May

1 2016

to
May

5 2016

Out of the Shadows: Rediscovering Jewish Music, Literature and Theater (UW)

2:00PM - 9:00PM  

Various Locations

Contact Teryl L. Dobbs, PhD
(608) 890-1490
tdobbs@wisc.edu
http://go.wisc.edu/pja

The U.S. component of a major international research project, “Performing the Jewish Archive,” led by the University of Leeds, in England, has attracted significant funding (over $2.5 million) to shine new light on forgotten works by Jewish artists. Performing the Jewish Archive will bring recently rediscovered musical, theatrical and literary works by Jewish artists back to the attention of scholars and the public, and stimulate the creation of new works (further details page 6).

A multidisciplinary team, across four continents, is focusing on the years 1880-1950 – an intense period of Jewish displacement – to explore the role of art in such upheaval. The three-year “Performing the Jewish Archive” project involves a large number of partners, exploring archives, delivering community and educational projects, conferences/symposia and international performance-based festivals.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison and the City of Madison are uniquely situated as the sole hosts for the project’s performance events within the United States; one of the premier public research-intensive universities in the world – based in a community that lives and breathes diverse arts, while striving for social change.

After welcoming over 500 people to the one-day event in Madison last August, the full festival, “Out of the Shadows: Rediscovering Jewish Music, Literature and Theater” will be the first of six festivals around the world. There will be five days of performing events from Sunday, May 1 through Thursday, May 5, 2016.

Local partners include: the UW-Madison School of Music, Mosse-Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies, the Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture and the Arts Institute along with Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Hillel Madison, Madison Youth Choirs and Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra.


EVENT SCHEDULE

Detailed information (including location) is found below for each specific event. Events and performers are subject to change.

Sunday, May 1
2-3:45 pm New Budapest Orpheum Society | From Helsinki to Theresienstadt: Cabaret Songs from Europe and Beyond
3:45-4:30 pm Reception
4:30-5:30 pm Philip and Christine Bohlman | The Chronicle of Love and Death of the Flag-Bearer Christoph Rilke 7:30-9 pm Harlequin in the Ghetto

Monday, May 2
Noon-1:30 pm Henry Sapoznik | Lambert Cylinders lecture and lunch
6:45-7:05 pm Dr. David Fligg’s pre-concert lecture
7:30 pm Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society | European Jewish Composers who Came to America

Tuesday, May 3
2:30 pm Wilhelm Grosz: Lieder and Piano Music
7:30 pm “Oy, how he sung!”: Journeys in Jewish Choral Music

Wednesday, May 4
3:30 pm Undergraduate Symposium
8 pm Mother Rachel and Her Children

Thursday, May 5
2:30 pm Gideon Klein: Portrait of a Composer
7:30 pm Collage Concert


TICKETS & PARKING
Tickets for most events are $10 general admission, $5 students and participants are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased through the Wisconsin Union Theater Box Office (in person or online) and for the Collage Concert Finale – tickets need to be purchased at the Overture Center.

Tickets for most events ($10 general, $5 students):
http://go.wisc.edu/4lp9sn

Tickets for the Collage Concert Finale at Overture Center:
http://tickets.overturecenter.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=2136

UW-Madison parking:
http://transportation.wisc.edu/parking/lotinfo_occupancy.aspx


DETAILED EVENT INFORMATION

Sunday, May 1

2-3:45 pm
New Budapest Orpheum Society | From Helsinki to Theresienstadt: Cabaret Songs from Europe and Beyond
Frederic March Play Circle, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

From Helsinki to Theresienstadt: Cabaret Songs from Europe and Beyond will be performed by the Grammy-nominated New Budapest Orpheum Society (NBOS), an Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Chicago, under the artistic direction of Philip V. Bohlman. NBOS draws upon a wide range of repertories, many forgotten, others preserved in European archives, all poignantly bearing witness to the great tradition of Jewish cabaret. They will perform works from their repertoire and works recently rediscovered by Performing the Jewish Archive researchers. Attendees are invited for a complimentary reception following the performance. Julia Bentley, mezzo soprano; Philip V. Bohlman, artistic director; Stewart Figa, baritone; Danny Howard, percussion; Lordanka Kissiova, violin; Ilya Levinson, music director and piano; Mark Sonksen, double bass; and Don Stille, accordion.

