When Brandeis-Bardin Institute (BBI) holds its summer concert on Aug. 18, it will be a bittersweet occasion for cellist David Low. The BBI artistic director has overseen the summer concerts for 12 years, and is now leaving to spend more time with his wife and children, and to pursue his music career in the film industry.
The last summer concert, to be held outdoors at BBI's hillside House of the Book, will feature The New Hollywood String Quartet performing Bernard Hermann's memorable scores for Alfred Hitchcock classics such as "North by Northwest" and "Psycho." The chamber orchestra, 13 players including Low on the cello, will be led by Lucas Richman, long associated with Brandeis-Bardin and now assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony.
Low, 39, came to BBI straight out of Juilliard and has been BBI's artistic director since 1989. Simultaneously, his work as a music contractor and a musician for film and television has slowly come to dominate his career. He has worked as a musician on 400 film scores, including "Schindler's List," the "Jurassic Park" films, "Titanic" and "Minority Report," and will soon work on the new "Star Trek" motion picture.
Low was born in Israel, but by the age of 3 had moved to Van Nuys. The son of veteran Jewish Journal contributing writer Yehuda Lev, Low says he was inspired by his father to become active in Jewish life. "When I was young it was amazing to hear him do public speaking," Low says.
During his reign as artistic director at BBI, Low has overseen summer concerts every year, which in the past have included Israeli groups such as Esta, and singers David Broza and Shlomo and Neshama Carlebach.
At BBI, Low says he has enjoyed being able to perform and help educate open-minded audiences. "The weirdest thing is to have a 17-year-old come up and say, 'Oh, I remember you. You played in my bunk when I was 8.'"
He is not really leaving BBI. "You can only do so many jobs," he says, then adding, "I couldn't have done what I'm doing now without the experience of working there. My relationship will always be with BBI. It will just change."