When Israel was born in 1948, Jews all over the world proclaimed it a miracle. For the first time in 2,000 years, we had our own country in our ancestral homeland. It was a place that would welcome Jews from across the globe. And many did return!
Now, despite ongoing threats, here we are 75 years later, celebrating Israel’s continuing existence as the Jewish homeland. In that time, as the only democracy in the region, Israel has contributed greatly to the world with her amazing people, universities, scientists and entrepreneurial spirit. And, of course, we can’t forget all of its incredible musicians!
At the invitation of the consulate general of Israel to New England, Rhode Island College’s artist-in-residence, pianist Judith Lynn Stillman, has curated a musical celebration to honor the 75th anniversary of the founding of Israel. “Israel @ 75: A Musical Celebration” takes place at Rhode Island College’s Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts on April 30.
The multimedia program will feature compelling Israeli chamber music, projections of imaginative Israeli artwork, and traditional masterworks. The program features Stillman and Israeli musicians Alexander Fiterstein and Mickey Katz.
Stillman is an internationally recognized pianist, composer, music director and filmmaker. She has garnered acclaim for her musical multimedia projects, including works in remembrance of the centennial of the Armenian genocide, the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing. Stillman has been hailed by jazz musician Wynton Marsalis as a “consummate artist.”
Fiterstein, a clarinetist, is acclaimed for his flawless technique, graceful phrasing and warm soulful tone. He has performed with prestigious orchestras and chamber music ensembles throughout the world.
Fiterstein has been praised by The New York Times for possessing a “beautiful liquid clarity.” The Washington Post wrote, “Fiterstein treats his instrument as his own personal voice, dazzling in its spectrum of colors, agility and range. Every sound he makes is finely measured without inhibiting expressiveness.”
Katz, a cellist, joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in September 2004. He has distinguished himself as a solo performer, chamber musician and contemporary music specialist. As a soloist, he has performed with several Israeli orchestras and with the Civic Symphony of Boston, Symphony Pro Musica and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic.
Preregistration is required for the program on Sunday, April 30, at 1 p.m., at Rhode Island College’s Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, 600 Mount Pleasant Ave., Providence. Admission is free but there is a suggested donation of $10 per person at the door. A free reception, with light Kosher refreshments, will be held after the event. To register, go to www.ric.edu/news-events/events/israel-75.
LEV POPLOW is a communications consultant in Rhode Island. He can be reached at email@example.com.