Klezmer and a Movie

Klezmer and a Movie

A Klezmer Cine-Concert
with Alicia Svigals and Donald Sosin

Wednesday, April 6, 7:00 PM
Mittleman Jewish Community Center (6651 SW Capitol Highway)
Free and open to all

Join us for a night of “klezmer and a movie!” This exciting cine-concert event  pairs live, original music from legendary musical artists with an iconic Jewish silent film. Enjoy the stirring original score composed and performed live by klezmer violinist  Alicia Svigals and celebrated silent film pianist Donald Sosin, as the newly-restored cinema classic The Ancient Law contrasts the closed world of an Eastern European shtetl with the liberal mores of 1860s Vienna.

About the Artists

Violinist/composer Alicia Svigals is the world’s leading klezmer fiddler and a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics.  She has performed with and written for violinist Itzhak Perlman, and has worked with the the Kronos Quartet, playwrights Tony Kushner and Eve Ensler, poet Allen Ginsburg, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Debbie Friedman and Chava Albershteyn. Svigals was awarded a Foundation for Jewish Culture commission for her original score to the 1918 film The Yellow Ticket, and is a MacDowell fellow. With jazz pianist Uli Geissendoerfer, she recently released Beregovski Suite , a recording of contemporary interpretations of klezmer music from a long-lost Soviet Jewish archive. Her CD Fidl (1996) reawakened klezmer fiddle tradition. Her newest CD is Beregovski Suite: Klezmer Reimagined, with jazz pianist Uli Geissendoerfer – an original take on long-lost Jewish music from Ukraine.








Pianist/composer Donald Sosin grew up in Rye, New York and Munich, and has performed his scores for silent films, often with his wife, singer/percussionist Joanna Seaton, at Lincoln Center, MoMA, BAM, the National Gallery; and major film festivals in New York, San Francisco, Telluride, Hollywood, Pordenone, Bologna, Shanghai, Bangkok, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow, and Jecheon, South Korea. He records for Criterion, Kino, Milestone and Flicker Alley, and his scores are heard frequently on TCM. Sosin has had commissions from MoMA, the Chicago Symphony Chorus, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. He lives in rural Connecticut with his family.

About the Film

Ewald André Dupont’s 1923 silent film The Ancient Law (Das alte Gesetz) was digitally restored in 2017 by the Deutsche Kinemathek with generous support from the Sunrise Foundation for Education and the Arts. The film is an important piece of German-Jewish cinematic history, contrasting the closed world of an Eastern European shtetl with the liberal mores of 1860s Vienna. With its historically authentic set design and ensemble of prominent actors – all captured magnificently by cinematographer Theodor Sparkuhl – The Ancient Law is an outstanding example of the creativity of Jewish filmmakers in 1920s Germany. A brief synopisis: Baruch (Ernst Deutsch), the son of a rabbi, becomes fascinated by the theater. Against his father’s wishes, Baruch leaves home and finds his way to Vienna, where an archduchess at the imperial court (Henny Porten) falls in love with him. She becomes his patroness, facilitating his successful career as a classical actor. But Baruch continues to long for home, and must find a way to reconcile his religious heritage with his love of secular literature. The movie paints a complex portrait of the tension between tradition and modernity.

This program is cosponsored by Congregation Beth Israel, Congregation Neveh Shalom, Eastside Jewish Commons, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, Mittleman Jewish Community Center, and the Portland State University Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies