Marc Blitztein’s ‘The Cradle Will Rock’ is often considered a curio of the Depression. But a recent revival showed the once-banned musical to be as powerful as ever.
Out of curiosity, especially after reading the restless intelligence and enticing spin he recently gave his work on this blog, I went on August 14 to hear young Israeli pianist David Greilsammer make his debut at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival with a late-night, hour-long performance of wide-ranging repertoire.
The late Richard Tucker, who went from being a celebrated cantor to the even more celebrated lead tenor of the Metropolitan Opera, would have turned 99 years old this month. In his honor, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has proclaimed August 28 “Richard Tucker Day” in New York City.
It may have taken 76 years, and they missed the composer’s bicentenary by three years, but Düsseldorf is finally about to replace the bronze statue of Felix Mendelssohn that the Nazis tore down in 1936 and later used for scrap metal. The recreated statue is to be re-installed September 27, at the entrance to the garden courtyard on the left of the city’s opera house.
When I found out that an ambitious new music festival in New York, the Chelsea Music Festival, was honoring the 150th birthday of Claude Debussy, I was intrigued to learn that the celebration would feature a performance at the Leo Baeck Institute at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan.
It’s always surprising how often Jews cross borders. But this coincidence was just too good not to be documented.
Is there a more sunny and less ego-driven violinist than Israeli-born Gil Shaham? He makes even the most virtuosic music seem so effortless and natural, it’s easy to forget how rare and difficult an achievement that is.
It is no small feat to recreate the world and emotions of a bygone era. But in his astonishing show celebrating his grandparents, Boris and Bessie Thomashefsky, who were superstars of the Yiddish theater, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas has done it. And it is a joy.
In tandem with three New York concerts given by the Berlin Philharmonic in February, New York University’s Deutsches Haus has opened an exhibition of Holocaust survivor David Friedmann’s “Lost Musician Portraits” from the 1920s. These sketches of Berlin Philharmonic members were drawn from life, and captured each of the artists in the act of performing. Before World War II Friedmann’s sketches of various personalities in all fields appeared in hundreds of newspapers, but have only recently been rediscovered. His talent helped him survive Auschwitz, where he drew portraits of SS guards, their families, and even their dogs.