– By Michelle Vires
FIU School of Music’s Ensemble-in-Residence, the Amernet String Quartet, is leading the inaugural year of the FIU Jewish music series – a five-part concert series titled “Journey Through Sound: Exploring Jewish Life Through Music.”
Presented in partnership by the FIU School of Music and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU (JMOF-FIU), the collaboration features relevant exhibitions and a varied program of music from distinguished guest artists, members of the Florida Grand Opera (FGO), FIU alumni and the Amernet String Quartet.
“The FIU Jewish music series forms an integral bond with our community in bringing to audiences, often for the first time, the vital music of the Jewish diaspora in all its variety and encourages the dissemination of much that has until now been forgotten or neglected,” cellist Jason Calloway said.
The second concert in the series, “Klassically Klezmer,” is scheduled for Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. The event promises to be a festive evening of klezmer and klezmer-inspired music, sponsored by Norman and Sylvia Levine and Family.
Principal Clarinet Emeritus of the Cleveland Orchestra Franklin Cohen and the Amernet Quartet will perform the landmark work The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind by Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov; the Hebrew Sketches of Aleksandr Krein; and works from the repertoire of clarinetist Simeon Bellison from his days leading the Zimro Ensemble in Moscow.
After Tomas Cotik replaced Marcia Littley on second violin in August, the group has experienced a resurgence of energy and commitment to both Jewish and contemporary works.
As advocates for neglected works of the past, the Amernet’s latest performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Nov. 23 was hailed by The Washington Post as “an evocative concert of Jewish classical music…. transporting listeners to medieval Spain.”
For the third concert Jan. 12, South Florida audiences will be able to hear the program that took place at The Kennedy Center. “Musica Sefarad” is inspired by JMOF-FIU’s exhibition Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage, which features documents and artifacts spanning 450 years from the now-extinct Jewish community of Iraq.
All concerts in the series will take place at 7 p.m. and will be held at Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. Admission, unless otherwise noted, is $10 for JMOF-FIU Members; $18 for non-members, and free for FIU Students with valid FIU OneCard.
For a complete list of the concerts in the series, visit the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU’s website.