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In This Issue
Josh Jacobson's Musings
Zamir Goes Baroque!
Gearing Up for Zamir's 50th
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR
ZAMIR GOES BAROQUE!
Joshua Jacobson, Artistic Director
Weds. May 23 and Thurs. May 24
Slosberg Recital Hall,
Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass.
GEARING UP FOR ZAMIR'S 50TH
Get ready for Zamir's 50th-anniversary celebration, beginning in Fall 2018! We
will celebrate five decades of "music with a mission," bringing the joy of Jewish music to audiences that transcend ag
and ethnic background.
- An exciting first: a Jewish virtual choir, featuring Lewandowski's setting of Psalm 150, performed by hundreds of singers from around the world and brought together by technology. Eric Whitacre's original virtual choir became a tremendous YouTube sensation, and we aim to do the same for Jewish music. Participants welcome! Details coming soon.
A special kick-off event on
Thursday, October 11, at Newton's City Hall, featuring a debut
of our virtual choir video and an opportunity to celebrate!
- A gala concert in 2019 honoring Founder and Artistic Director Josh Jacobson. The concert will look back and look ahead with a vibrant program showcasing the best of Jewish choral music from our five decades of concertizing, as well as several works commissioned for the celebration.
- A reunion for our more than 400 alumni, many of whom have gone on to become significant leaders in their communities.
- An enhanced website with expanded resources available to any conductor, singer, scholar, or music lover looking for choral music connected to Jewish traditions.
Watch your email for updates!
Voices of Freedom at the
On Sunday, March 4, a chamber choir from Zamir, under the direction of Assistant Conductor Andrew Mattfeld, performed along with two other choirs at a special event held at the Vilna Shul in downtown Boston to celebrate the universality of the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian traditions.
A standing-room-only crowd packed the sanctuary as Zamir offered a sampling of Jewish choral music, including works by Rossi, Weill, and Secunda.
VOICES 21C, a diverse choir directed by Andre de Quadros and dedicated to positive interactions, social justice, and global understanding, offered a stirring individual set. The Boston Community Gospel Choir, directed by Brother Dennis Slaughter, performed rousing music representing Christian traditions.
The concert was offered i
n partnership with the Museum of African American History, Consulate General of Israel to New England, and AJC Boston.
HAPPY PASSOVER FROM ALL OF US AT ZAMIR!
Springtime greetings and Chag Sameach!
Our intrepid singers have forged through the long, stormy winter and are looking forward to several more concerts this season, culminating in our May 23-24 "Zamir Goes Baroque" finale at Brandeis University. In this issue, in addition to our regular roundup and preview of coming attractions, we offer Josh Jacobson's quarterly "Musings," this time on the great Italian Renaissance composer Salamone Rossi, whose work will be featured in May. So settle back and enjoy the latest!
JOSH JACOBSON'S MUSINGS
In each issue of E-Notes, Artistic Director Joshua Jacobson offers his unique insights and experiences as a world-renowned scholar, composer, conductor, and influential teacher of Jewish music.
I remember the first time I heard about the composer Salamone Rossi Hebreo of Mantua, Italy. I had had this (mistaken) image of pre-modern Jews cowering in the ghetto, while on the other side of the walls, Christians were doing all those marvelous Renaissance things. Well, it turns out, so were the Jews! Many Jews in northern Italy remained loyal to their heritage and devout in their religious practices, but also delved into the arts and letters of Renaissance humanism. By the mid-16th century, many Jews were employed in the various Italian ducal courts as instrumentalists, composers, actors, and dancing masters.
The most prominent among them was Salamone Rossi Hebreo (c. 1570-c. 1630), a colleague of Monteverdi and Gastoldi, who provided music for the court of Gonzaga in Mantua. Rossi composed many books of Italian love songs (madrigals and canzonets), dances, and trio sonatas. But Rossi also introduced cultural bilingualism into the Jewish liturgy. He composed settings of 33 prayers and had them published in 1622. These polyphonic motets have Hebrew lyrics, and their context is the synagogue worship service. But the musical styles and the convention of notation, and indeed the performative aspect, are all borrowed from the culture of Christian Europe.
