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Klezmer Clarinetist David Krakauer to premiere David Schiff’s “Borscht Belt Follies”


“Borscht Belt Follies” is a virtuosic homage to the musicians and comedians who performed in New York’s Borscht Belt.


David Krakauer, described by the Oregonian’s David Stabler as “the Paganini of the clarinet” will make his first appearance with Chamber Music Northwest on Saturday February 5, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in Kaul Auditorium at a concert of music on Jewish themes. The program includes Ernest Bloch’s “From Jewish Life,” Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Trio #2 and the world premiere of David Schiff’s “Borscht Belt Follies,” and will conclude with a klezmer session.  In addition to David Krakauer, the performers are the Apollo Trio (Curtis Macomber, violin; Michael Kannen, cello and Marija Stroke, piano); David Taylor, bass trombone and Michael Sarin, percussion.

As a leading figure in world music, clarinetist David Krakauer has redefined klezmer through his innovative recordings and passionate stage performances. With his band Klezmer Madness!, Krakauer has forged alliances between his branch of world music and a multitude of genres including jazz, rock, funk, and most recently hip-hop.

David Taylor started his playing career as a member of Leopold Stokowski's American Symphony Orchestra, and by appearing with the New York Philharmonic under Pierre Boulez. Almost simultaneously, he was a member of the Thad Jones Mel Lewis jazz band, and recorded with Duke Ellington, The Rolling Stones, and Blood, Sweat, and Tears.

Since 1997, The Apollo Trio has performed to critical acclaim in the United States and Europe. In addition to frequent appearances at American music festivals – from the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York to Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon – the trio has also performed at prominent New York venues, including Caramoor, Bargemusic, Avery Fisher Hall, Weill Hall at Carnegie, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Over the last 20 years, percussionist Michael Sarin has been at the center of New York City’s genre-bending jazz and improvisation community. His versatility and musical wit have helped forge long associations with forward-looking artists Thomas Chapin, Dave Douglas, Myra Melford, Ben Allison, and David Krakauer.

“Borscht Belt Follies” by Reed professor David Schiff (husband of Cantor Judith Schiff) is a virtuosic homage to the musicians and comedians who performed in New York’s “Borscht Belt,” the resorts in the Catskill Mountains, in the 1950s. Although this is the first work that Schiff has composed for David Krakauer, all six performers have played Schiff’s music before.  David Krakauer featured the “Divertimento from Gimpel the Fool” at his Klezmer Workshop at Carnegie Hall; David Taylor gave the world premiere at Lincoln Center of “Solus Rex” and recorded “Shtik” for New World Records. The Apollo Trio has performed “New York Nocturnes” at Chamber Music Northwest and at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Michael Sarin performed in the New York premiere of “Singing in the Dark.

The Saturday evening concert is part of Reed’s annual ROMP, (Reediana Omnibus Musica Philosopha), an interdisciplinary festival produced this year by the Reed College music department and Jewish studies program.  Other ROMP events, all open to the public, are:

“A Conversation about Klezmer with David Krakauer & Morgan Luker”

4 p.m., Friday, February 4 in Eliot Hall chapel

A leading figure in world music, clarinetist David Krakauer has redefined klezmer through his innovative recordings and passionate stage performances. With his band Klezmer Madness!, he has forged alliances between his branch of world music and a multitude of musical genres including jazz, rock, funk, and most recently hip-hop. Ethnomusicologist Morgan Luker is assistant professor of music at Reed College. Free and open to the public.

 

"Driven to Darkness: Jewish Emigré Directors and the Rise of Film Noir"

10 a.m., Sunday, February 6 in Psychology 105

Vincent Brook, visiting assistant professor at UCLA's school of theatre, film, and television, discusses the seminal influence of German-speaking Jewish film directors on the American crime genre known as film noir. Free and open to the public.

 

"Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust"

1 p.m., Sunday, February 6 in Psychology 105.

David Shneer, associate professor of history and director of the program in Jewish studies at the University of Colorado, discusses the photographs of two-dozen World War II military photographers who encountered evidence of Nazi genocide on the Eastern Front. Free and open to the public.