The Arty Semite

The Arty Semite Guide to Upcoming Concerts

By Benjamin Ivry

Courtesy of Barrett Vantage Artists, Darla Furlani
Nokuthula Ngwenyama Helping a trio become a quartet for Richard Danielpour’s ‘Inventions on a Marriage.’

Classical music events both before and after Purim (on March 8) focus on dialogues redolent of Yiddishkeit, as New Yorkers and others will discover. On February 10 at Weill Recital Hall pianist Lia Jensen-Abbott will perform Fanny Mendelssohn’s “The Year,” a work inspired by the composer’s relationship with her brother Felix. The Hungarian Jewish composer György Ligeti described his 1951 “Sonata for solo cello” as: “[a] dialogue. Because it’s like two people, a man and a woman, conversing.” Ligeti’s sonata converses on February 10 at Bargemusic with cellist Nicholas Canellakis.

Then it’s back to Bargemusic on February 18 for another meeting of the minds, with some of the late keyboard dazzler Earl Wild’s “Seven Virtuoso Études on Popular Songs,” after George Gershwin. Played by Olga Vinokur, the “Études” will be complemented by Gershwin’s own “Rhapsody In Blue.”

Dialoguing across the centuries may be witnessed on February 22 at Alice Tully Hall when the UK’s premier Jewish composer/conductor Thomas Adès directs the Britten Sinfonia in his own “Three Studies After [17th century composer] Couperin” as well as his arrangement of the same Frenchman’s keyboard work “Les barricades mistérieuses,” and Adès’s “Violin Concerto (Concentric Paths)” with soloist Pekka Kuusisto.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Simon Rattle, Pekka Kuusisto, Richard Danielpour, Olga Vinokur, Nokuthula Ngwenyama, Ma’alot Quintett, Nicholas Canellakis, Logan Coale, Lia Jensen-Abbott, Jessica Lee, Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson, György Ligeti, György Kurtág, Fanny Mendelssohn, Gilad Cohen, George Gershwin, Felix Mendelssohn, Earl Wild, Dénes Várjon, Arnold Schoenberg, Britten Sinfonia, Couperin, Alexander Fiterstein, András Schiff, Aaron Copland, Thomas Adès

The Arty Semite’s Fall Classical Concert Guide

By Benjamin Ivry

From Sukkot to Hanukkah, this year-end’s Manhattan classical concerts featuring Yiddishkeit contain a remarkable range of music, old and new. “Glamour Girl,” a work by Lukas Ligeti, son of the Hungarian Jewish composer György Ligeti, will be heard on November 5 at Zankel Hall played by The Bang on a Can All-Stars. Ligeti lives in Bushwick but plays in an electronica band based in Burkina Faso. Bang on a Can is anchored by clarinetist Evan Ziporyn, whose website notes his boyhood inspiration derived from listening to his “grandmother’s Yiddish socialist chorus.”

Soothing romanticism after this multifaceted modernity may be experienced on November 6 when Mendelssohn’s String Quintet No. 2 is presented by “Musicians From Marlboro,” including violist Michael Tree (born Applebaum) at The New School’s Tishman Auditorium. More modernism is represented by Tel-Aviv-born composer Shulamit Ran’s elegant 1991 “Inscriptions” for solo violin on November 17 at Bargemusic in the trustworthy hands of violinist Miranda Cuckson.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Thomas Adès, Steven Beck, Shulamit Ran, Narek Arutyunian, Miranda Cuckson, Jeremy Denk, Lukas Ligeti, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Martin Helmchen, Michael Tree, Jaime Laredo, György Ligeti, György Kurtág, Evan Ziporyn

'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!
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • 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.