West Hartford >> The evening begins with a pre-concert lecture at 6 pm with Michael E. Lestz, Professor, Trinity College. Professor Michael Lestz is a member of the History Department at Trinity College. Lestz holds a Ph.D. in Chinese history from Yale University and his research is focused on Qing and 20th century China. With Jonathan Spence, he is the co-author of The Search for Modern China: A Document Collection. He directs the O’Neill Asia Cum Laude Endowment at Trinity and has often led undergraduate research programs in China. In the spring of 2014 he was Trinity College’s first exchange professor at Fudan University in Shanghai.

The topic is The Jews of China: “And what remains? The Jewish Refugees of Shanghai, 1938 to 1945”

Professor Lestz will speak about the relocation of some 18,000 Jewish ‘stateless persons’ to Shanghai and their struggle to survive in one cramped neighborhood during the War. It is a fascinating chapter in the tragic history of the Holocaust.

The concert begins at 7 pm and features the 65 voices of the Kang Hua Singers of Greater Hartford with their director Chai-lun Yueh. Mr. Yueh is a dramatic baritone and award-winning artist and voice educator. He is the first Chinese-born classical musician to receive a nomination for the Grammy Awards.

The concert also features guests: Yale University pianist Seolyeong Jeong, performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3; New England Conservatory violinist Chi Li performing Alexander Glazunov’s enchanting Violin Concerto in A Minor plus Five Movements from “The Golden Star” composed by Cantor Joseph Ness which tells the story of the Jews of Kaifeng, China.

Part of Beth El’s annual music series, The Beth El Symphony Orchestra is under the baton of Cantor Joseph Ness.

Tickets are on sale now: Open seating: $20; $15 Seniors (62+) & Students. FREE to children 12 & under. Tickets available at the door or synagogue office. Open to the Public. Plenty of FREE Parking. For more info see: www.betheltemplemusic.com.