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SYMPOSIUM “JEWISH MUSIC AT THE BORDERS” AT BARD COLLEGE ON APRIL 27 Program features lectures and performances, a panel discussion, and a concert, “Shake My Heart: Yiddish Song in Two Worlds,” by Adrienne Cooper, Frank London, and Marilyn Lerner, with special guest David Krakauer
Emily M. Darrow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Jewish Studies Program at Bard College presents a day-long symposium, “Jewish Music at the Borders,” on Thursday, April 27. Free and open to the public, all the programs will take place in the F. W. Olin Humanities Building at the College.
A lecture and performance of Viktor Ullmann’s setting of Ranier Maria Rilke’s Chronicle of the Love and Death of the Standard Bearer Christoph Rilke (Theresienstadt, 1944) opens the symposium at 12:30 p.m. in room 104. Philip V. Bohlman, Werkman Professor of the Humanities and Music, University of Chicago, and Christine Wilkie Bohlman, lecturer in piano and music theory, University of Illinois at Chicago, perform and discuss the work by Ullman, a Czech composer interned at the Theresienstadt concentration camp who was killed during the Holocaust. This is the final work composed for the concentration camp stage at Theresienstadt.
A panel discussion, “Between East and West, Past and Present: Jews and Their Musical Cultures,” with panelists Leon Botstein, president of Bard College; Philip V. Bohlman, Werkman Professor of the Humanities and Music, University of Chicago; and Mark Slobin, professor of music, Wesleyan University, begins at 2:30 p.m. in Olin Hall.
David Krakauer, acclaimed clarinetist and faculty member of The Bard College Conservatory of Music, offers “A Personal Journey through Klezmer Music” at 5:00 p.m. in room 102. Of his playing, the New York Times notes, “Mr. Krakauer gives a truly gripping performance.”
The symposium concludes with a concert, “Shake My Heart: Yiddish Song in Two Worlds,” with performances by acclaimed musicians Adrienne Cooper, Frank London, and Marilyn Lerner, with special guest David Krakauer, at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall. These internationally renowned artists bring together jazz, classical music, and creative improvisation to material ranging from folk songs to contemporary poetry.
This program has been made possible with support from the Center for Cultural Judaism, Bertha Effron Fund of the Community Foundation of Dutchess County, Wassermann-Streit Y’DIYAH Memorial Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, and Jazz at Bard.
For further information, call 845-758-7543 or visit inside.bard.edu/jewish/events.
Symposium Participant Biographies
Christine Wilkie Bohlman teaches piano, theory, and musicianship classes at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also teaches piano and heads the music theory department at the Merit School of Music, a college-preparatory school of music in the Chicago area. She received a B.M. degree in piano from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (studying with Carroll Chilton, Howard Karp, and Russell Sherman) and a M.M. degree in piano at Indiana University (studying with Menachem Pressler and Marie Zorn on harpsichord). At Indiana University Bohlman also completed a minor in music theory, and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign she is working towards a D.M.A. degree in piano (with Kenneth Drake). Prior to teaching at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Bohlman taught at MacMurray College; she has also taught privately in Vienna, Austria. Her repertoire ranges widely, with specialties in keyboard works of the 18th and early 19th centuries, and in chamber music. She is active as an accompanist throughout the Chicago area. In recent years, she has collaborated with Philip V. Bohlman to perform works composed in the Holocaust, especially those created in the concentration camps.
Philip V. Bohlman is the Mary Werkman Professor of the Humanities and of Music, and chair of Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago. His teaching and courses cover a broad range, with special interests in music and modernity, folk and popular music in North America and Europe, Jewish music, music of the Middle East and South Asia, music and religion, and music at the encounter with racism and colonialism. A pianist, he is also the artistic director of the New Budapest Orpheum Society, a Jewish cabaret ensemble at Chicago. He has written and published extensively; among his most recent publications are World Music: A Very Short Introduction, The Music of European Nationalism, "Jüdische Musik" - eine mitteleuropäische Geistesgeschichte, and Jewish Music and Modernity. The New Budapest Orpheum Society has released the double-CD, Dancing on the Edge of the Volcano. Current projects include books on music drama in the Holocaust and a translation of Johann Gottfried Herder’s writings on music and nationalism. Bohlman was awarded the Edward Dent Medal by the Royal Music Association in 1997 and the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin in 2003. In 2006–07 he will hold the Royal Holloway–British Library Lectures in Musicology.
