Music

A ‘Prophet’ In Autumn

As Bob Dylan turns 70, even the Cantors Assembly is taking notice.

05/10/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

On May 24, Bob Dylan will turn 70. It isn’t hard to predict what this fact will trigger. There will be a spate of editorials in a bewildering range of publications. Radio stations across the country and all over the FM band will air marathon selections of his recordings. Book and DVD publishers will release (and re-release) Dylan biographies. Boomers will have to brace themselves for an extensive encomium in AARP Magazine.

How many roads: Dylan, then, in the 1967 documentary “Don’t Look Back,” and now.

Making Audiences’ ‘Ears Think’

The spiky, avant-garde music of Chaya Czernowin comes to the Miller Theater.

04/12/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

It takes a steely will and a ferocious intelligence to write serious avant-garde music. But it never hurts to combine those traits with personal charm and, above all, a sense of humor. In evidence, we offer Chaya Czernowin, the Israeli composer whose works are being showcased at the Miller Theater on April 15.

Czernowin, 53, has no illusions about audience response to her music.

Czernowin has drawn on Israeli and Jewish authors, such as David Grossman, for inspiration. Thomas Roma

Being Part Of An International Jewish Teen Choir

04/07/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Practicing, practicing, and more practicing. That’s how I’ve spent two hours of my Sunday afternoons this year.

By deciding to join HaZamir, the international Jewish high school choir, mid-year of my sophomore year at Friends Seminary in Manhattan, I knew I had my work cut out for me. I hadn’t been in a choir since sixth grade, but I was in an a cappella group last year. In HaZamir, I found out that memorizing more than a dozen songs in just a few months really is just as hard as it sounds.

Putting The Triangle Tragedy To Music

Swados’ oratorio to include Jewish, Italian melodies.

03/15/2011
Staff Writer

A native of Buffalo, where the dominant early 20th-century tragedy in the city’s collective memory was the 1901 assassination of President William McKinley, Elizabeth Swados never learned about New York City’s Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.

Elizabeth Swados: Calls opportunity to write oratorio about 1911 fire “a blessing.”

Symphony For King Solomon

In his ambitious new work, ‘Shlomo,’ young composer Judd Greenstein grapples with a biblical giant.

02/22/2011
Staff Writer

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.

Greenstein, 31, is trying to synthesize Jewish and classical music traditions. Michael Datikash

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.

No Direction Home

The themes of forced migration, rootlessness and anti-Semitism are all at play in video-opera ‘Moscow-NY.’

02/15/2011
Staff Writer

The video-opera “Moscow-NY,” which has its premiere at the JCC in Manhattan this weekend, is based on the life of Isaac Bashevis Singer — sort of.

“Moscow-NY,” at the JCC in Manhattan this weekend, incorporates a film.

A Note Of Thanks

Help from South Orange synagogue
helped launch Russian pianist’s career.
Now, she’s a staple on the classical scene.

02/08/2011
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.”

Irina Nuzova will perform next week in the Concerts in the Heights series, and her new CD.

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

Moses, The Indie Opera

01/25/2011

Some are born great, Shakespeare wrote, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. The prophet Moses almost certainly falls into the last category — a reluctant, stammering leader who nevertheless played a starring role in his people’s ultimate redemption.

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