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Artist-in-residence presents lecture on Jewish film music, modernity crisis

February 15, 2011


VF artistPhilip Bohlman, Beloit College’s 2011 Victor E. Ferrall Artist-in-Residence and University of Chicago professor of ethnomusicology, will present his lecture “Composing Utopia, Sounding Dystopia: Jewish Film Music and the Crisis of Modernity” on at 12:30 p.m. today (Wednesday) in Moore Lounge of Pearsons.”You will have plenty of time to eat your lunch, listen, and ask questions before 1:30 classes,” says Daniel Barolsky, assistant professor of music. “And Professor Bohlman will be hanging around afterwards should you want to chat further.”

The lecture will be followed by an evening musical performance by the New Budapest Orpheum Society— a seven-member ensemble of which Bohlman is the artistic director and emcee—at 7:30 p.m., in Eaton Chapel.

As artistic director of the New Budapest Orpheum Society, Bohlman has extensively researched the history of Jewish music, as well as the musical cultures of Europe, America and the Middle East. The ensemble, in residence at the University of Chicago, is a revival of the longest running Jewish cabaret in Vienna, Austria, the Budapest Orpheum Society, which existed from the 1880s through the end of World War I. The New Budapest Orpheum Society performs Jewish cabaret music and political songs from the turn of the 20th century to the present, exploring materials in English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and German.

Following the ensemble’s first two albums, Bohlman has begun a project titled Jewish Noir, which explores the musical repertories of Yiddish and German-Jewish films from the emergence of sound film in the 1920s to the post-Holocaust generation of the 1950s.

All events are free and open to the public.