Lore, Legends Focus of Jewish Music Festival

By Kanny, Mark | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 1, 2011 | Go to article overview

Lore, Legends Focus of Jewish Music Festival


Kanny, Mark, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Particular cultures bring their flavors to iconic fables and legends. The 2011 Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival will combine music, film and theater to address themes also found in "The Exorcist," "Frankenstein" and soap operas.

"Instrumental and vocal chamber music has been a specialty of the festival, where we're really able to make our mark on Jewish music. This year, we're more producing and curating than presenting (other groups)," founder and director Aron Zelkowicz says.

The Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival will explore "Fables and Legends" in three programs that will be presented at four concerts starting Thursday at the Jewish Community Center, Squirrel HIll and continuing at Rodef Shalom Congregation in Shadyside and Temple Emanuel of the South Hills.

The chamber music ensembles will feature many members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. They are colleagues Zelkowicz has come to know better from playing substitute cello in many concerts in recent years with the group. This year, he's playing all of Manfred Honeck's concerts.

The ensembles will vary in roster from piece to piece, which presents Zelkowicz with a Rubik's cube to solve in putting it together. Some of the repertoire will be recorded as part of the festival's exploration of music by the St. Petersburg Jewish Folk Music Society from Czarist days in Russia.

All concerts start at 7:30 p.m. The three programs, the last one performed twice, are:

Thursday: "The Golem." An original score by Betty Olivero will be played by a clarinet quintet with Klezmer accents to accompany the 1923 silent film "The Golem: How He Came Into the World. …

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