4:30-5:30 pm
Philip and Christine Bohlman | The Chronicle of Love and Death of the Flag-Bearer
Frederic March Play Circle, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

The Chronicle of Love and Death of the Flag-Bearer (Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke) by Christoph Rilke is a melodrama for speaker and piano, composed by Vikor Ullmann (1898-1944) in the Theresienstadt Ghetto. For his text, Ullmann chose the prose-poem by his fellow Czech, Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), which circulated widely in the concentration camp at Theresienstadt/Terezín. The narrative of the melodrama follows a young man to war in Eastern Europe in the late 17th century, where he comes of age but perishes in one of the most profound love-death works in the 20th century: an allegory in Ullmann's setting for World War II, the Holocaust, and musical modernism. Ullmann's final great work is virtually unknown, and it will be performed in the version reconstructed from the sketches Ullmann completed ten days before his deportation to Auschwitz in October 1944. This will be performed by Philip and Christine Bohlman. A talk back will follow this event.

7:30-9 pm
Harlequin in the Ghetto
Frederic March Play Circle, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

Harlequin in the Ghetto, a new play based on a commedia dell'arte-inspired script written in the Theresienstadt Ghetto, will be performed by students from Louisiana State University. In the World War II Jewish ghetto at Theresienstadt, a young prisoner, Zdenek Jelinek, wrote a play in the commedia dell'arte style about a question of urgent interest to them all: would Harlequin, the lovable clown, escape the clutches of the Capitano? Survivors vividly recalled this play for its poetry, its idealism, and for its humor. The script, titled Comedy about a Trap, was thought lost until recently. This performance is based on preserved fragments of the script, survivor testimony and research into the cultural life of the ghetto. The performance explores the political commitment of the young author, his prewar sources of inspiration, and a question for our own day: what are we to make of a comedy written during the Holocaust? A talk back will follow this event.

Monday, May 2

Noon – 1:30 pm
The Lambert Cylinders and the First Sounds of Yiddish Music, 1901-1904
with Henry Sapoznik from the Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture
University Club, 803 State St.

At lunchtime, join ethnomusicologist and Mayrent Institute of Yiddish Culture Founding Director Henry Sapoznik for an audio tour of the oldest Yiddish sound recordings: the c.1900 cylinders from the Thomas Lambert Company of Chicago. With these extremely rare cylinders, we not only learn about the depth of the first strata of Yiddish popular culture, but also learn about the marketing and outreach of a pioneering and largely forgotten record label.

6:45 – 7:05 pm
Dr. David Fligg’s pre-concert lecture
7:30 pm
Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society (BDDS) | European Jewish Composers who came to America
First Unitarian Society Meeting House, 900 University Bay Dr.

A Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society (BDDS) concert, European Jewish Composers in America will be preceded by a pre-concert lecture by Dr. David Fligg, who will discuss the impact that exile and emigration had on three European Jewish composers, Arnold Schoenberg, Ernst Bloch, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold. BDDS will perform chamber music masterpieces by these three who emigrated to the U.S. and changed the course of American music.

Schoenberg's 1st Chamber Symphony, presented in Webern's notable arrangement for chamber ensemble, incited riots and protests at its early performances, but is now recognized as a classic of the repertoire. Korngold was writing his Oscar-winning score to Robin Hood when the Anschluss overwhelmed his homeland. He instantly became a refugee and made the remainder of his career in the U.S., setting the standard for Hollywood film scores. BDDS plays his 3rd String Quartet of 1945, a work that celebrates the Allied victory over Hitler. Swiss-born Bloch came to the U.S. in 1916 and became director of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory, teaching some of America's most important musicians. BDDS plays his 1st Piano Quintet of 1923, a thrilling work that was praised by an early critic as depicting "a joyous orgy of savages beneath the tropical sun." A talk back will follow this event.

Tuesday, May 3

2:30 pm
Wilhelm Grosz: Lieder and Piano Music
First Congregational Church Chapel, 1609 University Ave.

Select UW-School of Music students will present an American and world premieres of vocal and piano music from the Viennese composer, Wilhelm Grosz. The archive of Wilhelm Grosz has been lovingly preserved by his family: wife, daughter, and now granddaughter, since his untimely death in New York in 1939. A successful concert composer, Grosz traversed genres, embracing and integrating jazz and cabaret into concert form. His story is of voluntary (and prescient) displacement – first to Berlin, in the last dynamic days of the Weimar Republic, then back to Vienna before escape to London.

His journey to New York was a preparation for a new career as a Hollywood composer having achieved enormous success with hits such as Harbor Lights, Isle of Capri and Red Sails in the Sunset. His body of work has remained largely untouched – ignored, post-war, when avant-garde atonality was at the forefront of concert music, and only briefly explored in Decca’s “Entartete Musik” series. Grosz’s aesthetic is cosmopolitan, ironic, and full of joie de vivre. Performed by Thomas Kasdorf, piano; Jessica Kasinski, mezzo-soprano; and Benjamin Schultz, bass-baritone.

7:30 pm
“Oy, how he sung!”: Journeys in Jewish Choral Music
Mills Hall, School of Music, 455 N. Park St.

