Charles and Robyn Krauthammer Announce PRO MUSICA HEBRAICA A Non-Profit Organization Dedicated to Presenting Jewish Music

  • James Conlon Named Artistic Advisor Inaugural Concert Celebration Features Musicians of the Julliard School and Itzhak Perlman Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 7:30pm Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

(Washington, DC) — Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Charles Krauthammer and his wife, artist Robyn Krauthammer, announced today the establishment of Pro Musica Hebraica, a new non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and exploring the wide-range and tradition of Jewish music. The inaugural concert will be presented at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, April 10 at 7:30pm, featuring musicians of the Julliard School and guest soloist Itzhak Perlman and his long-time musical collaborator, pianist Rohan De Silva.

“Through Pro Musica Hebraica we hope to recover lost and/or neglected Jewish classical music and help integrate it into the mainstream repertoire of chamber and symphonic musical performance,” says Charles Krauthammer.

Pro Musica Hebraica was founded with the purpose of bringing the history of Jewish art music to life in the modern concert hall, enriching the classical repertory with unknown works from around the world and reexamining forgotten chapters in the history of classical music. Pro Musica Hebraica will expose audiences to the magnificent range of Jewish art music and will present Jewish composers not as cultural curiosities or ethnic heroes, but as complex individual artists who have embraced the challenge of creatively expressing their heritage through music.

“As time goes on, we anticipate that Pro Musica Hebraica will grow to include commissions of new work, the production of live recordings of rare masterpieces, and the development of educational programs for use in high schools, music schools, and conservatories,” explains Robyn Krauthammer.

To meet these goals, an experienced team will lend their talents. Maestro James Conlon has generously provided invaluable guidance in the gestation of Pro Musica Hebraica and has agreed to be its artistic advisor. One of today’s preeminent conductors, Conlon became Music Director of Los Angeles Opera in the 2006-07 season. He is also Music Director of the Ravinia Festival and has been Music Director of the Cincinnati May Festival since 1979. He has served as Principal Conductor of the Paris National Opera from 1995-2004, General Music Director of the City of Cologne, Germany from 1989-2002, and Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic from 1983-1991, and has had an association with the Metropolitan Opera for more than thirty years. Conlon has long dedicated himself to raising public consciousness about important Central European composers whose lives and music were so tragically affected by the Nazi regime, and he has extensively programmed this music throughout North America and Europe. For this work, he received the Crystal Globe Award from the Anti-Defamation League. He is also the recipient of France’s highest distinction from the President of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac – the L’gion d’Honneur.

Historian and musicologist James Loeffler is the research director of Pro Musica Hebraica. A trained pianist, he has been actively involved in Jewish music for the past decade as a scholar and critic. He is currently Assistant Professor of European Jewish History at the University of Virginia, where he teaches modern Jewish history and culture.

For the inaugural concert, Pro Musica Hebraica presents a program built around the vision and achievement of the St. Petersburg school of Russian Jewish composers associated with an early twentieth-century organization known as the Society for Jewish Folk Music. This concert marks its 100th anniversary and will feature a number of different composers’ works, including those of Joel Engel, Alexander Krein, Leo Zeitlin, Solomon Rosowsky and the U.S. premiere of a work by Mikhail Gnesin. In addition, to convey the dramatic reach and powerful influence of the St. Petersburg school, this concert pairs their music with one of their contemporary spiritual descendants, himself a leading young voice in America today, composer Osvaldo Golijov. The complete program is listed on the next page.

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Tickets for this concert are $50 and can be purchased online at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts or by calling (202) 467-4600 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The toll-free number is (800) 444-1324.


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Terrace Theater
Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 7:30PM

BIAVA STRING QUARTET (Juilliard’s Graduate Resident Quartet)
Austin Hartman, violin
Hyunsu Ko, violin
Mary Persin, viola
Jason Calloway, cello
TIBI CZIGER, clarinet
Andrew Wan, violin
Gal Nyska, cello
Julio Elizalde, piano
Jewish Sketches No. 2, op. 13 (1910)
The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind (1994)
The Dybbuk Suite, op. 35 (1922)
Eli Zion (1914)
Requiem for Our Lost Children, op. 63 (1943) US Premiere
Fantastisher Tants, op. 6 (1914)

Pro Musica Hebraica is pleased to launch its inaugural concert in partnership with The Krauthammer Foundation, the Juilliard School, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

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