EXILE: Music of the Early Modern Jewish Diaspora at Center for Jewish History

Center for Jewish History 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011

The Jewish Music Forum is delighted to present the lecture-concert EXILE: Music of the Early Modern Jewish Diaspora.

About this event

EXILE highlights Jewish music as it shifted and melded with traditions in early modern Europe. The program takes as its starting point the rich musical cultures fostered by Jews in early modern Italy and their points of contact with non-Jewish traditions. From there, it touches on the influences of Italian, German, and English music and Jewish culture, highlighting Jewish musicians, the non-Jewish composers they influenced, and composers who inspired innovations in Jewish composition. The purpose of the EXILE project is to highlight the mutual influences of the early modern European Jewish experience – to break down preconceptions of Jewish music and culture and explore the implications of diaspora on Jewish artistic legacy.

The concert will feature Incantare’s core instrumental ensemble plus four singers, as well as special guests Dongmyung Ahn, violin, and Rebecca Cypess, organ and harpsichord. The program is closely tied with the forthcoming book Music and Jewish Culture in Early Modern Italy. This book “demonstrates that musical culture was fluid and shared between Jews and non-Jews, and that this shared cultural space involved complexities of identity and meaning.” The concert will contain narration and commentary on the music by author contributors.

Event Registration Required:



With Thanks to Our Partners and Sponsors:

The Jewish Music Forum

The Center for Jewish History

The American Society for Jewish Music

Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts

Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life

Rutgers University Department of Music

Rutgers University Department of Italian

The Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Development

Dillon Music

 EXILE: Music of the Early Modern Jewish Diaspora image

INCANTARE’s concerts highlight the musical and cultural connections of under-explored musicians from the Renaissance and early Baroque periods, especially music by composers, singers, and instrumentalists from marginalized communities in early modern Europe. Founded by Alice Culin-Ellison, Liza Malamut, Ben David Aronson, and Garrett Lahr, the ensemble strives to discover, research, transcribe, teach, and perform works that may not have been heard since their conception.

Incantare debuted to enthusiastic crowds at the 2018 Twin Cities Early Music Festival, where they were chosen as one of “the week’s five best Twin Cities classical concerts” by the Star Tribune. Since then, they have performed programs throughout the United States, with appearances at the Pittsburgh Renaissance and Baroque series in collaboration with Chatham Baroque, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, LeMoyne College, The Perkins Mansion in Rochester, and the International Trombone Festival, where they were praised for their “beautiful and cohesive sound.” Incantare’s EXILE program, currently touring in Minnesota, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and New York, was recognized as an “innovative project” by the Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research. EMAg, the Magazine of Early Music America, reported that audiences have left the ensemble’s concerts “with a sense of awe.”

The consort of sackbuts and violins has a long history and a unique sound that incorporates the vocal qualities of both instruments while retaining each of their distinct timbres, making it the perfect medium for performing the beautiful works from this rich musical time period. The name “Incantare” is a play on words that links directly to the group’s mission as early instrumentalists. “Incantare” means “to enchant” in Italian, and “to sing” in Latin. Incantare seeks to enchant, charm, hypnotize, and spellbind by singing through their instruments.

Early string specialist Dongmyung Ahn is a performer, educator, and scholar whose interests span from the twelfth to eighteenth centuries. She is co-founder of Guido’s Ear and has performed with the Sebastians, TENET Vocal Artists, Green Mountain Vespers, Raritan Players, Pegasus, and Marginalia. She has played rebec in the critically acclaimed production of The Play of Daniel at the Cloisters. A dedicated educator, Dongmyung is the director of the Queens College Baroque Ensemble and has taught music history at Vassar College, Rutgers University, and Queens College. She received her PhD in musicology at the Graduate Center, CUNY and has published an article on medieval liturgy in the Rodopi series Faux Titre.

Active throughout the United States, Ben David Aronson is based in Rochester, New York. A founding member of Incantare, his engagements as a historical trombonist include collaborations with the Dark Horse Consort, Piffaro, Pegasus Early Music, Publick Musick, Trinity Wall Street, New York Baroque Incorporated, Opera Lafayette, Apollo’s Fire, Mercury Chamber Orchestra and the Washington National Cathedral Baroque Orchestra. As a modern trombonist, he appears regularly with Symphoria, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic and Erie Philharmonic orchestras, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the Plymouth Brass Quintet, Symphoria Brass Quintet and as a founding member of the Hohenfels Trombone Quartet. In the 2021-22 season, Ben David is especially excited to perform with Pegasus Early Music, the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, TENET, Bourbon Baroque, and with Incantare on projects with Chatham Baroque, Florida State University, and the official launch of Incantare’s original new EXILE concert program. Ben David holds a DMA from the Eastman School of Music, and serves on the faculties of the Eastman Community Music School, the Hochstein School of Music and Dance, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, SUNY Geneseo, and the Texas Trombone Institute.

