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Dec 6 2022

Yiddish and Klezmer Music Today


Each year, thousands of people participate as learners and audience members in Yiddish and klezmer music programs. Many of them are young people seeking connection to their roots. The 'klezmer revival' that began in the 1980's is thriving today.

This three-part online program explores new and old Yiddish and klezmer compositions, recreated works, and curated programs and festivals. Each program includes discussions with composers, curators, performers or producers of new Yiddish and klezmer concert programs and festivals.  Recorded music and videos will be presented offering examples of new programs presented this year.

The series is co-organized by the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

Program 1: Continuing Evolution: Yiddish Folksongs Today
Tue., December 6
11:00am PT | 2:00pm ET

Mark Kligman (Director of the Lowell Milken Center) interviews Alex Weiser (Director of Public Programs, YIVO) about the YIVO festival, which took place in May 2022.  Called Continuing Evolution: Yiddish Folksongs Today, this music festival celebrated Yiddish folksong and featured performances of contemporary classical works reimagining Yiddish folksongs; classic compositions which engage with Yiddish folksongs; contemporary artists engaged with traditional Yiddish folk singing, and more. YIVO presented four concerts with over twelve premieres. Musical highlights will be shared.

Program 2: Yiddish Cultural and Music Festivals 
Tue., December 13
11:00am PT | 2:00pm ET

This past summer, like many in the past, thousands of people attended festivals, workshops and programs to hear, learn and listen to klezmer and Yiddish music.  Such festivals and intensive learning programs occur at different parts of the year and in different places around the globe. This program shares information about and highlights from four such programs. Register for Zoom link here.

Chaired by Alex Weiser (YIVO, Director of Public Programs), the panel to will include:
Alan Bern (Yiddish Summer Weimar, Founding Artistic Dirctor)
Lisa Newman (Yid-Stock, Director of Public Programs at the Yiddish Book Center)
Pete Rushefsky (Yiddish NY, Co-Founder)
Avia Moore (KlezKanada, Artistic Director)

Program 3: The North American Premiere of the Opera Bas Sheve
Thu., December 15
11:00am PT | 2:00pm ET

Written by Henekh Kon in 1924, Bas Sheve is one of the only known pre-Holocaust Yiddish operas.  Presumed lost, it was discovered in 2017 by Professor Diana Matut, though it was missing 16 pages of some of the essential dramatic elements of the plot.  Composer Joshua Horowitz and librettist Michael Wex completed the score. In 2019, a fully orchestrated Bas Sheve was performed at Yiddish Summer Weimer. In the summer of 2022, it made its North American debut at Toronto's Ashkenaz Festival. This panel will discuss the performance with video examples provided. It is co-presented by the Ashkenaz Foundation. Register for Zoom link here.

Eric Stein (Producer, Artistic Director of Ashkenaz Festival)
Josh Horowitz (composer and arranger)
Michael Wex (supplementary librettist)
Neal Stulberg (conductor)

These events are made possible by the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music with additional generous support from the David Vickter Foundation.

Register in advance for this event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.