Leon Botstein is music director of the American Symphony Orchestra in New York and of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the radio orchestra of Israel. He is also the founder and coartistic director of the Bard Music Festival. Botstein conducted the American staged premiere of Dukas’ opera Ariane et Barbe-bleue at the New York City Opera, and in December conducted Die ägyptische Helena with Deborah Voigt in Madrid. Upcoming engagements include an appearance with the BBC Symphony in London, and a spring 2006 Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra tour of North America. Regular radio broadcasts of Botstein’s concerts with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra may be heard in syndication throughout the United States. His recent recording of Chausson’s opera Le roi Arthus with the BBC Symphony for Telarc has been released to rave reviews. Other acclaimed recordings include two discs with the American Symphony Orchestra: music by Copland, Sessions, Perle, and Rands for New World Records, and music by Ernst von Dohnányi for Bridge Records. Botstein has also conducted on a prestigious series of recordings for Telarc, including Gavriil Popov’s epic Symphony No. 1 and Shostakovich’s Theme and Variations, Op. 3 (nominated for a 2005 Grammy Award in the category of best orchestral performance); Liszt’s Dante Symphony and Tasso; Glière’s Symphony No. 3, “Il’ya Muromets” (all with the London Symphony); Max Reger’s Böcklin Tone Poems and Romantic Suite; Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra; music of Karol Szymanowski; symphonies of Karl Amadeus Hartmann; Dohnányi’s D Minor Symphony; and Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony, Schalk edition (all with the London Philharmonic). With the American Symphony Orchestra and also for Telarc, he has recorded live performances of two operas by Richard Strauss, Die ägyptische Helena with Deborah Voigt and Die Liebe der Danae with Lauren Flanigan, both of which received critical acclaim. Botstein’s extensive discography also includes works by Brahms, Schubert, Bruch, and Mendelssohn. A prominent scholar of music history, Botstein is editor of The Musical Quarterly and author of numerous articles and books on such diverse topics as music, education, history, and culture. Last year he addressed the United Nations on “Why Music Matters” as part of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Lecture Series. He is the recipient of the National Arts Club Gold Medal, the Austrian Cross of Honor from the Austrian Cultural Forum, Harvard University’s prestigious Centennial Award, and the Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Since 1975 he has been president of Bard College, where he is also Leon Levy Professor in the Arts and Humanities.
Adrienne Cooper, one of the most influential performers of Yiddish vocal music today, appears on concert, theater, and club stages around the world. Her singing has been featured on film, radio, television, and some 20 recordings including Partisans of Vilna, the only Yiddish recording ever nominated for a Grammy Award. She has mentored and inspired a generation of singers and bands in the burgeoning klezmer revival scene. Cooper has performed and recorded with, among others, The Klezmatics, Hasidic New Wave, The Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, Kapelye, and Frank London’s Shekhine Big Band. Her singing can be heard in the educational installation at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and on the museum’s CD productions Remember the Children and Hidden Histories: Songs from the Kovno Ghetto. New productions include an international tour of Ghetto Tango (also on CD), her groundbreaking collaboration with Zalmen Mlotek on unknown music theater of World War II. Mikveh, Cooper’s all-star women’s klezmer band, that made its debut in Obie Award–winning playwright Eve Ensler’s star-studded V-Day Benefit, sharing the stage with Whoopi Goldberg, Glenn Close, Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, Marisa Tomei, and Phoebe Snow. At the invitation of Jewish World Service and the Jewish Community Development Fund, Cooper travels each summer to Russia to train a new generation of Jewish musicians from throughout the former Soviet territories. For two decades, she has initiated groundbreaking musical, theatrical, and educational projects. As assistant director of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, she cofounded the Yiddish Folk Arts Program, popularly known as KlezKamp, an internationally recognized model for multigenerational folk art education now in its 14th year. She also designed and hosted Merkin Concert Hall’s children’s concert series on ethnic diversity within Jewish music. Cooper cowrote and starred in The Memoirs of Gluckl of Hameln, presented to acclaim in New York at the legendary La Mama Annex. New York City’s Jewish Museum has commissioned her to curate concert programs to accompany several of its exhibitions, most recently Chagall’s Kaleidoscope, a multimedia program in French, Russian and Yiddish. A founding member of the Joseph Papp Yiddish Theater and veteran of its long-running Off-Broadway production Songs of Paradise, Cooper is on the faculty of the Academy of Jewish Religion and presents master classes in Yiddish song throughout the world. She was among a handful of Jewish artists selected for national artists’ residencies by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. She received her musical training at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem, and holds B.A and M.A. degrees in history from Hebrew University and the University of Chicago. She is currently director of program development for the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring.
