December 16, 2008:
3Pm to 4:30:
Symposium 'Beyond Boundaries: Klezmer in the 21st Century' at CUNY's Martin E. Segal Theatre.
Concert with Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi and special guests celebrating the first anniversary of the historic 'Great Day on Eldridge Street' photo and gathering. Martin E. Segal Theatre, CUNY, New York
The Center will be co-presenting, “Beyond Boundaries: Klezmer Music in the 21st Century”. Featuring distinguished Klezmer performers, scholars, composers and cultural mediators, the event will be comprised of an afternoon Symposium with Music (3-5:30 PM) and an evening Concert (7-9 PM).
This event is part of the ‘Beyond Boundaries Series in Jewish Music’ launched by the Center for Jewish Studies in Spring, 2008. The series seeks to explore aspects of Jewish music from the perspectives of multiple geographies, cultural identities and musical styles.
The afternoon symposium with music at 3:00 p.m. will consider the current state of Klezmer music and its implications for the 21st century.
Moderated by Dr. Marsha Dubrow, Resident Scholar in Jewish Music at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Center for Jewish Studies, the symposium features noted Klezmer experts Alicia Svigals, Hankus Netsky, Yale Strom, Joel Rubin, Eve Sicular, Seth Rogovoy, and composer, Stephen Dankner, in a series of presentations followed by an eclectic conversation that promises to stimulate rich discussion about Klezmer as a world music genre with a long history and evolving future.
Klezmer has a many centuries history, but its revival in the late 20th century has inspired countless musicians of all stripes to jump into the fray and ‘mix it up’ with all types of musics including classical, jazz, hip-hop, reggae, and other pop genres.
The panelists, respected and established in their particular areas, will explore the current Klezmer scene not only in America, but in Europe, Israel and beyond, as they consider the possible prospects of the genre for future generations of musicians and audiences.
The evening concert at 7 p.m. will feature a concert of Klezmer music by renowned Klezmer ethnographer and performing artist, Yale Strom and his band, Hot Pstromi, with the illustrious performers from the afternoon symposium joining in. In addition, internationally-acclaimed classical cellist, Matt Haimovitz, will perform composer Stephen Dankner’s ‘Klezmer Fantasy’, a boundary-crossing, contemporary classical work that incorporates various Klezmer elements, and also a work composed by Yale Strom, The Ram’s Daughter, arranged for cello and piano. Accompanying Haimovitz will be Geoffrey Burleson, faculty member at Hunter College, CUNY and Princeton University.
Yale Strom also will present brief film clips from his forthcoming documentary, “A Great Day on Eldridge Street” marking the gathering in 2007 of over 100 Klezmer musicians in lower Manhattan at the historic Eldridge Street Synagogue to celebrate the joy of Klezmer music-making and its rich history.
Among the symposium particpants:
Alicia Svigals – one of the world’s leading Klezmer fiddlers and a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics. She has played with and written for violinist Itzhak Perlman, the Kronos Quartet, playwrights Tony Kushner and Eve Ensler, the late poet Allen Ginsburg, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, singer/songwriter Debbie Friedman, Hasidic superstars Avraham Fried, and many others. She has appeared on David Letterman, MTV, Good Morning America, PBS’ Great Performances, on NPR’s Prairie Home Companion, Weekend Edition and New Sounds.
Dr. Hankus Netsky – A multi-instrumentalist, composer, and scholar, Vice President for Education at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts, and Chair of the Contemporary Improvisation Department at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Netsky is a founder and director of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, an internationally renowned Yiddish music ensemble, and serves as research director of the Klezmer Conservatory Foundation, dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Yiddish and Klezmer music traditions. He collaborated with violinist Itzhak Perlman on “In the Fiddler’s House” a Klezmer music video, recording and touring project which culminated in a PBS documentary and two EMI CD releases.
Yale Strom – A violinist, composer, filmmaker, writer, photographer, and playwright, Strom is a pioneer among revivalists in conducting extensive field research – over 60 ethnographic trips – in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans among the Jewish and Rom communities. He is the author of The Book of Klezmer: The History, The Music, The Folklore (2002), The Absolutely Complete Klezmer Songbook (2006), and most recently, his first children’s book, The Wedding that Saved a Town (2008) based upon a true Klezmer story. His award-winning documentary films include The Last Klezmer, L’Chaim Comrade Stalin!, and Klezmer on Fish Street. Currently Strom is Artist-in-Residence in the Jewish Studies Program at San Diego State University.
