As Pro Musica Hebraica—a music series dedicated to the rediscovery of classical Jewish music—enters its second year, co-founder Charles Krauthammer speaks about the program with Hilary Leila Krieger in Thursday’s (6/11) Jerusalem Post. Explaining how he first became interested in the project, Krauthammer says, “It came from two thoughts. One is, when people hear ‘Jewish music,’ they think Israeli folk-dancing—Hava Negila—they think of liturgical music, they think of Kol Nidre, they might think of klezmer and that’s it. It turns out there’s a great, rich tradition of classical Jewish music people just don’t know about. … Though the first season focused on Eastern European 20th-century themes, Krauthammer would like to present a wide variety of works in coming concerts, including Ladino, Dutch cantorial and baroque Jewish pieces—the latter of which, he noted, ‘many people think is an oxymoron: baroque Jewish, what does that apply to, Jackie Mason?’” Pro Musica Hebraica’s inaugural concert took place in April 2008 at the Terrace Theater in Washington, D.C., with Itzhak Perlman and musicians from The Juilliard School in a program of works by Alexander Krein, Osvaldo Golijov, Joel Engel, Leo Zeitlin, Mikhail Gnesin, and Solomon Rosowsky.

Posted June 16, 2009