March Madness

1 March 2012

I’m in the enviable position of having eight performances of my music this month, including three world premieres, two of which are commissions. I’m immensely grateful for such an embarassment of riches.

Here’s the schedule, along with some comments on the pieces:

Fri Mar 2 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Kiddush (WORLD PREMIERE) - Temple Emanu-El, Fifth Avenue & East 65th Street, New York, NY
— I wrote this in 2011, upon hearing of the death of composer, musicologist and raconteur Jack Gottlieb. The piece is dedicated to Jack’s memory. Jack was adept at finding novel approaches to setting traditional texts, and I set out to emulate his example. So, rather than a slow, stately setting of the Shabbat Evening Kiddush text, such as Louis Lewandowski and Kurt Weill had written, I wrote a merry, sprightly setting. The cantor intones a blessing over the wine, but the choir sounds as if they’ve already had some.

Sun Mar 4 3:00pm – 5:00pm
L’chu N’ran’nah (Psalm 95) (WORLD PREMIERE) Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple - New Brunswick, NJ
— A 2011 commission from Makhelat HaMercaz (The Jewish Choir of Central NJ), a community choir co-led by Hazzan Sheldon Levin and Cantor Anna West Ott. The piece is scored for SATB Choir, Piano, and Clarinet obbligato.

Sat Mar 10 8:00pm – 10:00pm
Y’did Nefesh - Temple Beth Elohim - Wellesley, MA
— I wrote this setting, for soprano, tenor, and piano, in 2007. This performance will be with the “original cast,” Natasha Hirschhorn, Ramón Tasat, and myself, under the auspices of the Shalshelet Foundation for New Jewish Liturgical Music as part of the Boston Jewish Music Festival.

Sun Mar 18 6:00pm – 8:00pm
L’ma-an Tziyon (WORLD PREMIERE) - Frederick P. Rose Hall (Jazz at Lincoln Center)
— Commissioned in 2011 by the Zamir Choral Foundation, this piece will be premiered by HaZamir: The International Jewish High School Choir. The texts are from Isaiah and Zechariah, and are a strong and energetic statement of Zionism. NB: This event is now SOLD OUT, but the piece will be repeated on 20 May 2012 in honor of Yom Y’rushalayim.

Sun Mar 25 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Sha-alu Sh’lom Y’rushalayim - Beth El Synagogue - 50 Maple Stream Road, East Windsor, NJ
— Performed by Sharim v’Sharot as part of the Mercer County Jewish Choral Festival.

Tue Mar 27 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Soprano Sax Sonata - DiMenna Center For Classical Music 450 W. 37th St., New York, NY, 10018
— Performed by Javier Oviedo (saxophone) and Helene Jeanney (piano).

[CORRECTION: I was misinformed; my Soprano Sax Sonata is NOT on this program. 3/4/12]

Wed Mar 28 7:30pm
“Jewish Voices” Concert - Anshe Chesed Synagogue, 251 West 100th Street New York, NY 10025
— A concert by Bachanalia in memory of Omus Hirschbein. Works by J.S. Bach, Arnold Schoenberg, Ernst Bloch, Natasha Hirschhorn and Dmitri Shostakovich (From Jewish Folk Poetry, Op. 79, transcribed for string orchestra by Steve Cohen)

Fri Mar 30 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Saxophone Quartet No. 1 - Church of the Redeemer, 36 South Street, Morristown, NJ 07960
— Performed by the Metropolitan Saxophone Quartet.

I’ll close here by expressing my deep admiration to all the musicians mentioned above who breathe life into all the dots and squiggles I put down on paper and transform it into music. Please support and encourage them.