Klezmer, Gypsy Music and Jazz — Three-Day Residency at U.Va.

February 02, 2007

Feb. 2, 2007 -- The University of Virginia's McIntire Department of Music presents a three-day residency featuring Klezmer, Gypsy music, Classical and Jazz. The residency will start at 8pm on Sunday, Feb. 4th with a concert in Old Cabell Hall by the Joel Rubin Ensemble and the Kalman Balogh/Ferenc Kovacs Duo from Hungary. This concert is $10 for adults, $5 for students, and 5 Arts$ for U.Va. students. On Monday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m., there will be a Violin recital featuring David Chernyavsky as he and pianist Michael Adcock perform the works of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Brahms and early 20th century Russian-Jewish composers Krein, Saminsky, Spivakovsky, Achron, Zeitlin, and Weprik. This concert, which takes place in Garrett Hall is free and open to the public. There will be a pre-concert (start time 7:15 p.m.) lecture by James Loeffler (Assistant Professor, U.Va. History Dept./Jewish Studies Program). The residency includes masterclasses, lectures and classroom visits. For a full schedule of events please visit www.virginia.edu/music/rubin.

The Sunday night concert will mark the American premiere performance of Kálmán Balogh and Ferenc Kovács. Utilizing the unusual instrumentation of concert cimbalom (a large, Hungarian hammered dulcimer) and trumpet/violin, the duo combines compositions by Kovács based on Hungarian, Balkan, Roma (Gypsy), Klezmer and jazz influences, with original arrangements of traditional Eastern European music. Kálmán Balogh is perhaps the most well-known and versatile cimbalom soloist in the world today. He leads the Gypsy Cimbalom Band and has collaborated with numerous groups in Hungary and internationally, including the singer Márta Sebestyén (The English Patient) and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Ferenc Kovács is one of the most important European improvising musicians. He leads his own string ensemble, Magony, and is a member of the Mihaly Dresch Quartet, Djabe and the Gypsy Cimbalom Band. Kovács has performed and recorded with many American improvising musicians, including David Murray (World Saxophone Quartet), Roscoe Mitchell (Art Ensemble of Chicago), Archie Shepp and MacArthur Fellow John Zorn. According to Shepp, "he is one of the best violin players in the world and in the meantime plays the trumpet like Miles Davis".

The second half of the concert will feature the full ensemble performing "Midnight Prayer," a suite of Joel Rubin's arrangements of Russian Jewish instrumental klezmer and hasidic music which are featured on Ruben’s newly released album of the same name. Clarinetist and ethnomusicologist Rubin is the new Director of Music Performance in the McIntire Department of Music at UVA and an internationally acclaimed interpreter of the klezmer tradition. He studied with Richard Stoltzman and Kalmen Opperman, attended the California Institute of the Arts and received a BFA in performance from the State University of New York at Purchase. Rubin holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from City University (London). He has been the founder and clarinetist of some of the most internationally respected klezmer ensembles, including the pioneering revival group Brave Old World. Rubin has concertized throughout Europe, North America and Asia, appearing at the Berlin Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Tonhalle in Zürich, and Lincoln Center.

In addition to Balogh and Kovács, Rubin will be joined by Russian-born violinist David Chernyavsky. Chernyavsky is currently Assistant Concertmaster of Washington National Opera and a former member of the St. Petersburg String Quartet, and has been performing klezmer music since he was a teenager in St. Petersburg. The music draws its inspiration from the publications of the Soviet Jewish ethnomusicologist Moshe Beregovski, which were based on his own fieldwork in the Ukraine and Byelorussia from 1927 to 1948, as well as music collected by Beregovski's Russian-Jewish predecessors, in particular the participants in the An-ski Expeditions from 1911 to 1914. The Joel Rubin Ensemble brings together some of the world's great improvising musicians to explore Jewish music at the beginning of the 21st century -- music from another time and place, but thoroughly grounded in the present. It creates its own sonic universe, full of depth, virtuosity, playfulness and introspection. The kaleidoscopic soundscape filters the many historical layers of traditional Jewish music through the lenses of the multifarious musical backgrounds of the band's members, ranging from classical to Gypsy to free jazz to contemporary art music. Here the interaction of a great improvising jazz ensemble melds with the delicacy of a chamber music group and the drive of a hot wedding band at the cusp of klezmer, Roma and other Eastern European traditions.

This event is made possible with UVA Art Enhancement funds. It is additionally co-sponsored by:
McIntire Music Department,Jewish Studies Program, Center for the Russian and East European Studies, Slavic Department and U.Va. Hillel.


The full calendar of events is listed below and can additionally be found at www.virginia.edu/music/rubin. For more information, contact the Cabell Hall Box Office at 434-924-3984

A Concert of Klezmer, Gypsy music and Jazz
featuring the Joel Rubin Ensemble (USA/Hungary) and the Kálmán Balogh/Ferenc Kovács Duo (Hungary)
Sunday, Feb. 4, 8 p.m.
Old Cabell Hall
$10 General, $5 Students, 5ARTS$ for UVA Students; 434.924.3984

The contemporary revival of early 20th century Jewish instrumental klezmer music from Europe
Members of Joel Rubin Ensemble
Classroom visit (Scott DeVeaux, 20th century music)
Monday, Feb. 5, 12-12:50 p.m.
Old Cabell Hall, room 107

"Music is the pen of the soul": Klezmer music, hasidic melodies and Jewish ritual
Members of Joel Rubin Ensemble
Classroom visit (Melvin Butler, Music and Ritual)
Monday, Feb. 5, 3-5:30 p.m.
Old Cabell Hall, room 113

Violin recital featuring the works of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Brahms and early 20th century Russian-Jewish composers Krein, Saminsky, Spivakovsky, Achron, Zeitlin, and Weprik.
David Chernyavsky, violin, with Michael Adcock, piano
Monday, Feb. 5, 8 p.m.
Garrett Hall
Free and open to the public
There will be a pre-concert (start time 7:15pm) lecture by James Loeffler (Assistant Professor, UVA History Dept./Jewish Studies Program)

David Chernyavsky Masterclass with Violin and String Chamber Ensembles
Tuesday, Feb. 6, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Old Cabell Hall, room B012

Jazz Improvisation Workshop with Ferenc Kovács and Kálmán Balogh
Classroom visit
Tuesday, Feb. 6th, 5:30-7 p.m.
Old Cabell Hall, room B012

Klezmer Masterclass
With Joel Rubin, David Chernyavsky, Kálmán Balogh and Ferenc Kováács,
Tuesday, Feb. 6, 8-10 p.m.
Old Cabell Hall, room 107