Alice Culin-Ellison, violinist and co-founder of Incantare, is a versatile historical performer with training in over 400 years of repertoire. As concertmaster, Alice has led productions of Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Purcell’s King Arthur, and soloed with various ensembles. She is the Artistic Director of Bourbon Baroque in Louisville, Kentucky, and performs regularly with the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Chatham Baroque, and Apollo’s Fire, among others. Also passionate about education and scholarship, her current research focuses on 19th-century American chamber music, with a special interest in music from Kentucky, and she has lectured and given masterclasses on Historical Performance. Alice received her Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University in Historical Performance, and also holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Indiana University. When not pursuing her passion for music, Alice is the keeper and grower of many house plants, and enjoys hiking, cooking, and paddleboarding. www.aliceculinellison.com

Musicologist and historical keyboardist Rebecca Cypess is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. She is the founder of the Raritan Players, a period-instrument ensemble that explores little-known repertoire and performance practices of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries—especially those associated with women. The group’s performances and recordings have been called “simply mesmerizing” (Early Music America) and “a fascinating concept, brilliantly realised” (Classical Music). Cypess has held a Residency Partnership Grant from Chamber Music America and was the 2018 recipient of the Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society for contributions to the field of historically-informed performance. She is the author of Curious and Modern Inventions: Instrumental Music as Discovery in Galileo’s Italy (2016) and Women and Musical Salons in the Enlightenment (2022). She is co-editor of Sara Levy’s World: Gender, Judaism, and the Bach Tradition in Enlightenment Berlin (2018) and, with Lynette Bowring and Liza Malamut (co-artistic director of Incantare), of Music and Jewish Culture in Early Modern Italy: New Perspectives (2022). Cypess holds a PhD, MPhil, and MA from Yale University, an MMus in harpsichord from the Royal College of Music (London), an MA from Yeshiva University, and a BA from Cornell.

Tenor Garrett Eucker is a versatile performer of many styles spanning the centuries with a singular love for early and new chamber music. After a three-year tenure with The Rose Ensemble, touring over 300 performances of diverse historical music, Garrett is back home in the New York City area. Past season highlights include appearing as a guest artist with early music ensembles Piffaro: The Renaissance Band, ARTEK, and Dark Horse Consort. He can be heard on The Rose Ensemble’s CD, Treasures from Baroque Malta, released in 2019. An adept haute-contre, Garrett has performed both as the soloist in Lully’s “Passacaille” from Armide and the role of St. Peter in Charpentier’s “Le Reniement de Saint Pierre”. A proponent of new music, Garrett is a founding member of vocal quintet Ping, dedicated to early and new music alike. Together, they have given world premieres of 7 pieces by young composers. Some highlights of past seasons include opening for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as well as the Orion String Quartet and performing as guest artists with Chatham Baroque, Strings Music Festival, and the Nantucket Musical Arts Society.

Soprano Jolle Greenleaf is one of today’s foremost figures in the field of early music. She has been hailed by The New York Times as a “golden soprano” and “a major force in the New York early music-scene.” Ms. Greenleaf was named the artistic director of TENET Vocal Artists in 2009, where she sings and directs the ensemble in repertoire spanning the Middle Ages to the present day. Her flair for imaginative programming has been lauded as “adventurous and expressive,” as well as “smart, varied and not entirely early” (The New York Times). She is a celebrated interpreter of the music of Bach, Buxtehude, Handel, Purcell and, most notably, Claudio Monteverdi. Ms. Greenleaf has performed as a soloist in venues throughout the U.S., Scandinavia, Europe, and Central America for exceptional presenters including Vancouver Early Music Festival, Denmark’s Vendsyssel Festival, Costa Rica International Music Festival, Puerto Rico’s Festival Casals, Utrecht Festival, at Panama’s National Theater, and San Cristobal, the Cathedral in Havana, Cuba.

Minneapolis-based musician Garrett Lahr is a historical brass specialist focusing on sackbut and other historical trombones. He regularly performs with many leading period instrument ensembles across North America. Engagements have included performances with Trinity Wall Street Choir & Baroque Orchestra, Dark Horse Consort, Apollo’s Fire, Piffaro, Mercury, The Rose Ensemble, Pacific Musicworks, and Clarion Music Society among others. Garrett’s sackbut playing can be heard on the ATMA and Naxos labels. In addition to performing, Garrett has been a visiting artist at Indiana University for a week-long residency of concerts and private instruction.