Dr. Joel Rubin – Internationally acclaimed performer of Jewish instrumental klezmer music and Hasidic music. In addition to performances with traditional musicians such as the Epstein Brothers (USA) and Moshe Berlin (Israel), he was the founder and clarinetist of some of the most internationally respected klezmer ensembles, including the Joel Rubin Jewish Music Ensemble and Brave Old World. Rubin’s fifth solo album, ‘Midnight Praryer’ came out in 2007 on Traditional Crossroads. He has concertized throughout Europe, North America and Asia and has taught master classes and workshops at many universities including Yale and Syracuse, and for the Israeli and Berlin Ministries of Education. Joel Rubin wrote the first full-length doctoral thesis on Jewish instrumental klezmer music (City University of London, 2001), as well as numerous books and articles on Klezmer and Jewish Music Traditions. In addition, Rubin is the recipient of numerous research
grants and fellowships.
Seth Rogovoy – writer, award-winning critic, book author, lecturer, teacher and radio commentator. Rogovoy is the author of The Essential Klezmer: A Music Lover’s Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music (2000) and Editor-in-Chief of Berkshire Living, an award-winning regional lifestyle and culture magazine. A cultural journalist, Rogovoy served for nearly 20 years as a rock and jazz critic for the Berkshire Eagle and writes frequently for Jewish publications including the Forward, Hadassah Magazine and the Berkshire Jewish Voice. His cultural commentary can be heard on WAMC Northeast Public Radio Network (www.wamc.org).
Eve Sicular – drummer, bandleader and film scholar, Sicular founded Metropolitan Klezmer Octet in 1994 and the all-female Isle of Klezbos sextet in 1998. Her groups have appeared on CNN Worldbeat, PBS, NPR, and multiple tours in Europe and North America. She has produced five internationally acclaimed CDs for both her bands. As a film scholar, she worked on MoMA’s series “Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds,” and subsequently curated the Film and Photo Archive department at the Yivo Institute at the Center for Jewish History in New York City. Her groundbreaking writings have been published widely, including the anthologies, When Joseph Met Molly and Queer Jews, as well as feature articles in Lilith, Mix and Davka magazines.
Dr. Stephen Dankner – composer and music commentator, Dankner received his D.M.A. from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Vincent Persichetti and Roger Sessions. He has composed nine symphonies, ten string quartets and much other vocal, choral, choral chamber and orchestral music. From 2004-2008 he was composer-in-residence with the Louisiana Philharmonic. With his Ninth Symphony premiere in March, 2010, this orchestra will have premiered six of Dankner’s symphonies. He has had residences at Yaddo, the Millay Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Dankner has received five commissions from the Albany Symphony, including ‘The Klezmer Fantasy’ which was composed for cellist, Matt Haimovitz, in 2007.
Evening Concert Performers:
Matt Haimovitz: Renowned cellist, Matt Haimovitz, made his debut in 1984 at the age of 13, as soloist with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic. At 17, he made his first recording, performing the Saint-Saens, Lolo, and Bruch concerti with James Levine and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for Deutsche Grammophon. Haimovitz has since gone on to perfom on the world’s most esteemed stages, with such orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic with James Levine, the New York Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta, the English Chamber Orchestra with Daniel Barneboim, the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin, and the Cleveland Orchestra with Charles Dutoit. Born in Israel, Haimovitz has been honored with numerous awards and is the first cellist ever to receive the prestigious Premio Internazionale “Accademia Musicale Chigiana” (1999). He has recorded extensively for 10 years as an exclusive artist with Deutsche Grammophone, and, since 2000, on Oxingale
Records, the label he co-founded. Oxingale Records was singled out by the New York Times as one of classical music’s “adventurous smaller companies (where) the real action has moved to,” and has become the model for a growing legion of independent classical labels. Haimovitz has been featured in numerous publications including Newsweek and the New Yorker, and has been the subject of full-length televised features on CBS’s Sunday morning with Charles Kuralt, PBS’s Salute to the Arts and Nova.
Geoffrey Burleson: pianist, has performed to wide acclaim throughout Europe and Noth America. He is equally active as a recitalist, concerto solist, chamber musician and jazz performer. The New York Times has hailed Mr. Burleson’s solo performances as “vibrant and compelling,” furthermore praising his “rhythmic brio, projection of rhapsodic qualities, appropriate sense of spontaneity, and rich colorings.” Burleson made his New York City solo recital debut at Merkin Hall in 2000, sponsored by the League of Composers/ISCM. He has recorded the complete piano sonatas of Vincent Persichetti. Upcoming releases include Messiaen’s“Quartet for the End of Time,” Roy Harris’ “Complete Piano Works” for Naxos, and “Odd Couple”, a program of American cello and piano works with cellist Matt Haimovitz, featuring the Barber and Carter sonatas, as well as pieces by David Sanford and Augusta Reed Thomas. Geoffrey Burleson teaches piano at
Princeton University, and is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Piano Studies at Hunter College, CUNY.