October 25, 2004
Jewish Studies Program to celebrate anniversary
with concert featuring music of Kurt Weill
By Scott Rappaport
The UCSC Jewish Studies Program will present a concert titled
The Music of Kurt Weill: From Berlin to New York,
on Sunday, November 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Center Recital
Music Department voice lecturer Patrice Maginnis
will sing selections from Kurt Weills Broadway songbook as part
of the Jewish Studies anniversary concert on Nov. 7 at the Music Center
Recital Hall. Photo courtesy of UCSC music
The evening of music will feature UCSC voice lecturer Patrice
Maginnis singing selections from Weills Broadway songbook.
There will also be a performance of Weills Violin Concerto
by soloist Bettina Mussumeli and the New Music Ensemble of the
San Francisco Conservatory of Music, conducted by UCSC music
professor Nicole Paiement. Admission is free and open to the
The concert is to celebrate the 350th anniversary of
the Jews in North America--big exhibits are being planned across
the country in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Washington,
D.C., and San Francisco, said Murray Baumgarten, professor
of English and comparative literature and director of the campuss
Jewish Studies Program. We are also celebrating the fifth
year of the Jewish studies minor at UCSC.
Baumgarten noted that over the past 350 years, Jews have spearheaded
new musical genres, embracing Broadway theater, swing, big band,
jazz, and classical music. Many of the most famous composers
of American songs were Jewish, such as Irving Berlin and the
Gershwin brothers, said Baumgarten.
A number of avant-garde American artists were also Jewish immigrants
to the United States who left Europe as a result of the Nazi
regime. Kurt Weill was one of those immigrants and is best known
for works such as The Threepenny Opera and Mahagonny,
as well as American musicals such as Lady in the Dark
and One Touch of Venus.
During the last 350 years, Jews have made important contributions
to American culture and society, Baumgarten noted. This
concert is a chance to celebrate how immigrants and refugees
have contributed to Jewish life...and to American life.
A panel discussion will take place prior to the concert, beginning
at 7 p.m. Titled Kurt Weill and the American Songbook,
it will feature Baumgarten and Francesco Spagnolo, a guest lecturer
in music and Jewish studies at UCSC this winter and spring.
Spagnolo holds a doctorate in music from the University of Milan
and recently completed his Ph.D. in Jewish music at Hebrew University
For more information, contact: Professor Murray Baumgarten,
director of the Jewish Studies Program, (831) 459-2566; Professor
Nicole Paiement, UCSC Music Department, (831) 459-2164; or the
Jewish Studies Program Office, (831) 459-1225.
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