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Aug. 30: “Performing the Jewish Archive”

August 30, 2015

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“Out of the Shadows: Rediscovering Jewish Music, Literature and Theater”
Performing the Jewish Archive

Sunday, August 30, 2015, Madison, WI

The U.S. component of a major international research project led by the University of Leeds, in England, has attracted significant funding to shine new light on forgotten works by Jewish artists.
Here, in Madison, under the leadership of  Dr. Teryl Dobbs, Chair of Music Education at the UW-Madison, “Out of the Shadows: Rediscovering Jewish Music, Literature and Theater” will be a full-day event held on Sunday, August 30, 2015.  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 at UW-Madison; and Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society.

Events on Sunday, August 30 are free and open to the public. Registration is required for the free events by visiting:  http://eepurl.com/bttx_9

·      12:20 – 2:00 PM, Sound Salon, Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture, Exploring Sound Archives with Sherry Mayrent (clarinet) & Henry Sapoznik (tenor guitar), Mills Hall, School of Music, 3561 Mosse Humanities Building, 455 N. Park Street
In honor of Performing the Jewish Archive on August 30, the Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture will offer a special lecture/demonstration and concert illustrating the rich holdings of the Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture collection of some 9,000 Yiddish recordings from the first half of the 20th century. Collection founder and Institute donor Sherry Mayrent will offer an historic overview of her collection and explain the diversity and focus of one of the world’s great Jewish sound archives.
Institute founding director Henry Sapoznik will give a premier presentation on one of the most important Jewish sound discoveries of recent years. Sapoznik will discuss and play the world’s earliest known recordings of Jewish music first issued by the Thomas Lambert Company of Chicago starting in 1901 recently acquired by the Institute. Among the collection is the earliest known performance of the cornerstone song, “Rozhkinkes mit Mandlen” (“Raisins and Almonds”), composed just 20 years before the recording by the father of Yiddish theater, Abraham Goldfaden, for his opera, “Shulamith,” and recorded while its composer still lived.

The Sound Salon will conclude with Sherry Mayrent (clarinet) and Henry Sapoznik (tenor guitar) playing selections learned from recordings in the collection.

·      2:30 – 4:30 PM, Concert, Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, First Unitarian Meeting House, Atrium Auditorium, 900 University Bay Drive
The program includes music from two composers who died at Auschwitz. Erwin Schulhoff’s flute sonata is a passionate mix of impressionism and jazz. Dick Kattenburg’s quartet for flute, violin, cello, and piano is an irrepressible romp full of Gershwin-esque melodies and harmonies. Robert Kahn is a composer from an earlier generation whose work was suppressed by the Nazis. We perform his gorgeous song cycle “Jungbrunnen” (the fountain of youth) for soprano, violin, cello, and piano. The program concludes with two works by the Viennese wunderkind Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Already well-known in Austria, Korngold had begun to compose music for Hollywood movies. He was working California in 1938 when the Anschluss took place, and he never returned to his homeland. We begin with three beautiful songs he composed for his mother and continue with his Suite for piano left-hand, two violins, and cello based on those songs. A thrilling and important composition, the Suite was written for the Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who had lost his right arm in World War I. With EMILY BIRSAN, soprano; STEPHANIE JUTT, flute; PARRY KARP, cello;
LEANNE LEAGUE, violin; AXEL STRAUSS, violin; JEFFREY SYKES, piano.

·      7:00 – 10:00 PM, Two-act Cabaret Evening “Laugh With Us,” and “Mark Nadler’s I’m a Stranger Here Myself.” Promenade Hall, Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State Street.

“Laugh With Us” is based on an original cabaret written by four young Czech Jews in the Terezín ghetto, staged by Minneapolis performers Sara Richardson, Ryan Lindberg and Craig Harris, from research and with commentary by project co-investigator Dr. Lisa Peschel.  The second act will be “I’m a Stranger Here Myself,” by New York actor Mark Nadler, performing music written by French and German Jewish or gay (or both) songwriters during the age of the Weimar Republic.

The day will begin with a Welcome Brunch: “Nosh, Kibitz, and Schmooze,” where members of the general public can meet the international team of scholars and partners as they share their insights on the coming together of Jewish archives, music, theater, and literature, and what it means for the future.  The cost is $12 and registration is required by visiting: http://eepurl.com/bttx_9

For more information contact Teryl Dobbs, tdobbs@wisc.edu or Samantha Crownover, samanthacrownover@sbcglobal.net. This project will continue with an additional four day event in Madison, on May 1 – 5, 2016.  More information about the international project can be found here: http://ptja.leeds.ac.uk

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August 30, 2015
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