Montreal Symphony’s first Azrieli Prize concert, from klezmer to “heavenly halls”

Posted on: October 17, 2016

“Sharon Azrieli Perez illustrates the philosophy of the Azrieli Music Project with an example,” writes Arthur Kaptainis in Thursday’s (10/13) Montreal Gazette (Canada). “ ‘Look at Leonard Bernstein, who happened to be Jewish,’ the Montreal soprano said. ‘Leonard Bernstein’s Mass is not Jewish music. Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3, Kaddish, is. It’s as simple as that.’ … Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2, Age of Anxiety, which concludes the inaugural Azrieli Music Project program Wednesday in the Maison symphonique, is a little more complicated…. The real focal points of this concert featuring the [Montreal Symphony Orchestra] under Kent Nagano will be The Seven Heavenly Halls by Brian Current, winner of the first Azrieli Commissioning Competition, and Concerto for Klezmer Clarinet by Wlad Marhulets, winner of the first Azrieli Prize in Jewish Music. Both awards are worth $50,000 and conferred by the Azrieli Foundation, a philanthropic organization established by Azrieli Perez’s father, the late Montreal architect and developer David Azrieli…. ‘You don’t have to be Jewish to write Jewish music,’ [Perez] said. ‘And both of our winners exemplify that fact.’ … Current [is] an Ottawa-born McGill alumnus who lives in Toronto…. Marhulets [is] a Polish composer who lives in Los Angeles.”

Posted October 17, 2016