100 years from St Petersburg: Russian Classical Jewish Music and its Klezmer roots
August 7 Wed 8 p.m. @Musikschule
Admission: 20 € / 11 €
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St. Petersburg, 1908: Led by composer and folklorist Joel Engel, a group of Jewish musicians found the St. Petersburg Society for Jewish Folk Music. Its members – among them the composers Joseph Achron, Mikhail Gnesin, Alexander Krejn, Moshe Milner, Solomon Rosowsky and Lazare Saminsky – go on to create masterpieces of new Jewish art music inspired by traditional Yiddish instrumental (klezmer) and vocal music – which is based, in turn, on material collected during their ethnographic expeditions.
This outpouring of musical creativity owes everything to Engels’ staunch belief in the depth, beauty, and aesthetic richness of traditional Yiddish music. From the very beginning, Engels’ Yiddish folksong-based works profoundly influenced his contemporaries, inspiring a movement that was to become known as the New Jewish School.
A little over a century later, six outstanding musicians from Germany, Russia and Switzerland with both classical and Yiddish musical roots join forces to form a unique new ensemble. Named in honor of the founder of the New Jewish School, the Engel Ensemble devotes itself to the interpretation of 20th-century Jewish art music in the context of traditional Yiddish music, creating a new voice that unites two worlds.
Alan Bern (USA/D) - piano, accordion
Ilya Gindin (RUS) - clarinet
Mark Kovnatskiy (RUS/D) - violin
Igor Mishurisman (UKR/D) - violin
Anastasia Mishurisman (UKR/D) - viola
Hitomi Niikura (JPN/CH) - cello