Italian Music under the Star of David

Montclair State University presents Ensemble Salomone Rossi as part of the Italian Festival of the Arts and Humanities

MONTCLAIR, NJ -- During the persecution of Jews in Italy during the Renaissance, Jewish musicians cultivated and performed music inside ghetto walls. Salomone Rossi (1570-1630) was a highly respected Jewish composer of the late Renaissance, though his work is seldom performed today. On Thursday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. the Ensemble Salomone Rossi from Milan, named for the composer, will join other guest musicians in celebration of Italian Jewish music. The concert will be presented at Montclair State's Alexander Kasser Theater as part of the ongoing Italian Festival of Arts and Humanities at the University.

In addition to Composer Salomone Rossi, the program will include works by Avraham Caceres, Carlo Grossi, Giuseppe Lidarti, Renzo Massarani, Aldo Finzi, Leone Sinigaglia and Mario Castelnuovo- Tedesco.

The performance will include members of Ensemble Salomone Rossi: Caterina Trogu Roehrich, soprano, Renata Stefani, mezzo-soprano Lydia Cevidalli, baroque violin Simonetta Heger, harpsichord and piano

With guest artists: Max Defrancesco, tenor Gregory Voinier, baritone Aaron Brown, baroque violin Carlene Stober, baroque violoncello Valéria Toth, violin Nicholas Tzavaras, violoncello David Witten, piano

In the first decades of the twentieth century, several Jewish composers established themselves as leading figures in the national musical landscape. In the 1920's, during the early part of the Fascist regime, Jewish composers like Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Vittorio Rieti and Renzo Massarani achieved high recognition. At the same time, Jewish scholars also established groundbreaking paths in the national musical world. .

However, after the anti-Semitic laws were passed in 1938, Jews abruptly disappeared from the country's public life. While some remained in Italy in hiding, others left Italy before 1940; Most Italian-Jewish composers disappeared from the national and international music scene and are no longer part of Italian musical memory, rarely finding a place in the research world or in concert programs.

Admission to ITALIAN MUSIC UNDER THE STAR OF DAVID is free. For more information, call the Alexander Kasser Theater box office, 973 655-5112.

The Italian Festival of the Arts and Humanities, "An Italian Sense of Place: Land and Identity," is organized by the Montclair State University's Global Education Center, George Segal Art Gallery, Department of Art and Design, John J. Cali School of Music, Spanish/Italian Department, History Department, Health and Nutrition Sciences Department and The Joseph and Elda Coccia Institute. Funding and support have been provided by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in part from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner of the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding was provided by The Joseph & Elda Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America and Whole Foods Market, Montclair. Artwork is provided by the artists and Cineteca Bologna, Fotografia Italiana and Biblioteca Panizzi.

Released: March 12, 2008