011, is co-presented by ASU’s Center for Jewish Studies.

The series includes lectures, films and numerous concerts by the Phoenix Symphony.

Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, director of the Center for Jewish Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and a co-founder of “Rediscovered Masters,” said, “We want to bring this music to the attention of Jews and non-Jews, and to present the music of composers who have been silenced twice – first by death, and then by non-performance of their music.”

The series began last October with a lecture by Tirosh-Samuelson, “From Mendelssohn to the Holocaust,” and a performance of Hans Krása’s “Brundibár.”

The next concerts and lecture will be Feb. 2, 3 and 5. David Schildkret, professor of choral music at ASU, will give a free lecture at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2 at Congregation Beth Israel, 10460 N. 56th St., Scottsdale, titled “Judaism and Christianity: Shared Heritage, Diverse Interpretations.”

Schildkret will repeat the lecture at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at Symphony Hall, and the Phoenix Symphony will perform Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3, and again at 8 p.m. Feb. 5.

At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, musicians from the ASU Herberger School of Music and singers from the community will join for a free concert at ASU Gammage titled “Composers in the Concentration Camp,” conducted by renowned maestro Israel Yinon. Yinon has devoted his career to performing and recording the works of Jewish composers.

As part of the February lineup, the film “Against the Tide” will be shown Feb. 12-28 at various times at Harkins Chandler Crossroads and Camelview theaters. “Against the Tide” is the story of a young activist named Peter Bergson who challenged American Jewish organizations to rescue Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust.

The idea for “Rediscovered Masters” grew out of a relationship between ASU and the Phoenix Symphony that started several years ago when Tirosh-Samuelson was introduced to Maryellen Gleason, then president of the orchestra, by Robert Tancer, president of Friends of Jewish Studies at ASU.

“He thought the two of us would hit it off and he was right,” Tirosh-Samuelson said. She invited Gleason to chair a session at a 2010 conference on Felix Mendelssohn at ASU, and then they began discussing the possibility of presenting music by Jewish composers who had been victims of Nazi persecution.

“The Phoenix Symphony’s was an artistic decision,” Tirosh-Samuelson said. “They wanted to bring the repertoire to the public, so we decided to combine music and academia and present a lecture series.”

The composers being featured in “Rediscovered Masters” range from those with slim ties to Judaism, such as Tyberg, who was raised a Catholic, to Mieczyslaw Weinberg, whose family was decimated by anti-Semitic violence even before his birth in 1919.

Their stories are all profoundly tragic. Tyberg’s family was living in Italy when, during a Nazi-mandated census in Italy in 1943, his mother told census-takers that she and her family were racially Jewish because one of her great-grandfathers was a Jew. She was not worried, since the Tybergs had never practiced Judaism and were well-known musicians. But laws were changed and Tyberg was eventually sent to Auschwitz.

Krása was imprisoned in the Terezin work camp, where he was able to reconstruct his 1942 children’s opera, “Brundibár,” and present it more than 55 times with a full cast of child performers and musicians before he and most of the musicians were taken to Auschwitz and murdered.

“Art and music were allowed in Terezin – but it was a façade,” said Tirosh-Samuelson. “The music, much of which was saved, turned out to be an unwitting gift of the Nazis.”

Another of the composers is Erwin Schulhoff, whose Symphony No. 2 was performed in November. Schulhoff composed classical music for radio performance, and was an outspoken Marxist and supporter of the Soviet Union. He applied for citizenship in the Soviet Union, but before he could emigrate, he was arrested by the Nazis and deported to the Wüzberg concentration camp, where he died of tuberculosis in 1942. (His father, also a musician, died the same year in Terezin.)

Composers to be featuring in the spring are Kurt Weill (“Suite from The Threepenny Opera”) and Pavel Haas (“A Study for Strings”). Weill was born to a religious Jewish family in 1900 and his music was targeted by the Nazis. He moved to the United States in 1935 to escape persecution.

Haas, born in Czechoslovakia, knew he was going to be a target when Nazis began to focus on his town of Brno. He divorced his wife so she and their young son could escape the Nazis. Haas was soon arrested and sent to Terezin, where he composed music, including “A Study for Strings,” until he was sent to the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

The series also includes several works by Mendelssohn, who was born into a prominent Jewish family in 1809 but later in his life was baptized a Lutheran. His music was suppressed during the 19th and 20th centuries as a result of anti-Semitism in Europe.

Michael Christie, the Virginia G. Piper music director of The Phoenix Symphony, who conducts each of the concerts, said he feels “a tremendous sense of responsibility to the memory and legacy of each composer when we perform their music.

“Since most of the works will be new to our audience, this could be their only experience with these composers. This sense of ‘once in a lifetime’ is taken seriously. I also like the idea of spurring the curiosity of listeners and performers alike.”

The orchestra members, he added, feel this sense of responsibility, too.

“I don't think they feel somber as much as serious about the task of bringing these works to life again. I feel like all of us on stage share a great sense of stewardship for these musical colleagues who experienced unspeakable stress, heartache and in some cases, death.”

Though all the music that the orchestra is playing in this series, with the exception of Tyberg’s Unfinished Symphony, has been published, it is rarely played, if at all, in the United States,” Christie noted.

“It is quite widely known that incredible amounts of music was suppressed or destroyed during Nazi occupation of Europe. It amazes me however that so many works have either fallen out of general knowledge or haven't been played even if people know that the piece was written. Perhaps there could be a renaissance of certain composers as a result of this series.”

One of Tirosh-Samuelson’s goals with the project is “to show the depth and the complexity of Jewish culture in the years before the Holocaust, to show how incredible that culture was.”

Music is a perfect vehicle for entering that world, according to Tirosh-Samuelson. “Music is a cultural agent. There’s something beautiful, compelling and powerful about the music. It’s profound. We read the program notes, but there’s much more to learn.”

Tirosh-Samuelson said she is not a Holocaust scholar, and that the Holocaust was “not the pivotal point of Jewish history. But it should not be forgotten. By bringing this music we will never forget what happened. There’s a legacy here that can be recovered.

"Many of the composers were secular Jews who were fully integrated in European society and culture, but they died as Jews and because they were Jewish. They were marked out by a Jewish star and they were gradually removed from society. 

“The existence of Jews today is a testament to the remarkable Jewish power of survival, notwithstanding the attempts to annhilate the Jews.”

The music that was left behind is also a testament to the human spirit, Tirosh-Samuelson said. “Brutality cannot squelch the human spirit.”

Tirosh-Samuelson also sees the series as a perfect example of what the university should be doing. “For me, the role of the university is not about producing degrees. The pursuit of knowledge is lifelong,” she said. “There are a lot of intelligent people in our community who are dying to learn. We need to encourage them to read more, learn more.”

For more information about the series, go to">">