Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
The Schmooze

Celebrating Purim Early with Delectable Concerts

New York music lovers need hardly wait for Purim to feel the springtime party mood. From February 3rd to 6th, a City Center Encores! production of Kurt Weill’s 1949 musical “Lost in the Stars” can be seen in New York. A prescient argument against South African apartheid, Weill composed his score after studying Zulu music, which infused his music with what he called a “Biblical tone that we hope the public will like.”

A different kind of spirituality can be heard in “Rothko Chapel” by modern American Jewish composer Morton Feldman, performed at Alice Tully Hall on February 24 by Jeffrey Milarsky’s Axiom chamber ensemble. Composer Dániel Biró has aptly pointed to Feldman and the painter Mark Rothko, apart from being friends, sharing European Jewish heritage, a need for abstraction, and a will to “discover the mystery of perception within art.” Also performed at the same concert will be works by the great Hungarian Jewish modernist György Kurtág.

More traditional-sounding but no less majestic is the Concerto Grosso No. 1 by Swiss Jewish composer Ernest Bloch, played on February 28th by the Yale Philharmonia at Zankel Hall, led by Shinik Hahm. The multi-talented Bloch is currently being honored with an exhibit of his photographs at the Oregon Jewish Museum, “Ernest Bloch — Framing a Vision of the World” which opened January 12th and runs until May 8th.

More Weill is on the menu from March 3rd to 5th, when the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis performs the master’s songs at the Rose Theater with the characterful singer Ute Lemper. The Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Levine arrives at Carnegie Hall on March 16 for a concert featuring Arnold Schoenberg’s sensitive 1928 Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31and ruggedly spiky 1942 Piano Concerto, Op. 42, with the mighty soloist and Schoenberg maven Maurizio Pollini. The next day, March 17, the BSO and Levine perform Mahler’s cataclysmic Ninth Symphony. On the same busy March 17th (and again on March 20th) at the Rose Theater, the Martha Graham Dance Company will perform the ballet version of American Jewish composer Aaron Copland’s beloved achievement in Americana, “Appalachian Spring.”

And from March 17th to 20th, fans of spiffy musical comedy will delight in the City Center Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert performances of “Where’s Charley?,” Frank Loesser’s musical version of the 1892 British transvestite farce “Charley’s Aunt.” Wear your Purim costume early!

Listen to part of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto played by Glenn Gould.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.