Roma und Sinti Philharmonic Orchestra; photo: Jarek Praszkiewicz, Documentation and Cultural Centre of German Sinti and Roma

Requiem for Auschwitz

Concert of the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Orchestra on the occasion of the European Holocaust Memorial Day for Sinti and Roma 2019

Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Orchestra

The Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 2002 in order to perform musical pieces rooted in Sinti and Roma culture and to care for the musical heritage of Roma and Sinti. It consists of professionally trained Roma and Sinti musicians, who are engaged full-time in Europe’s symphony and opera orchestras. It is directed by Riccardo M Sahiti. The aim of the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic is to highlight and preserve the musical heritage of the Roma and Sinti with their centuries-old music tradition and their many influences on classical music. They perform concerts whose programs include orchestral works that carry the stylistic influence of the music of the Roma and Sinti. In addition, over the years several contemporary compositions have emerged as commissioned works, which consciously take up Roma- and Sinti influences and process them compositionally.

Roma musician Riccardo M Sahiti studied Conducting/Music Teaching under Prof. Stanko Sepic at the Faculty of Musical Arts in Belgrade. He extended his studies by adding Opera and Symphonic Conducting at the Moscow P. I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory under Yuri Ivanovic Simonov and at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt am Main under Prof. Jiri Starek. He attended master classes by Jorma Panula and Peter Eotvos. As a conductor he gained experience at the Belgrade Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Savarija Szombathely Symphony Orchestra in Hungary. He also fronted orchestras such as the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and the Silesian Philharmonic in Katowice. Since 2002 Riccardo M Sahiti has been artistic director and conductor of the Roma und Sinti Philharmonics. In 2016 he received the Federal Cross of Merit from the Federal German President Joachim Gauck for his work with the Roma and Sinti Philharmonics.

The orchestra has appeared in international concert series such as the Beethoven Festival Bonn, Menuhin Festival Gstaad and Heidelberger Frühling. Concerts have taken it to such important houses as Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam, Rudolfinum Prague, Philharmonic Berlin, Alter Oper Frankfurt, Staatstheater Wiesbaden and Dresdner Frauenkirche. In 2015, the European cultural channel “Arte” broadcasted a documentary of over 50 minutes about the Roma and Sinti Philharmonics and their conductor Riccardo M Sahiti.

Requiem for Auschwitz by Roger Moreno-Rathgeb

The Swiss-Dutch Sinto composer, musician and arranger Roger Moreno-Rathgeb dedicated his “Requiem for Auschwitz” to all victims of the National Socialist regime. It was created under the impression of his personal visit to the former concentration camp Auschwitz. “Already, when I entered the area of Auschwitz, the first theme of the Requiem arose in my head” recalls the composer of the creation of the one-hour work, which then manifests itself as an expression of his individual “trauma of Auschwitz” and writer’s block that should extend over several years. The “Requiem for Auschwitz” uses the text template of the Latin Requiem Mass and sounds in an expressive musical language with distinct stylistic imprints in the music tradition of the Roma and Sinti. After its premiere in the Netherlands, it has seen performances in several major European cities including Krakow, Prague, Berlin, Budapest, Frankfurt, Dresden and Wiesbaden.



Music for Remembrance

The Long and Boundless Road

Inspired by Ralf Yusuf Gawlick’s O Lungo Drom (The Long Road), an oratorio on the Sinti and Roma people, classical pianist and author Simon Tedeschi reflects on the power of art in LIMELIGHT, a Music, Arts & Culture Magazine.

Website created by

Website supported by

Under the patronage of the European Parliament

Co-funded by the European Union and Co-funded and implemented by the Council of Europe

In partnership with