"My strongest link to my Jewish background is musical," he said. "I found myself drawn to Russian and Eastern European musical roots."
If it were a novel, no one would believe the 70-year saga of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, with its astonishing cast of famous characters, including Leonard Bernstein, Arturo Toscanini and Albert Einstein. But it's all true. It's a history ripe for Hollywood: An orchestra that has lived through wars and constant strife, performed on battlefields and had more than its own share of internal drama and turmoil.
Conversations in Hebrew, Russian, German and English fill the air. Two of the orchestra's musicians play chess, loudly clapping down on the timer after each move. The creative chaos is just a little heady.
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra has been celebrating its 70th anniversary in style, hosting appearances by many of the orchestra\'s friends from over the years.
The best way to discover Mozart here might be a night at the Vienna Opera. I was lucky enough to attend a performance of "The Magic Flute" during my visit, which was sponsored by Austria Tourism. This was classical Mozart through and through in terms of the music, but the performance was strikingly modern.
"Mozart does not belong to any nation. It would be a total misunderstanding for anyone to lay claim to Mozart," said Peter Marboe, Vienna Mozart Year artistic director. "That makes it obscene that the Nazis should claim him as an example of a great German artist and all the while hide his Jewish collaborators."
Nineteenth century composer and notorious anti-Semite Richard Wagner believed that a Jewish composer could never successfully treat serious mythical subject matter in music. But Wagner never anticipated Howard Shore.
"Let My People Go-Go" is a very kitschy CD, but this isn't your ordinary, everyday kitsch.
Influenced by Israeli folk dance and Sephardic music, the composer describes her new work as lyrical, colorful and rhythmic.
In a concert entitled "The Light of Helfman-Generations of Music from the Brandeis-Bardin Institute", which celebrates Max Helfman, founder of Brandeis Bardin's Summer Arts Institute, the LAJS will inaugurate its sixth season with a performance of Handel's triumphant "Judas Maccabeus" in a Yiddish translation by Helfman.
"The World Festival of Sacred Music--The Americas," a 9-day multicultural program initiated by his holiness the Dalai Lama, kicks off this weekend with a mind-boggling schedule of over eighty concerts and "musical happenings" that cover an eclectic range of styles and ethnicities of almost anything that can broadly be called "sacred" in places where you might not expect them.
Can music be a catalyst for peace in the Middle East? His Holiness the Dalai Lama thinks so, and he's not alone.
In spite of thunder, lightning, pouring rain and occasional gusts of unchecked sentimentalism, the Viva Klezmer-L'Khayim Mariachi concert at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre on Sunday, July 11, was a high-energy, crowd-pleaser that mostly delivered on its promise to explore the intersection of the two forms.
With the release of "Star Trek: Insurrection," composer Jerry Goldsmith has completed his fourth orchestral score for a "Star Trek" feature film. During the past 35 years, the composer has written some of the most memorable film and television music ever. His 100-plus film scores are remarkably diverse, including "Alien," "Chinatown," "Basic Instinct" and last summer's "Mulan."
The list of films for which Elmer Bernstein has written orchestral scores reads like a roll call of cinema's all-time classics: "The Ten Commandments," "The Age of Innocence," "The Magnificent Seven," "Ghostbusters," "To Kill A Mockingbird," "CapeFear," "True Grit," "Animal House," "The Great Escape," "My Left Foot"...just to name a few.