On Sunday, June 3rd, at the beautiful Center for Jewish History at 15 W. 16th Street in New York City (the historical townhouse building that was once the home of the Helen Keller Institute), the American Society for Jewish Music will present its annual concert of music by contemporary American Jewish composers: MUSIC IN OUR TIME 2012. This year's program features performing artists from the Mannes School of Music, and will include music by Mark Zuckerman, Jody Rockmaker, Ben Yarmolinsky, Leonard Bernstein, and also a piece by Hugo Weisgall, in honor of the composer's centenary year. Ticket sales by phone: 212-868-4444 OR ONLINE HERE.
Jody Rockmaker (b. 1961, New York City) received his Ph.D. in Composition from Princeton University. He has studied at the Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory and the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. His principal teachers have been Erich Urbanner, Edward T. Cone, Milton Babbitt, Claudio Spies, Malcolm Peyton and Miriam Gideon. His work "Yiddish Choruses" is one of ACA's top selling choral works. Marsyas, a piece based on a story from Greek mythology, features the character of Marsyas portrayed by the virtuosic oboe. The harp portrays Apollo or the muses. Listening sample here.
Mark Zuckerman (b. 1948) has written extensively for virtuoso soloists, chamber ensembles, a cappella choir (including an internationally-recognized collection of Yiddish choral arrangements), wind ensemble, and string orchestra. He attended Juilliard and continued at the University of Michigan, Bard College, and Princeton University studying under David Epstein, George B. Wilson, Elie Yarden, Milton Babbitt and J. K. Randall. Characterized as "Highly accessible ... listeners are carefully guided through some very enjoyable musical metaphors ... quite moving" (Steve Schwartz, Classical CD Review), Zuckerman continues to compose for both professional and amateur performers ― especially student groups ― and for all kinds of audiences, from modern music aficionados to children. His MENAGERÍE is a set of six French poems by Robert Desnos (Chantefables pour les Enfants Sages), in a lively setting for Soprano, flute, and piano. The composer notes the portrayal of some subjects in the poems as having fantastical traits such as a giant, multilingual ant, as well as other themes that are intricate, dramatic, and frequently ironic. Listening sample here.