Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lisa Paglin & Jewish Music from Ancona, Italy

Lisa PaglinHi folks. I got a nice email a couple of days ago from Lisa Paglin of the New Voice Studio Italia that I thought I'd pass along.
"I am writing to you from Ancona, on the Adriatic sea below Venice. Ancona was once an important Jewish center and, sadly, like so many European cities and towns, now has a very small Jewish population. But we do have some interesting cultural activities and one of them is the International Adriatic - Mediterranean Festival which begins on August 30 the (the inauguration was yesterday!) and ends on (and includes) the European Day of Jewish culture, the 7th of September. It is a festival of theatre, cinema, music, poetry and art.

I am a pianist and singer and co-founder of the NewVoice Studio ITALIA. If you would like to look at our website, it is here:

I have been dedicated, for several years, to researching, restoring and sometimes re-arranging the music of composers who were persecuted during the 1930s and 1940s, and who were active in the Jewish ghettos. I have performed several concerts of music written by composers deported to concentration and extermination camps under Nazi fascism. I am planning a concert for next January, for Holocaust Memorial Day.

This year the theme of the Day of Jewish culture is "Music and Words," so, in addition to the usual opening up of all of the Jewish museums and Synagogues (with free guided tours for many people who have never been to a synagogue...), we are offering several musical events. The one that i am performing is combined with the presentation of a book ("words"!) entitled "Ricomporre l'Infranto". translated as "Reassembling the broken pieces".

Ancona is fast becoming an important city for Jewish music."
A quick Google check supports what Lisa said. Ancona has supported a couple of klezmer festivals recently as well as the events in her email. That's a wonderful thing. It's really exciting to see the Jewish communities in Europe starting to blossom again. I was in Florence, Italy, earlier this year and was delighted by all of the Jewish music I found happening over there. Check out my previous posts "Cantor Yosef Gottesman, Opera in the Synagogue!," "Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco," "Singing Dew: The Florence-Leghorn Jewish Musical Tradition," and "Enrico Fink - Italian Klezmer and Theater Music."

These posts were written over a couple of days in Florence. If I'd had more time I could have spent a couple of weeks covering Jewish music across Italy. Hmm. Considering the variety and quality of what I found, maybe I should....

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