Skip To Content
The Schmooze

April Classical Concerts Turn Cruelest into Coolest Month

A notoriously anti-Semitic poet claimed that April is the cruelest month; all the more reason for Manhattanites to sweeten it with delightful classical concerts redolent with Yiddishkeit. On March 29, the Israeli-American violinist Yuval Waldman will perform “Music Forgotten and Remembered” at Merkin Concert Hall, including such rarities as Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s 1952 “Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes,” and works by two Czech Jewish composers: Gideon Klein, who was murdered at Auschwitz, and “Colloque Sentimentale” (A Chat about Feelings) by Jaromir Weinberger.

On April 4 at Weill Recital Hall, “A Fine Romance: Songs by Jerome Kern is presented by The New York Festival of Song, featuring Joseph Kaiser and Kelli O’Hara in Kern’s suave melodies. For more fiery temperament, on April 5 at Merkin Hall violinist Elena Urioste will perform “Carmen: fantasie brillante” by the Hungarian Jewish composer Jenö Hubay with pianist Michael Brown. And, on the same day, a series of concert performances (continuing through April 9) of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Company begin at Avery Fisher Hall starring Neil Patrick Harris.

The music of Arnold Schoenberg may be heard on April 7 at Carnegie Hall, when the Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes performs that composer’s “Six Little Piano Pieces,” followed by a concert on April 10 at Zankel Hall at which the violinist Christian Tetlzaff and his quartet perform Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 1 in D Minor, along with Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 13, making this an unmissable event.

For further contemporary sounds, music lovers should hurry to Columbia University’s Miller Theatre on April 15 for the captivating chamber music of the Haifa-born composer Chaya Czernowin. If an aural dessert is required after Czernowin’s innovative sounds, one may be found on April 21 at a New York City Opera concert of tunes by Stephen Schwartz (of “Godspell” and “Pippin” fame), starring, among others, Ann Hampton Callaway, Kristin Chenoweth and Victor Garber.

Mendelssohn’s mellifluous 1846 oratorio “Elijah” is performed by the Oratorio Society of New York conducted by Kent Tritle on April 27 at Carnegie Hall. All of which are in anticipation of escaping the April showers and basking in the rays of a gala May 5 New York Philharmonic concert (celebrating that ensemble’s 120th birthday) conducted by Alan Gilbert, at Carnegie Hall, featuring Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” as well as arrangements of music by Duke Ellington by the accomplished orchestrator Larry Hochman, as sung by Audra McDonald. Gil Shaham, Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma will also perform Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, if any added incentive is needed.

Listen to choral excerpts from Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” conducted by Robert Shaw.

Listen to Paul Robeson singing “Lord God of Abraham” from Mendelssohn’s “Elijah.”

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.