Mark your calendars for the first concert in our beloved winter concert series on Thursday, November 21! ‘Through the Lens’ Jewish Classics, Celebrated and Unknown will transport you and yours on a rousing journey through some of the most influential—yet largely forgotten—Jewish music of the 20th century. Purchase your ticket today to reserve your seat at Boston’s premiere chamber concert. 

The concert will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. at the Bijou de la Vida Gallery on Commercial Street. If you’re thinking that hosting this concert at an art gallery is a break from the musical norm, you’d be right. Nevertheless, we intentionally design our concerts to promote accessibility and eliminate barriers for audience members. 

Sherri Snow, executive director at North End Music & Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC) explains, “The North End neighborhood boasts a unique architecture—from nostalgic restaurants to historic churches. Rather than steer away from these nontraditional performance spaces, we work with our neighborhood to build an audience and cultivate new experiences at these familiar venues. In fact, the winter concert series began in February 2012 when hundreds—standing shoulder to shoulder—squeezed into the Old North Church to hear an Italian opera program. Since this astonishing turnout, our winter concert series has provided hundreds of local artists with the resources and professional opportunities to propel their musical careers forward in the city.” 

November 2019’s winter concert is no different from this inaugural concert in 2012 in terms of the caliber of local artists slated to take the stage. To that end, mezzo-soprano Lynn Torgove, cellist Aron Zelkowicz, and chamber musician/pianist Dr. Christina Wright-Ivanova will perform works from the following composers and musicians:

  • Joachim Stutschewsky
  • Julius Chajes
  • Srul Irving Glick
  • Gerald Cohen
  • Moshe Milner

Dr. Christina Wright-Ivanova, artistic director for NEMPAC’s winter concert series (and as noted above one of the performers!), explains, “This program is extremely deep, moving, and powerful. It also has several moments of virtuosity, freedom, celebration and humor. It will expose listeners to some of the most influential Jewish music of the 20th century—much of which is not heard or celebrated to the extent it should be. The concert will provide a wonderful opportunity for community members to celebrate and reflect on this important musical heritage.” 

This important musical heritage is brought to life due to the breathtaking talent of our three local artists. Each of these decorated chamber musicians boast a specific niche in the classical music realm, while also displaying collaboration and humility when they perform in a group. This stellar combination is sure to result in an evening of inspiration. 

Now for some background information on these local artists. Lynn Torgove is a gifted mezzo soprano who specializes in Jewish music and culture. A talented educator, Torgove holds a professorship at Hebrew College and her previous teaching experience includes acting, stage management, and vocal studies posts at Boston Conservatory, Boston University Opera, and New England Conservatory. 

Aron Zelkowicz is an accomplished cellist, as well as the director and founder of the Pittsburgh Music Festival, a concert series that educates audience members about the breadth and depth of Jewish musical heritage. In addition to producing “Russian Jewish Classics,” the festival’s CD series, Zelkowicz is a member of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, the Boston Lyric Opera Orchestra, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, as well as the Springfield Symphony. 

And last but certainly not least, internationally-acclaimed chamber musician and pianist, Dr. Christina Wright-Ivanova. Also a professor and vocal coach, Dr. Wright-Ivanova serves as chair of piano at Keene State College and is a faculty member at New England Conservatory’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance. 

Dr. Wright Ivanova reflects on why the winter concert series is personally important to her. “These performances are one of the rare concert series in Boston that showcases excellent musicians in diverse, unique programming in a stunning, European-style environment at an affordable price point.” 

Snow adds, “I equate this series with musical enlightenment. Audience members of our winter concert series boast a wide range of previous classical music experience. Nevertheless, the intimate venue and thoughtful program for the upcoming concert creates an opportunity for all audience members to fully embrace the music and connect emotionally to the narrative shaped by notes and rhythm. Our winter concert series makes high-quality performance programming accessible to our neighborhoods and empowers our community of artists, families, residents, students and supporters to embrace a creative experience.” 

Will you and yours join us on November 21 for an evening of celebration and reflection? 

Purchase your tickets today. On behalf of our board of directors, faculty, and staff, we can’t wait to see you at the art gallery!