For a long time, the composer Judd Greenstein kept a wall between his interest in Judaism and his passion for music. Though he was raised in a secular Greenwich Village home and is still not observant, for at least the past decade he’s cultivated a deep knowledge of Jewish history, literature and law.
“It’s interesting that my music has been divorced from my interest in Jewish texts and Jewish learning,” Greenstein said in an interview last week, sitting in his Brooklyn studio.
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will give the U.S. premiere of Israeli composer Avner Dorman’s “Azerbaijani Dance” at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday. But it will not be the first time the conductor, Zubin Mehta, one of the world’s most prominent maestros, collaborated with Dorman. In fact, Mehta essentially gave Dorman his start.
George Robinson |
Special To The Jewish Week
It was the death threats that forced a decision.
Up to that point, Irina Nuzova says, her father Vladimir had accepted the restrictions and minor humiliations of being a Jew in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia with understandable reluctance and stoicism. He had grudgingly resigned himself to being barred from the literary institute to which he had applied, and not being permitted to travel abroad. He had shrugged off having his “nationality” listed as “Jewish.”
‘Do it again! Kol han-sha ma ta-ha lail!” thundered Alan Pierson, conductor of the new music classical group Alarm Will Sound, at a rehearsal last week with the teenage ensemble Face the Music.
They were rehearsing Steve Reich’s seminal chorale piece, “Tehillim,” from 1981, which both ensembles performed together on Sunday at Merkin Concert Hall. Face the Music will continue to perform the piece throughout the city in upcoming weeks.
In John Adams’ 1987 opera “Nixon in China,” which has its premiere with the Metropolitan Opera next week, Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon’s national security adviser and secretary of state, has an important part. His most famous scene comes in the second act, when Madame Mao, Chairman Mao’s wife, stages a propagandist ballet for the visiting American dignitaries.