Big Galut(e) at UAlbany: You’ll Laugh, You’ll Cry, You’ll Enjoy!

the_big_galut(e)7:30 pm • Thursday, February 22nd 2018
University at Albany Performing Arts Center • Albany, NY

If you are in upstate New York during the summer, the wonderful ensemble known as Big Galut(e) may be familiar to you. It is the “’serious band with lousy American humor” that we see lurking around these parts in July and August each year. The quintet of Robin Seletsky, clarinet; Sasha Margolis, violin; Michael Leopold, Baroque guitar and theorbo; Mark Rubinstein, accordian; and Richard Sosinsky on double bass have evolved during their summer work at the Glimmerglass Festival.

If you have not had a Big Galut(e) experience yet, you have an opportunity to divulge in an engaging performance of terrific musicianship on Thursday evening at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center. It is highly recommended.

Winner of the Simcha Prize at the 2017 International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam (NL), Big Galut(e) has been described by New York Music Daily as “soulful, and unselfconsciously poignant.” Big Galut(e)’s repertoire spans five continents and six centuries of Jewish music, ranging fron Klezmer originals and new twists on old tunes; classical pieces by Mahler, Musorgsky, Brahms, Shostakovich, Salomone Rossi, and Kurt Weill; tangos from Buenos Aires and Broadway to comical songs. And sometimes there’s a bit of shtick mixed in for good measure that will leave no doubt in your mind that “serious” music and musicians can be entertaining and enriching at the same time.

On Thursday evening, Big Galut(e)’s program is to include traditional Yiddish tunes, Hungarian Dances, Klezmer originals and music by Gershwin and Rodgers & Hammerstein.

On Thursday afternoon—prior to their evening concert—the ensemble will be doing a Klezmer master class from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm. During the class, participants will learn about Klezmer music, hear the band play, see the instruments used, listen to students perform and play a medley with Big Galut(e). If you go to actively participate, you are encouraged to attend with your instrument. Presented by the UAlbany Performing Arts Center and Department of Music and Theatre, the master class is open to the public, offered at no charge, and no reservations are necessary. The master class takes place at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center located at the main University at Albany campus at 1400 Washington Avenue in Albany.

Further information for either the masterclass or evening performance can be obtained by contacting the Performing Arts Center’s main office at (518) 442-3995.

So… Go you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll enjoy. Hear what made the jury at Amsterdam’s International Jewish Music Festival award the Big Galut(e) the Simcha (“Happiness”) Prize and one Israeli judge to call them “a serious band with lousy American humor.”

Happy Musicking this week!

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