Concert will honor Ernest Bloch 50 years after his death. Adam Glaser conducts, Barritone Jesse Blumberg is Soloist
(Long Island, N.Y.) On Wednesday evening, August 4th at 7 PM, Usdan Center will present its annual Gala Concert featuring students from several music and dance divisions, as well as visual arts students in an on-site exhibit. A highlight of the concert will be an historic performance of one of Ernest Bloch’s greatest works, his Sacred Service (Avodath Hakodesh) for orchestra, chorus, and baritone soloist. Sacred Service has rarely been presented by young people, and its performance on August 4th will be an artistic point of pride for Usdan, and for its partner organization, UJA-Federation of New York.
Concert tickets (general admission), are $25. Patron tickets, for a 5:00 PM dinner and concert, including priority parking and reserved concert seating, are $150 per person. The concert will be at the on-site McKinley Ampitheater at Usdan Center, 185 Colonial Springs Road in Huntington, Long Island. For tickets, write to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (631) 643-7900.
Usdan’s senior orchestra and chorus will close the Center’s Gala Concert with two parts of Sacred Service. The ensembles, composed of high school-aged music students, will be conducted by Adam Glaser, a Usdan Center alumnus, and the conductor of Juilliard’s top Pre-College orchestra. The critically acclaimed young baritone, Jesse Blumberg, will perform the cantor’s role in Usdan’s performance. Usdan’s chorus will be prepared by Karen Lehman, conductor of the Center’s senior choral ensembles
Musicians throughout the United States are honoring Bloch in 2010, the 50th anniversary of his death. Sacred Service was commissioned by San Francisco’s Congregation Emanu-El, and it was premiered there in 1934. Usdan’s Gala will conclude with the dramatic scene that Bloch most loved. It is the moment when the Torah is taken from its ark, and presented to the congregation as the chorus sings “Torah tzivoh.” Bloch considered this part of his piece to be the embodiment of his personal journey of reunion with Judaism.
Usdan’s Executive Director, Dale Lewis, recently spoke of the significance of the Center’s August performance: “Sacred Service was a watershed composition for Bloch, one that ignited his transition from a classical style of composition, to one that was deeply religious. As we look back on 50 years of musical history since Bloch’s death, we now see his pieces as among the most significant examples of Jewish art produced in the United States. The Center’s conductors look forward to introducing Bloch’s music to our students, and to presenting a major work of historic and religious significance to our community.” A former concert cellist, Lewis has performed the composer’s entire repertory for the cello, including Schelomo, the Hebrew rhapsody for cello and orchestra that is among the most important concertos for the instrument. Lewis’s performances of Bloch’s Jewish Life suite were accompanied by the celebrated American composer, Yehudi Wyner, and his Carnegie Recital Hall debut, as winner of the New York Violin Teachers Guild competition, included a performance of Bloch’s Supplication for cello.
The acclaimed young American conductor Adam Glaser is now in his ninth season on the faculty of the Juilliard School, where he conducts Juilliard’s Pre-College Orchestra in regular concerts at New York’s Lincoln Center. Mr. Glaser was awarded the American-Austrian Foundation’s prestigious Karajan Fellowship for Young Conductors, which sponsored his residence at the Salzburg Festival and the Internationales Orchesterinstitut Attergau in St. Georgen, Austria.
An active composer, Mr. Glaser has enjoyed performances of his works by 19 major orchestras throughout the U.S. and Canada including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Utah Symphony Orchestra, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, along with the orchestras of Victoria, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Illinois, Long Island, Richmond, South Bend, and Naples, and various college orchestras including the University of Michigan, Stanford University and Cornell University. His choral conducting engagements include appearances at the Oregon Bach Festival, and performances of his choral compositions and arrangements include those by choirs of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Kol HaKavod, a vocal ensemble dedicated to the performance of Jewish music. He has appeared as a guest conductor of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony (B.C.), and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Glaser earned a diploma in orchestral conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music, a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School Pre-College Division in composition, and a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English, Afro-American Studies and Music. Additional studies include piano performance at the Oberlin Conservatory, and composition at the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division.
Usdan’s baritone soloist for Sacred Service will be Jesse Blumberg, an artist equally at home on opera, concert, and recital stages. He has appeared at The Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, and the Ravinia Festival, and is the founder and artistic director of the Five Boroughs Music Festival. He has created roles in new operas produced by the Minnesota Opera and the Utah Symphony, and he performed the title role of Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses to His Homeland, after which the Baltimore Sun raved, “Jesse Blumberg commanded the stage, physically and vocally. His virile baritone grabbed the melodic lines with remarkable dynamic force, lighting up the hall with his every appearance.” In 2008 Jesse sang John Brooke in Little Women with Opera Delaware and reprised his role in The Grapes of Wrath with Pittsburgh Opera. In 2009 he performed Silvio in Pagliacci with Annapolis Opera and then debuted with the Boston Early Music Festival, as Mercurio in L’incoronazione di Poppea and Adonis in Venus and Adonis.
In concert, Jesse Blumberg has performed with American Bach Soloists, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, Berkshire Choral Festival, Handel Choir of Baltimore, and the Waverly Consort. In 2005 he joined the Mark Morris Dance Group for a tour of the United Kingdom, and in 2007 he sang performances of Carmina Burana with the Pennsylvania Ballet at New York’s City Center. As a chamber musician, Jesse has collaborated with the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players and the Ensemble for the Romantic Century. He has premieres two important chamber works for baritone: Lisa Bielawa’s The Lay of the Love and Death at Alice Tully Hall in 2006, and Ricky Ian Gordon’s Green Sneakers (with the Miami String Quartet) at the Vail Valley Festival in 2008. In 2006 he and pianist Thomas Bagwell gave a recital of Wolf Lieder, which the Washington Post described as “no less than revelatory.” Also that year he and pianist Martin Katz presented an On Wings of Song recital for the Marilyn Horne Foundation, which has since been heard on various radio broadcasts nationwide.
In 2007 Jesse Blumberh was awarded first prize in the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Auditions, and in 2006 took second prize in the Lieder Division of the Liederkranz Foundation Awards. He has been recognized by Opera Index, Inc. and the Marian Anderson Prize for Emerging Classical Artists. In 2004 he was named a first place winner in the Art Song category of the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation Vocal Competition. In 2003 Blumberg was awarded third place at the 10th International Johannes Brahms Competition in Austria, and in 2002 he won first place in the 2nd International Yrjš Kilpinen Art Song Competition. He received a Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music and undergraduate degrees in History and Music from the University of Michigan.
Usdan Center, now entering its 43rd season, has introduced the arts to more than 50,000 Tri-State Area children since its founding in 1968. The Center, on a 200-acre woodland setting at 185 Colonial Springs Road in Huntington, is open to all young people from age 6 to 18. No audition is needed for most programs – rather, admission is based on an expression of interest in the arts. Each summer, 1,500 students are transported to the Center in air-conditioned buses every day. One-third of Usdan’s students attend on scholarship. Although the mission of the Center is for every child to establish a relationship with the arts, the unique stimulation of the Center has caused many to go on to arts careers. Alumni include singers Jane Monheit and Mariah Carey, actresses Natalie Portman and Lisa Gay Hamilton, and members of major music, theater, and dance ensembles, such as the New York, Boston, and Los Angeles orchestras, to the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theater.
The 2010 season of Usdan Center opened on June 28, and continues through August 13. For more information about programs at Usdan Center, visit www.usdan.com, write to email@example.com, or call (631) 643-7900. Usdan Center is an agency of the UJA-Federation of