Internationally acclaimed clarinetist David Krakauer redefines the notion of a concert artist. Known for his mastery of myriad styles, he occupies the unique position of leading exponent of Eastern European Jewish klezmer music and major voice in classical music. Far beyond crossover, he is a natural storyteller who has long dazzled colleagues and the public with his ability to shift and meld musical gears. On any stage, he exudes an emotionally raw yet genial presence, baring a tireless spirit, humor, and generosity. His bestselling classical and klezmer recordings further define his brilliant tone, virtuosity, and imagination. Krakauer is in demand far and wide as a guest soloist with the finest ensembles, including the Tokyo String Quartet, Eroica Trio, Kronos Quartet, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica de Barcelona, Brooklyn Philharmonic Music from Marlboro, Lark Quartet, Arditti String Quartet, and Empire Brass Quintet. As one of the foremost musicians of the vital new wave of klezmer, Krakauer tours the globe with his extraordinary Klezmer Madness! Ensemble. While firmly rooted in traditional klezmer folk tunes, Krakauer’s compositions for the group also pay homage to jazz, rock, experimental classical, and funk. His highly successful collaboration with the Kronos Quartet has thrilled audiences at London’s Royal Festival Hall, the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and in Copenhagen, Paris, and Frankfurt, among other places. Krakauer’s and Kronos’s acclaimed recording of Osvaldo Golijov’s The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind was voted one of the 10 best discs of 1997 by Time Out Magazine. In addition, his discography contains some of the most important klezmer recordings of the past decade. His release A New Hot One, represents a major step forward in enlarging the French public’s knowledge and appreciation of klezmer music, garnering France’s prestigious Diapason d’Or prize and hailed a masterwork by the International Herald Tribune, Le Monde, Telerama, Jazzman, Jazz magazine and Les Inrockuptibles. A graduate of Juilliard, Krakauer is a member of the clarinet and chamber music faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, and Queens College, in addition to the faculty of The Bard College Conservatory of Music. For the last 20 years, he has developed a unique and literally breathtaking clarinet language using circular breathing, overtones and alternate fingerings. The scope and variety of David Krakauer’s activities—ranging from classical chamber music to the Klezmatics, Klezmer Madness!, original compositions, and collaborations with Berio, Zorn, and Cage—illustrate a remarkable life in music.
Exhilarating jazz pianist/improviser Marilyn Lerner performs to acclaim internationally, from her native Montreal to Havana, from Jerusalem to Amsterdam and the Ukraine. Her groundbreaking recordings have garnered recognition, including Best Jazz Recording 2004 for her Special Angel duo with legendary guitarist Sonny Greenwich. She produced the first Canadian contemporary jazz recording in Cuba, playing her own compositions with greats Dafnis Prieto, Yosvanny Terry, and Jane Bunnett. Lerner’s work spans the worlds of jazz, creative improvisation, klezmer, and 20th century classical music. She composes for film, theater, radio, and television. Along with her innovative solo piano work, she tours with Queen Mab (with Lori Freedman), Sonny Greenwich, Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, From Both Ends of the Earth, and has appeared with Tito Puente, Gerry Hemingway, Steve Lacy, Alicia Svigals, David Wall, Frank London, and Adrienne Cooper. A prolific recording artist, Lerner’s recent work includes Luminance, a duo with jazz guitar legend Sonny Greenwich, and, with singer David Wall, Still Soft Voiced Heart, original settings of contemporary Yiddish poetry. Her original music garnered the Montreal International Jazz Festival award for best composition. Her audio art collages have been broadcast nationally and appeared on the Video Pool compliation Beyond the Sound of Music. Lerner conducts workshops on improvisation and on Jewish music throughout North America, Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Current commissions include a jazz/classical crossover project, creating improvisations on the work of Eric Satie, and silent film scores for Carl Theodore Dreyer’s Joan of Arc and the Yiddish classic East and West.
Trumpeter/composer Frank London is a member of the Klezmatics and Hasidic New Wave. He has performed with John Zorn, LL Cool J, Mel Torme, Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy, LaMonte Young, They Might Be Giants, David Byrne, Jane Siberry, Ben Folds 5, Mark Ribot, Maurice El Medioni, and Gal Costa, and is featured on over 100 CDs. His own recordings include Incocations (cantorial music); Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars’ Di Shikere Kapelye and Brotherhood of Brass; Nigunim and The Zmiros Project (Jewish mystical songs with Klezmatics vocalist, Lorin Sklamberg); The Debt (film and theater music); The Shekina Big Band; soundtracks to The Shvitz and Perl Gluck’s The Divahn; and four releases with the Hasidic New Wave. His projects include the folk opera A Night in the Old Marketplace (based on Y. L. Peretz’s Bay nakht oyfn altn mark), Davenen for Pilobolus, and the Klezmatics Great Small Works’ The Memoires of Gluckel of Hameln, and Min Tanaka’s Romance. London has composed music for John Sayles’s The Brother from Another Planet and Men with Guns, Yvonne Rainer’s Murder and Murder, the Czech-American Marionette Theater’s Golem and Tamar Rogoff’s IV YE Project. He was the music director for David Byrne and Robert Wilson’s The Knee Plays and has collaborated with Palestinian violinist Simon Shaheen. London taught Jewish music in Canada, Crimea, and the Catskills, and has produced CDs for Gypsy Ledgend Esma Redzepova and Algerian pianist Maurice el Medioni. He has been featured on HBO’s Sex and the City, at the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Lincoln Center Summer Festival, and was a cofounder of Les Miserables Brass Band and the Klezmer Conservatory Band.
Mark Slobin is a professor of music at Wesleyan University and past president of the Society for Ethnomusicology. His books include Tenement Songs: The Popular Music of the Jewish Immigrants and Fiddler on the Move: Exploring the Klezmer World, both of which received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, as well as Music in the Culture of Northern Afghanistan and Chosen Voices: The Story of the American Cantorate.
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This event was last updated on 04-27-2006