Santa Fe Sym­phony salutes three Jewish com­posers


The Santa Fe Sym­phony will honor three of the world’s great­est Jewish com­posers at the Len­sic Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter on Sun­day, Feb. 17.

Sym­phony con­cert­mas­ter David Fel­berg will take cen­ter stage to per­form Bruce Adolphe’s Con­certo for Vi­olin (“I will not re­main silent”), a pas­sion­ate retelling of the life of the rabbi Joachim Prinz.

Prinz grew up in Germany and very early rec­og­nized the threat posed by Hitler and the Nazis. He spoke out vig­or­ously, warn­ing Jews of the im­mi­nent dan­ger and en­cour­ag­ing them to pro­tect them­selves.

Ex­pelled from Germany in 1937, he came to the U.S., where he com­mit­ted him­self to the civil rights move­ment with equal fer­vor. He was an or­ga­nizer of the 1963 March on Wash­ing­ton, where he spoke be­fore Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. He warned that “the most ur­gent, the most dis­grace­ful and most tragic prob­lem is si­lence.”

“Bruce was a class­mate of mine at Juil­liard,” con­duc­tor

Guillermo Figueroa said. “Bruce is re­lated to Prinz. I thought it would be a per­fect piece for David (Fel­berg).”

Fel­berg is the son of the late Santa Fe Sym­phony con­cert­mas­ter Leonard Fel­berg, to whom the con­cert is ded­i­cated. Leonard Fel­berg was con­cert­mas­ter for 25 years, Figueroa said.

“Bruce Adolphe is com­ing to the con­cert,” he added. “He’ll take part in the pre-con­cert lec­ture.”

John Wil­liams’ haunt­ing theme from “Schindler’s List” fol­lows. The 1993 movie told the story of Os­kar Schindler, who used his po­si­tion as the head of a Krakow enam­el­ware fac­tory to save thou­sands of Jews dur­ing the Holo­caust. The Steven Spiel­berg film won seven Academy Awards, in­clud­ing best orig­i­nal score and best pic­ture. Wil­liams wrote the theme specif­i­cally for vi­o­lin­ist Itzhak Perl­man. The ach­ingly beau­ti­ful mu­sic has be­come one of Wil­liams’ most fre­quently per­formed con­cert works.

Gus­tav Mahler’s Sym­phony No. 4 in G Ma­jor will crown the pro­gram with what has been called the com­poser’s “friendli­est” sym­phony.

“It’s hard to use the word ‘short,’ but this is the small­est in con­cep­tion and time,” Figueroa said. “It’s a very lyri­cal work.”

So­prano Mary Wil­son will sing the last move­ment, a wideeyed child’s vi­sion of heaven.

Mahler based the piece on the Ger­man fairy tale “The Youth’s Magic Horn.”

“It is ab­so­lutely rav­ish­ingly beau­ti­ful,” Figueroa said. “It’s per­haps the most ac­ces­si­ble of all the Mahler sym­phonies.”

Mary Wil­son

David Fel­berg

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