music

Rock Hall Set to Welcome Neil Diamond

03/14/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is set to induct Neil Diamond.

Diamond, 69, who launched his career as a songwriter in the 1960s in the Brill Building songwriting factory, penning hits for groups like The Monkees, will be inducted Monday night at a ceremony in New York.

He soon launched a solo career, and his rich baritone coupled with his lively onstage presence earned him the sobriquet "the Jewish Elvis," with hits like "Solitary Man" and "Cherry, Cherry."

Lover Of God, Lover Of Music

Composer/professor/author Jack Gottlieb, past president of the American Society of Jewish Music, dies at 80.

03/08/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

The name of Jack Gottlieb’s music company was Theophilous Music, Inc., and on his website, there is a legend that reads, “In Latin, Theophilous is ‘Amadeus.’ In German, it is ‘Gottlieb;’ and in English it is ...?” The answer, of course, is “lover of God,” which is an apt cognomen for a composer and musician whose work centered on the Jewish liturgy, directly and indirectly.

Gottlieb was first full-time professor of music at HUC.

Tim Boxer: Maestro Mehta Marks 50 Years With IPO

02/25/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

It was a momentous occasion for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual Carnegie Hall concert on Feb. 22. It marked the orchestra’s 75th anniversary, conductor Zubin Mehta’s 75th birthday, and his 50th year as IPO conductor.

At the post-concert dinner at the Plaza Hotel, hosted by the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, vice president and benefit co-chair Lauren Veronis couldn’t praise the maestro enough.

Rochelle and David Hirsch stand behind Nancy and Zubin Mehta at IPO dinner. Photo by Tim Boxer

My Dinner With Johnny (Mathis)

02/22/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Last week I had dinner with Johnny Mathis.

That’s right, Johnny Mathis. The third best-selling recording artist of all time, whose open-hearted, sultry voice animated our car rides to Lake Tahoe when I was 10, the eight-track cassette seemingly invented just so my sister and I could say, yet again, “Go back to ‘Chances Are’!”

Johnny Mathis

Avner Dorman’s Musical Exoticism

Israeli Philharmonic to perform the young Israeli composer’s ‘Azerbaijani Dances’ here next week.

02/17/2011
Staff Writer

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.

Avner Dorman's "Azerbaijani Dance" will be performed by the Israeli Philharmonic  next week at Carnegie Hall.

For Young Musicians, The Reich Stuff

Playing celebrated composer’s ‘Tehillim’ is close encounter with a classic of modern music and Jewish culture.

02/01/2011
Staff Writer

‘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.

Student group Face the Music performed alongside the professional ensemble Alarm Will Sound Sunday. Photo:Meg Goldman

Rock Impresario Don Kirschner Dead At 76

01/18/2011

Don Kirschner, the rock music publisher and producer who became known as “The Man With the Golden Ear” for his knack as identifying and managing successful singing groups, died Jan. 17 of heart failure in Boca Raton. He was 76.

Debbie Friedman’s Gift

01/11/2011
Editorial

One of Debbie Friedman’s most beautiful songs, “Lechi Lach,” reflects God’s telling Abraham and Sarah to go to “a place you do not know.” In her way, Ms. Friedman — Dina Leah bat Freydl v’Gavriel — did that for the rest of us, taking us to a spiritual place that few could have imagined, either as individuals or as a community.

She did it not only as a composer and singer but as a presence, a guide, a friend.

Phil Ochs: No Direction Home

New documentary shows Phil Ochs caught between folk and rock.

01/04/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

It is undoubtedly simplistic to suggest that a single incident can shape the way a person lives his entire life. Even the survivor of a catastrophic accident is more than the accumulated scars and physical deficits thus incurred. But watching Kenneth Bowser’s new documentary, “Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune,” it is impossible not to register a story that the great singer-songwriter’s brother Michael recalls from their childhood in small-town Ohio.

Protest singer Ochs committed suicide at 35.

The Year Of The Woman

From Yiddish tunes to alt-rock to Sephardic rhythms, female performers dominated this year.

12/28/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

This was a year in which recorded Jewish music seems to have been dominated by women. Certainly the CDs that have stayed with me the longest in 2010 are the work of some tremendously talented female singers, songwriters, composers and instrumentalists. So here’s a list of some recordings that have haunted me and delighted me since the first time I heard them. Not exactly a top 10 list, but not a bad yardstick to go by.

 Judith Berkson: “Oylam” (ECM)

Clare Burson's Holocaust-themed album, "Silver and Ash," made a major impact in the pop world.
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