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Composers of the Holocaust


Founded in 1979, Downtown Music Productions (DMP) and its performing ensemble, the Downtown Chamber & Opera Players, has presented the works of hundreds of composers and has commissioned operas, chamber and vocal music, and theatrical and dance works. DMP has presented a host of orchestral and opera performances as well as smaller works, performing in New York City's concert halls (Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Merkin, Weill, the Y), and at Hebrew Union College, the Middle Collegiate Church, Vineyard Theater, Greenwich House and the Greenwich Music School. DMP's socially-oriented programs have included ten annual Benson AIDS Concerts, Mus-Ecology programs, Women Composers Concerts, Children's Concerts, War and Peace, and a Holocaust series.

Mimi Stern-Wolfe, pianist and conductor, is artistic director and founder of Downtown Music Productions. A graduate of Queens College, with a Master of Music in Piano and Conducting from the New England Conservatory, she also worked with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and with pianists Ray Lev, Cecile Ruef, and Leonid Hambro. She was formerly a conductor and vocal coach at the Lake George Opera Festival and the Aspen Music Festival. In recognition of her work with Downtown Music Productions, Ms. Stern-Wolfe received the Laurel Leaf award for "fostering American music," two ASCAP­Chamber Music America Awards for "adventuresome programming," and the Mayor's Special Arts Award in Music for her "exceptional contribution to the arts and multicultural life of New York City."

In 1986, Mimi presented a series of concerts entitled "Jewish Musical Currents," and in 1989, began a series of "Composers of the Holocaust" concerts, bringing to light the music of Terezín and Eastern European composers. The concerts "Ervin Schulhoff Re-Discovered" and "Lost and Found" were presented at Merkin Hall as part of her efforts to introduce Schulhoff's complete chamber and piano works to the public. Ms. Stern-Wolfe is a member of Board of Directors of the American Society for Jewish Music. A performer/consultant for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, she performed concerts and introduced repertoire which has culminated in this CD, her first recording.

Mezzo-soprano Isabelle Ganz, Affiliate Artist in Voice at The University of Houston, holds the DMA degree in Voice and Music Literature from the Eastman School of Music, where she was a student of the late Jan De Gaetani. She has an extensive discography, and has been a soloist with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Seattle and Portland (Maine) Symphonies, and the Slovak Radio Orchestra. Ms. Ganz was recently the recipient of a Fulbright grant to teach at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance and to conduct research in Sephardic Music at Hebrew University. Earlier, under a National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist grant, she performed concerts of contemporary music at universities and conservatories throughout the United States. Her New York-based Sephardic Music ensemble, Alhambra, has recorded three CDs and performs internationally. Dr. Ganz has been a cantorial soloist for synagogues in the USA, Canada and Germany.

Brooklyn-born baritone Robert Paul Abelson, Cantor at Temple Israel in New York City, is a graduate of the School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion. He has been a member of the New York City Opera and has sung with the Seattle Opera, St. Paul Opera, and Goldowsky Opera Theatre. He appeared in the role of Gimpel in that opera when it was performed at the 92nd Street Y. A specialist in Yiddish Art Song, Mr. Abelson has worked under the guidance of Lazar Weiner, performing works of neglected Jewish composers in addition to Mr. Weiner's own inspiring compositions.

Marshall Coid, violinist, is also a countertenor, composer, and actor. As a soloist, he has appeared in Lincoln Center's Great Performers series, the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival, and at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, United Nations, Spoleto Festival, MOMA, and Lincoln Center Composers Showcase. His operatic credits include creating the title role for his opera to Ilsa Gilbert's libretto, The Bundle Man, in DMP's World Premiere performance. Mr. Coid's numerous television appearances include Fame, Guiding Light, Another World, and The Kennedy Center Honors. He was the countertenor and violin soloist in the Live From Lincoln Center broadcast of Twelfth Night and in Kennedy Center's 10th anniversary production of Bernstein's Mass broadcast on PBS television. In addition to his numerous theatrical scores, Mr. Coid's concert works have been premiered by various American orchestras and ensembles. As a violinist, he performs with New York's Ensemble for Early Music and the Queen's Chamber Band.

Oboist Humbert Lucarelli, cited by The New York Times as "America's leading oboe recitalist," has appeared extensively as soloist with internationally known orchestras and chamber music groups throughout the United States, South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Among the many recordings to his credit is the Oboe Concerto written for him by John Corigliano. Mr. Lucarelli is the recipient of a Solo Recitalist Fellowship, Consortium Commissioning and Music Recording Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is Professor of Oboe at The Hartt School in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Choral Singers: Isabelle Ganz and Robert Abelson are joined by Trudy Wodinsky, soprano; Jessica Kligman, mezzo-soprano; and Dan Schreibman, tenor.

 


 


 

 

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