The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Jan 17, 2013

Jewish concert returns; new music from FIU

Posted by Gregory Stepanich

The finale of the 2012 Winter Jewish Music Concert at Temple Beth Israel.

Some concerts and news happenings on the classical scene:

Winter Jewish Music Concert: Not solely a classical concert, this event organized by Alan Mason of Temple Israel of Greater Miami will take place for the fifth time this Saturday night in the temple’s Bertha Abbess Sanctuary.

It’s an expansive evening of Jewish music and performers, running the gamut from classical to jazz and rap, Ladino and Israeli folk music, and includes works by a wide range of Jewish composers, many of them unfortunately little-known to non-Jewish audiences.

The concert is sold out again this year, according to concert organizers, but this year there are other opportunities for interested concertgoers other than being there in person. The 8 p.m. concert will be broadcast live on Jewish Life TV, which is carried on Comcast channel 239 in South Florida and Atlantic Broadband channel 167 in Miami Beach, as well as on DirectTV Channel 366.

It also will be streamed live via the station’s website at The concert’s website at has a video of brief highlights from last year’s concert, and even in these short snippets there’s a strong feeling of celebration and diversity of expression, as you can see here:

Guitarist Colin McAllister. Guitarist Colin McAllister.

Music at FIU: Florida International University launches its New Music Miami Festival this weekend with an appearance by American guitarist Colin McAllister, a steadfast champion of new music. His concert at the Miami Beach Urban Studios on Lincoln Road this weekend features music by Mario Davidovsky, Orlando Jacinto Garcia and Elliott Carter, among others. The free concert begins at 7:30 p.m., and admission is free.

Other concerts in the series include a Feb. 1 concert with Cambodian-born composer Chinary Ung, whose works will be featured with those of four other composers in an evening with the FIU Symphony, the Amernet String Quartet and the Nodus Ensemble; a cello-and-electronics concert with Amernet cellist Jason Calloway and composer Jacob Sudol on March 6; and Spanish clarinetist Oskar Espina-Ruiz along with the Nodus Ensemble on March 8 at the Spanish Cultural Center.

Electric violist Martha Mooke joins FIU’s FLEA laptop orchestra March 21 at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens; a concert March 28 at the Urban Studios focuses on music by FIU alumni; on April 3 the FLEA Ensemble offers a concert with video art projected on the Frost Museum wall at sundown; and the festival closes April 20, again at the Urban Studios, with contemporary chamber music played by the Amernet Quartet and the Nodus Ensemble.

For more information about any of these concerts, call 305-348-049, visit or

Seraphic Fire: More good news for the Miami group earlier this month with the announcement that it has signed with Columbia Artists Management Inc., or CAMI. This is one of the most prestigious arts management companies in the world, having been formed by the founder of CBS, William Paley, and Arthur Judson, who was one of the best-known artist managers of his time.

What is likely to happen is that the choir will be signed up for a national tour of some kind, and insiders suggest something of that kind might be happening this coming December. It remains to be seen, but the clients on CAMI’s roster include the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony and its Pops, the Detroit Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas, Lang Lang, James Levine, Valery Gergiev, and literally dozens of other major names.

In the meantime, the group is in 11th-century mode this week, presenting concerts of Gregorian chant focused on the Virgin Mary. Tonight the group is in Boca Raton, in Coral Gables on Friday night, Fort Lauderdale on Saturday night, and Miami Beach on Sunday afternoon. For more information, call 305-285-9060 or visit

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