The Arty Semite

The Arty Semite Guide to May Classical Concerts

By Benjamin Ivry

Photo Janette Beckman, Courtesy of concertartists.org
Chasing Reich Flutist Claire Chase will perform Steve Reich’s “Vermont Counterpoint” at the Walter Reade Theater.

As summertime slowly approaches, concerts of music both minimal and maximal will enchant Manhattanites in search of aural Yiddishkeit. On April 29 at the Walter Reade Theater, flutist Claire Chase will perform Steve Reich’s “Vermont Counterpoint” in its version for flute and tape; the alternate version, for eleven flutes, would doubtless exceed even the gifted Chase’s capacities. She will be joined for other, less minimalist, works on the program by the pianist Jacob Greenberg. On May 1 at Carnegie Hall, Reich’s mini-fluting is exchanged for emotional maxing-out in the form of Gustav Mahler’s songs interpreted by baritone Matthias Goerne with the superstar pianist Leif Ove Andsnes.

The next day at Zankel Hall, Hungarian Jewish pianist András Schiff offers not-to-be-missed performances of his landsman György Kurtág’s aphoristic works, including two American premieres. On May 4 at Bargemusic, cellist Dave Eggar and pianist Olga Vinokur will play more intriguing sounds in reduced formats, including Philadelphia-born Aaron Jay Kernis’s “Air for cello and piano” (1996) and Marc Mellits’s “Fruity Pebbles” for violin, cello, and piano (1997). The latter work contains a playful tribute to Leonard Bernstein, somewhat curiously quoting TV’s “Brady Bunch” theme, itself a classic at Maryland’s Beth Tfiloh Day Camps where Mellits’ mother long worked as assistant director.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Aaron Copland, Aaron Jay Kernis, András Schiff, Arthur Berger, Carol Wong, Claire Chase, Dave Eggar, Emanuel Ax, Gustav Mahler, György Kurtág, Jacob Greenberg, Leif Ove Andsnes, Leonard Bernstein, Marc Mellits, Matthias Goerne, Nadine Sierra, Olga Vinokur, Steve Reich

April Classical Concerts Turn Cruelest into Coolest Month

By Benjamin Ivry

Jonathan Nimerfroh

A notoriously anti-Semitic poet claimed that April is the cruelest month; all the more reason for Manhattanites to sweeten it with delightful classical concerts redolent with Yiddishkeit. On March 29, the Israeli-American violinist Yuval Waldman will perform “Music Forgotten and Remembered” at Merkin Concert Hall, including such rarities as Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s 1952 “Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes,” and works by two Czech Jewish composers: Gideon Klein, who was murdered at Auschwitz, and “Colloque Sentimentale” (A Chat about Feelings) by Jaromir Weinberger.

On April 4 at Weill Recital Hall, “A Fine Romance: Songs by Jerome Kern is presented by The New York Festival of Song, featuring Joseph Kaiser and Kelli O’Hara in Kern’s suave melodies. For more fiery temperament, on April 5 at Merkin Hall violinist Elena Urioste will perform “Carmen: fantasie brillante” by the Hungarian Jewish composer Jenö Hubay with pianist Michael Brown. And, on the same day, a series of concert performances (continuing through April 9) of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Company begin at Avery Fisher Hall starring Neil Patrick Harris.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Yo-Yo Ma, Yuval Waldman, Victor Garber, Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz, Michael Brown, Neil Patrick Harris, Kristin Chenoweth, Mendelssohn, Leif Ove Andsnes, Jerome Kern, Jenö Hubay, Jaromir Weinberger, Gershwin, Gideon Klein, Christian Tetzlaff, Emanuel Ax, Audra McDonald. Gil Shaham, Ann Hampton Callaway

'Tis the Season to Be Classical: Unmissable December Concerts

By Benjamin Ivry

While Hanukkah preparations and aftermath can overshadow every other human activity in December, ‘tis also the season for classical concerts, especially although by no means exclusively, in the New York area. These can include much Yiddishkayt, despite the seeming omnipresence of Handel’s “Messiah.”

Mahler-lovers will not want to miss the much-loved British conductor Sir Colin Davis leading the New York Philharmonic in performances on December 2, 4, and 7 of Mahler’s orchestral songs, “Des Knaben Wunderhorn” (The Youth’s Magic Horn). Although born in 1927, Sir Colin still conducts with a balletic grace which vivifies everything he interprets.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Ran Dank, Old City String Quartet, New York Philharmonic, New School, Music, Messiah, Martin Fröst, Iván Fischer, Ist Es Whar, Hanukkah, Handel, György Ligeti, Gustav Mahler, Ger Mandolin Orchestra, Felix Mendelssohn, Emanuel Ax, Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Classical Music, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Avi Avital, Schneider Concerts, Shai Wosner, Sir Colin Davis, The Morgan Library and Museum, The Youth's Magic Horn, Vadim Gluzman, Walter Reade Theater




Find us on Facebook!
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.