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‘Bridge to Peace’ concert brings Theodore Bikel, renowned musical friends together for evening of global music
‘Bridge to Peace’ concert brings Theodore Bikel, renowned musical friends together for evening of global musicApril 03, 2007Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
World-renowned folk singer and stage and screen actor Theodore Bikel will join a group of internationally known musicians in Syracuse on Saturday, April 14 for an inter-ethnic concert weaving together music from different cultures and faiths.
“Bridge to Peace,” a concert of Bosnian, Christian, Jewish and other ethnic music, will be held at 8 p.m. at University United Methodist Church, 1085 E. Genesee St., and is free and open to the public. The Connective Corridor shuttle will be available for this event. For a shuttle schedule, visit http://www.connectivecorridor.syr.edu.
The concert will also feature Dutch singer Shura Lipovsky, Bosnian accordionist Merima Kljuco and conductor Tamara Brooks, among other instrumentalists. The program will include pieces from Sephardic, Yiddish, Bosnian, Greek, French, Hebrew and American traditions, among others.
The roots of “Bridge to Peace” were planted in October 2004, when Brooks and Lipovsky went to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to prepare the musicians of the inter-ethnic Mostar Sinfonietta for a program of Bosnian, Sephardic and Yiddish music. Their first concert took place in Holland for the Musicians Without Borders conference. In summer 2005, Bikel, Lipovsky, Kljuco and the Mostar Sinfonietta performed the same music in a concert tour of Poland. These concerts, called “Bridge to Peace,” took place in Warsaw and Lublin and at the Cracow Jewish Music Festival.
“Music is a special kind of bridge — reaching over time and ethnicity, over chasms of silences, able to speak and understand in tones when we are unable to utter words. Songs of loss, of pain, of grief and sorrow — and songs of hope and joy — are common to all,” says Brooks. “When we sing each other’s songs, we understand our common humanity. Bringing `Bridge to Peace’ to Syracuse — with its rich and diverse community — is a celebration of different ethnicities and an acknowledgement of our common experience.”
The concert is part of a series of “Bridge to Peace” events that will take place in Syracuse in the coming weeks, including a screening of a Dutch documentary made about the project in Poland, classes at SU and in area high schools, a program of Hassidic tales and songs, and collaboration with Hillel and Jewish studies courses at SU.
Bikel is a world-renowned stage and screen actor as well as one of the world’s most beloved singers of folk music — especially known for his vast knowledge of international songs. For the past 50 years, he has appeared in concerts throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, as well as in Australia, Israel and New Zealand. He is also an accomplished translator of song lyrics and has recorded more than 20 albums.
Lipvosky is one of the best-known singers of Yiddish/Jewish songs in Europe and specializes in Judaic mysticism and dance. She teaches master classes for singers and Yiddish repertoire classes, and gives workshops in Hasidic dance, songs and stories, including the Oxford Summer University in England and the Jewish Spiritual Retreat Center Elat Chayim in upstate New York. She has performed and taught in Canada, Europe, Russia and the United States.
Kljuco studied accordion at the Srednja Muzika Kola in Sarajevo and the Rotterdam Conservatory, and completed a specialization in contemporary music at the Hochschule fur die Kunste Bremen. She has worked internationally with many renowned artists and ensembles, including MusikFabrik, Gelberklang and Joaquim Sabate. As a soloist, she has performed with the Philharmonische Orchester Bremen and the Holland Symphonia. She has a wide range of experience as a performer of klezmer and Balkan music with various ensembles.
Brooks is a conductor whose career has spanned more than 35 years. She has performed with ensembles around the world and conducted and commissioned contemporary compositions. She has made numerous recordings, including a Grammy-nominated recording of the music of Vincent Persichetti. A graduate of the Julliard School of Music with degrees in piano and conducting, Brooks has combined a performing career with a love of teaching throughout her professional life. She was president of the New School of Music, has served on the faculty of several institutions, and was a guest conductor at Syracuse University.