This was not the beginning of a
Rossi composed many books of Italian love songs, ... dances, and trio sonatas. But Rossi also introduced cultural bilingualism into the Jewish liturgy.
new trend. Rossi's collection stands alone and nothing of its scope and quality would appear again until the 19th century. Still, a few other isolated examples of Jewish polyphony during the Baroque period exist. In 1670, the Jews of Provence commissioned Louis Saladin to compose an elaborate cantata that could be performed at the celebration of a brit milah. In 1681 in Venice, the confraternity Shomerim La-Boker commissioned Carlo Grossi to compose a cantata celebrating their good deeds. And in 1744, the Portuguese Jewish community of Amsterdam commissioned Cristiano Lidarti to compose an oratorio based on the story of Esther for their Purim celebrations.
We are excited to be presenting this rarely heard repertoire in the
intimate acoustic of Brandeis University's Slosberg Recital Hall.
We will be joined by some of Boston's finest musicians, including violinist Daniel Stepner, harpsichordist Edwin Swanborn, countertenor
Michael Collver, and choreographers Ken Pierce and Camilla Finley. We look forward to seeing you there! (Tickets available here.)
Sunday, March 25, 2:30 pm, Hebrew SeniorLife, 1200 Centre St, Roslindale:
Zamir will perform its annual free "mitzvah" concert for the residents of Hebrew SeniorLife. Selections will span Yiddish, Israeli, classical, folk, and pop genres, and include works by Yehezkel Braun, Naomi Shemer, Meir Finkelstein, and Irving Berlin. Conducting Intern Luca Antonucci will take a turn at the podium, as will Assistant Conductor Andrew Mattfeld and members Betty Bauman and Devin Lawrence.
Commemoration, Temple Israel
477 Longwood Ave, Boston:
As part of th
General of Israel's annual event honoring Israel's fallen soldiers, Zamir will be performing three pieces: "Ha-Kotel," by Dov Seltzer, commemorating those who lost their lives in the battle for Jerusalem in 1967; "Niga El Ha-Chalom" (Touch the Dream), by Shalom Cha
noch; and "Bab El Wad," by Shmuel Fershko and Chaim Gouri, newly arranged by Maestro Jacobson for this concert. The latter piece memorializes those who died in the convoys that helped relieve the siege of Jerusalem in 1947-48. Josh and Zamir will also lead the audience in the singing of "Hatikvah," the Israeli national anthem.
Doors open at 7:00 pm.
For details, contact the
Sunday, April 29, 7:30 pm, Temple Sinai, 50 Sewall Ave, Brookline:
We are delighted to be heading to Coolidge Corner for a full-spectrum Zamir concert as part of Temple Sinai's Passover Music Festival. Highlights include music from
our "Divine Majesty" program, upcoming Baroque program, and a tribute to Israel's 70th birthday. For details, go to the
Thursday, May 3, 6:30 pm, Gann Academy 333 Forest St, Waltham:
Members of the Zamir Chorale will join singers from Kol Arev in a tribute to
Daniel Lehmann, Hebrew College's outgoing president, at an event celebrating his leadership.
Wednesday and Thursday, May 23 and May 24, 7:30 pm, Slosberg Recital Hall, Brandeis University, South St, Waltham:
Don't miss "Zamir Goes Baroque," our exciting season finale! Zamir will be joined by choreographer Ken Pierce and an awesome instrumental ensemble, led by renowned violinist Daniel Stepner, in a delightful exploration of rarely heard Jewish polyphony from the 17th and early 18th centuries. For tickets and additional information, see sidebar ad.
KEEP IN TOUCH!
As always, let us know what you're up to--we love hearing from our friends near and far. Chag Kasher v'Sameach! Happy Passover and we hope to see you soon!
Barbara Gaffin Deborah Sosin
Managing Director Editor, E-Notes