Sung by an array of UW-Madison’s choirs, this program of Jewish choral represents the migration of musicians and their art from Russia to the peripheries of the Jewish world at the start of the 20th century. It features Yiddish folksongs by Helsinki-born Simon Parmet, who trained in St. Petersburg but subsequently migrated to Berlin, New York, and back to Helsinki; and sacred music from three parts of the Russian Empire – Rostov-on-Don, Odessa, and Warsaw – that ended up in Cape Town, South Africa, via the travels of two important but hitherto unknown cantor-composers. This program is the result of archival research by Simo Muir (Helsinki material) and Steve Muir (Cape Town material). A talk back will follow this event.

Wednesday, May 4

3:30 pm
Collegiate Symposium

Pyle Center, Rm. 235, 702 Langdon St.

8:00 pm
Mother Rachel and Her Children (Muter Rokhl un ire kinder)

Music Hall, 925 Bascom Mall

Mother Rachel and Her Children is a commemorative oratorio in Yiddish about Jewish suffering and the Holocaust written in Helsinki in 1948. Performed by UW-Madison Concert Choirs, this long-lost oratorio from Finland by Helsinki-born Jac Weinstein (1883-1976), takes the viewer on a journey with scenes from the two thousand years of suffering of the Jewish people that culminates in the death camps of the Third Reich. Yet, the journey ends in messianic panoramas for a glorious future and an exhortation by the narrator ‘Go forward and don’t look back!’ The music of the oratorio ranges from classic Jewish cantorial repertoire to Yiddish folksongs. A central piece in the oratorio called Eyli, Eyli (My God, My God) and many of the choir arrangements are by Helsinki-born composer and conductor Simon Pergament-Parmet (1897-1969), who is known for working with Berthold Brecht in 1940 on music for his wartime drama Mother Courage and Her Children. The piece is performed to a backdrop of paintings by Czech artist Ivan Bukovský. An international collaboration directed by David Ronis, this is a special performance in honor of Yom Hashoah. A talk back will follow this event.

Thursday, May 5

2:30 pm
Gideon Klein: Portrait of a Composer
Hillel at the UW-Madison, 611 Langdon St.

Using actors and music performed by the Pro Arte Quartet, this presentation by Dr. David Fligg offers an intimate and moving portrait of the musician Gideon Klein, whose promising career as a pianist and composer in Prague tragically ended in a Nazi concentration camp. Music by Klein himself, as well as by composers who influenced him, will help to recreate the vibrant musical and artistic scene in pre-war Prague, supported by his actual words, and those of his family and friends. A talk back will follow this event.

7:30 pm
Collage Concert

Capital Theater, Overture Center, 201 State St.

Closing the five-day "Out of the Shadows" event is the Collage Concert, an all-star finale in which the Pro Arte Quartet joins with internationally renowned soprano Elizabeth Hagedorn, flutist Stephanie Jutt and pianist Thomas Kasdorf from Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, pianist Zijin Yao, and Madison's beloved Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra and Madison Youth Choirs. The concert features works by Gideon Klein, Walter Wurzburger, and world premieres of compositions by Wilhelm Grosz and Josima Feldschuh.


ABOUT THE PERFORMING THE JEWISH ARCHIVE

The project, Performing the Jewish Archive has been awarded $2.5 million by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), in England, under its Care for the Future: Thinking Forward Through the Past theme.

Led by Dr. Stephen Muir of the University’s School of Music in Leeds, Performing the Jewish Archive will bring recently rediscovered musical, theatrical and literary works by Jewish artists back to the attention of scholars and the public, and stimulate the creation of new works.

A multidisciplinary team, across four continents, is focusing on the years 1880-1950 – an intense period of Jewish displacement – to explore the role of art in such upheaval. The three-year “Performing the Jewish Archive” project involves a large number of partners, exploring archives, delivering community and educational projects, holding at least two international conferences and a series of symposia at the British National Library, as well as mounting six international performance festivals – the United States (Madison, Wis.), the Czech Republic, South Africa, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

“We are a unique combination of scholars from a diverse range of subjects, crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries – even integrating scientific research methodologies at the heart of an arts-led investigation. We seem to have caught the imagination of a huge range of organizations – both Jewish and non-Jewish – all interested in the Jewish artistic past and how it impinges on all of our futures.” - Dr. Muir

Dr. Muir is joined by Co-Investigators Dr. Helen Finch, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds; Dr. Lisa Peschel, Film, Theatre and Television, University of York; Dr. Nick Barraclough, Psychology, University of York; Dr. Teryl Dobbs, Chair of Music Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dr. Joseph Toltz, Sydney Conservatorium, University of Sydney; and Dr. David Fligg, Leeds College of Music.

More information can be found here: ptja.leeds.ac.uk | music.wisc.edu/performing-the-jewish-archive/

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