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October 13 marks what would have been the hundredth birthday of Hugo Weisgall, one of 20th-century America's most important composers. Born in Eibenschitz, Moravia (now part of the Czech Republic) in 1912, Weisgall absorbed Jewish liturgical music and the Western classical canon from his father, a cantor and opera singer. The family immigrated to the U.S. in 1920, where Weisgall went on to study music at the Peabody Conservatory and the Curtis Institute, but ultimately received his highest degree (a doctorate) in literature from Johns Hopkins University. Weisgall’s love of literature is reflected in his numerous operas, song cycles, and art songs. In addition to his influential body of work, Weisgall’s legacy includes presiding over the music/cantorial program at the Jewish Theological Seminary for 44 years. Weisgall’s life and music will be celebrated next month at the Center for Jewish History’s Hugo Weisgall Centennial Concert. Learn more about Weisgall’s early life in this newly-available oral history excerpt.
Known for his eclectic tastes and abilities, composer David Amram has led a storied career marked by personal authenticity, social activism, and collaborations with many of America’s most renowned artists. Many of those artists—among them Pete Seeger, Paquito D’Rivera, and Tom Paxton—will be on hand November 9 at New York’s Symphony Space when Amram will be presented with the Power of Song award from Clearwater. The evening will also feature the premiere of Lawrence Kraman’s film, David Amram: The First 80 Years. Learn more about the concert and sample some of Amram's music in the Milken Archive.
A special note to our Milken Archive subscribers: This newsletter is going on “sabbatical” for about a month as we take time to conceive a fresh way to share the treasures of the Archive with you! As always, your suggestions are welcome at info@MilkenArchive.org.