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All-Jewish composers concert could be the first in Canada

An art exhibit also opens that night, showing photographs of the stunning natural beauty of the state of Israel.

The concert features the works of composers Felix Mendelssohn, Jacques Offenbach, George Gershwin, Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein.

The person who came up with the idea is Jay Katz, the Jewish centre’s executive director.

Katz has some knowledge of classical music, having one time (2001-2007) been director of the Windsor Symphony himself.

“There’s a rich repertoire of music composed by Jewish composers,” he said.

“In fact if you look at the program for this concert it’s really some of the most loved and most familiar pieces in the orchestral, opera, Broadway repertoire.”

Katz said the concert may be unique, at least in Canada.

“I’m not aware of this kind of programming ever being done before,” he said.

“When I looked how the program came together and what music is actually there you sort of wonder why not because they’re such big hits.”

Katz said the event seeks to draw people form the Jewish community, as well as the wider community of Windsor-Essex.

It follows a similar event two years ago, based on a water theme, which had an art exhibit and featured the Water Music suites of composer George Frideric Handel.

And, like at that event, Windsor’s premier modern dance company, HNM, will be performing.

“They’re a modern dance group and they just do really creative and quirky ways of bringing the music to life,” WSO assistant conductor Peter Wiebe (photo above), who will be conducting the concert, said.

Wiebe, commenting on the more modern composers music that will be featured – such as Gershwin’s Summertime and Bernstein’s Maria (from West Side Story), said there’s a similarity to jazz.

“I think this whole idea of fusing styles – the African American community has that with jazz, you take white music and black music and make it a new form,” he said. “And then these leading Jewish composers (who were) taking classical and jazz and making their own kind of fusion. I just feel each of those composers has such an important voice.”

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