Liza Malamut regularly appears as a trombonist, teaching artist, and presenter throughout the United States and abroad. She has performed with Boston Baroque, Tafelmusik, the Handel & Haydn Society, Trinity Wall Street, Boston Camerata, Apollo’s Fire, Dark Horse Consort, and many other ensembles. Her playing can be heard on the Musica Omnia, Naxos, Hyperion, and George Blood Audio labels. A passionate teacher and researcher, Liza has presented masterclasses, lecture recitals, and papers at conferences and institutions throughout the country. Her work was supported by an American Fellowship from the American Association of University Women, and she is a co-editor and contributing author for the book Music and Jewish Culture in Early Modern Italy: New Perspectives with Rebecca Cypess and Lynette Bowring. Liza holds degrees in Trombone Performance from Eastman School of Music and Boston University, and she received her DMA in Historical Performance from Boston University, where she studied with Greg Ingles. She currently serves as Adjunct Lecturer in Historical Trombones at Indiana University, and is thrilled to succeed Ellen Hargis and David Douglass as Artistic Director of The Newberry Consort in Fall 2022.

Mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski, who sings “from inside the music with unaffected purity and sincerity” (UK Telegraph), is an active soloist and chamber musician hailed for her “rich and radiant voice” (UrbanDial Milwaukee). While based in Minnesota, Clara has made an impact on the international stage. In March 2017, Clara became the first-ever American prizewinner when she placed second at Thomas Quasthoff’s International Das Lied Competition in Heidelberg, Germany, where she was accompanied by Tyler Wottrich. The duo was one of four to reach the finals at the renowned Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation Song Competition in London, where Clara was also awarded the Richard Tauber Prize for best interpretation of Schubert Lieder and the Vaughan Williams prize for the best interpretation of English song. In addition, Clara won the Radio-Canada People’s Choice Award—along with third place in the song division—at the 2018 Concours Musical International de Montréal. A generous and enthusiastic educator, Clara has served on the faculty at the Aspen Music Festival’s Professional Choral Institute in partnership with Seraphic Fire and the Unversity of Minnesota-Morris. For more information, visit www.claraosowski.com.

Bass-baritone Jonathan Woody is a sought-after performer of early and new music in New York and across North America. He has been featured with historically-informed orchestras such as Apollo’s Fire, Boston Early Music Festival, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Bach Collegium San Diego, Portland Baroque Orchestra and New York Baroque Incorporated, earning praise as “charismatic,” “riveting,” and “wonderfully dramatic.” Recent highlights include Handel’s Samson with Pacific MusicWorks, Handel’s Acis & Galatea with Opera Idaho, and appearances with Washington Bach Consort and Opera Lafayette. Jonathan is also committed to ensemble singing at the highest level and has performed with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, TENET, the Clarion Music Society and New York Polyphony, among others. An avid performer of new music, Jonathan has premiered innovative works including Ted Hearne’s The Source, Ellen Reid’s p r i s m (winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for music), and Du Yun’s Angel’s Bone (2017 Pulitzer Prize-winner). He has appeared with Staunton Music Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Portland Bach Festival, Carmel Bach Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, and Beth Morrison Projects. Jonathan has recorded with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street (Musica Omnia), Boston Early Music Festival (RadioBremen), and New York Polyphony (BIS Records). Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, Jonathan holds degrees from McGill University and the University of Maryland, College Park and is represented by Miguel Rodriguez of Athlone Artists.

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Date and time

Thu, April 7, 2022

7:30 PM – 9:30 PM EDT


Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, NY 10011

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Organizer of EXILE: Music of the Early Modern Jewish Diaspora

The Jewish Music Forum is a project of the American Society for Jewish Music, with the support of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and the Center for Jewish History. The Jewish Music Forum was founded in 2004 and is currently in its sixteenth season of programming. It seeks to provide a thriving habitat for interdisciplinary dialogue and scholarly exchange in the growing academic field of Jewish musical studies as well as a critical intellectual resource for specialists across a spectrum that includes cantors, composers, performers, students, educators, artistic directors, journalists, and others from the fields of musicology, anthropology, literature, Jewish studies, and American studies. By linking together members of these communities, the Forum serves as an academic professional network and intellectual resource for all who are interested in the important role of music in Jewish life.