Thursday, October 2, 2014

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Klezmer Duo To Explore Eastern Europe’s Musical Melting Pot During U.Va. Residency

A renowned pair of klezmer musicians will visit the University of Virginia this month for a residency that includes a free workshop, a colloquium and a concert featuring the McIntire Department of Music’s own Klezmer Ensemble.

Violinist Cookie Segelstein and accordionist Joshua Horowitz will visit the University April 21-25. Both musicians specialize in klezmer, a traditional Jewish music with roots in Eastern Europe that has seen a global resurgence in recent decades. The event is sponsored by the music department, the Jewish Studies Program and the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, all in the College of Arts & Sciences.

The duo’s current repertoire explores the multi-cultural music of Eastern Europe, where Jewish musical traditions developed alongside, and blended with, those of other cultures, said Joel Rubin, associate professor and director of music performance in the music department and leader of U.Va.’s Klezmer Ensemble.

“It’s not just the music of Jews – we’re also performing Ukrainian, Ruthenian, Hutsul, Polish, Romanian, Hungarian and Crimean Tatar music,” said Rubin, who will perform with Segelstein and Horowitz.

The residency begins April 21 at 11 a.m. with an open workshop in Old Cabell Hall, room 107. Anyone can bring an instrument and learn some of the music. The workshop will likely break into two groups, with Segelstein working with string players and Horowitz with other musicians, Rubin said.

During the week, the duo will also visit with students on Grounds. Segelstein, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, is involved with Holocaust education and will visit a class on the topic. Segelstein and Horowitz will visit Rubin’s class, “Roots Music of Multicultural America.”

“That’s one of the things I love about these residences,” Rubin said. “If we get the right guests, we can cover a lot of bases in terms of teaching across Grounds in different disciplines.”

On April 24 at noon, the pair will participate in a lunch colloquium, “The Klezmer Myth: Musical Interactions Between Jews and Other Minority Cultures in the Borderlands of Eastern Europe.”

The talk, presented by U.Va.’s Jewish Studies Program, will feature an informal discussion with the musicians, as well as a panel of U.Va. experts from the music and history departments, including Rubin, James Loeffler, Robert Geraci and Piotr Kosicki. Loeffler and Rubin are also core members of Jewish studies faculty, and all four are affiliated with the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, where Kosicki is the associate director..

The residency culminates April 25 at 8 p.m. with a concert in Old Cabell Hall auditorium, which features Segelstein and Horowitz performing in a trio with Rubin, who recorded and toured extensively with Horowitz in a duo from 1992-94. The concert will also feature a performance by the U.Va. Klezmer Ensemble.

Tickets are $10 ($5 for students, and free for U.Va. students who reserve in advance) and are available from the Arts Box Office or by calling 434-924-3376.

More details and information on the performers is available on the music department’s website.

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