St. Louis chamber music festival focuses on Jewish composers, protest, and underrepresented artists

Posted on: August 14, 2018

“The Gesher Music Festival returns this week for its eighth annual season with a theme of ‘Voices Rising’ ” in St. Louis, writes Sarah Bryan Miller in Sunday’s (8/12) St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Sara Sitzer, the chamber music festival’s artistic director, is a cellist in the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and faculty member of the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival in Virginia. “Programs explore themes related to, or influenced by, the Jewish experience. This year … Sitzer and her colleagues look at music of Tin Pan Alley, protest and underrepresented composers…. Gesher will again partner with the Missouri History Museum for a free program, this time dedicated to the music and influences of Tin Pan Alley and its mostly Jewish composers…. The program includes music by Gershwin, Scott Joplin, Frank Loesser, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein and others…. ‘Rise Up: Sounds of Protest’ will feature works including Ilse Weber’s ‘Lullaby,’ composed in a concentration camp; Frederic Rzewski’s ‘Mayn Yingele,’ and the 1960 String Quartet No. 8 by Dmitri Shostakovich…. There’s a local premiere by St. Louis-based composer L.J. White, ‘Negro Folksongs in Counterpoint’ by African-American composer Florence Price (1887-1953) and a suite from the film ‘The Golem,’ by Betty Olivero.”

Posted August 14, 2018