• Pamela Froman

Los Angeles Jewish Symphony 2019

Music is the ultimate form of expression. And that's one of the underlying themes behind the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony. Founded by conductor Dr. Noreen Green in 1994, the symphony has just celebrated its 25thyear. Known worldwide for her knowledge and skill in presenting music with Jewish themes, Dr. Green has served as guest conductor in the United States, Israel, Australia, South Africa and Canada.

“I chose to create a program that highlights the Jewish experience. And the Jewish experience is really the human experience,” says Dr. Green. “Music is a universal language, it's a unique way of expressing our lives.”

On Saturday, August 17, 2019 at 8 p.m., the LAJS is teaming up with the stellar orchestra and choir from the Los Angeles Korean-American Musicians' Association to present “Friendship & Harmony” at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. This performance is in celebration of our shared humanity and the strength of community.  The evening will include the West Coast Premiere of Grammy Award-winning conductor/composer Lucas Richman's latest piece, Symphony: This Will Be Our Reply, and the US Premiere of Byunghee Oh's  한국의 혼 (The Spirit of Korea).

“There are actually a lot of similarities between the Korean and the Jewish culture and the repertoire is going to highlight both,” says Dr. Green.

Lucas Richman was inspired to createThis Will Be Our Replyby the words of Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein's quote is as follows: “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly...” This Will Be Our Replyincludes the wordsTikkun Olam. Tikkunmeans heal and Olammeans world and so the performance works to heal the world!

“The concert is special because of the collaboration and sharing of cultures,” says Dr. Green. “One of the things that I feel is very important in this world is to reach out to the ‘other.’ Music is a way of connecting.”

Some up-and-coming events for Los Angeles Jewish Symphony include:

The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony's annual education program, called “A Patchwork of Cultures: Exploring the Sephardic-Latino Connection.” This program uses Sephardic music as a bridge between the Latino community and the Sephardic Jewish community, reaching out to about 1200 youth each year.

The students all come together at a culminating concert to hear the music they've been studying at in-school workshops led by the LAJS Teachings Artists. These one-hour, interactive performances reach across the generations with guests joining from Malibu Jewish Center Preschool, LAUSD elementary schools, Jewish day schools and area senior living facilities.

On Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 7 p.m., the LAJS is performing the opening concert of the Southern California premiere of Violins of Hope at the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya) in Northridge. Violins of Hope is a project created to celebrate the triumph of the human spirit, based on a private collection of over 60 violins, violas and cellos, all restored since the end of World War II.  The instruments have been collected by Amnon Weinstein and his son Avshi in Tel Aviv and restored in an effort to continue to tell the story of their previous owners, each with their own personal stories from the Holocaust.

“There are no wars on any stage,” says Dr. Green. “People from all different cultures come onstage, play together, perform together and make music together, and walk off the stage and hug each other.” “Music is a way to communicate beyond words.”

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