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Andrea Clearfield. Photo by Ryan Collerd. Courtesy of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage

From Yiddish Folk to Jazz: An Arts Salon

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 7 pm

Join us for an evening of performances inspired by the special exhibition 1917: How One Year Changed the World and curated by award-winning composer and saloniere Andrea Clearfield. Six renowned ensembles will perform music of the era, from Yiddish folk and American jazz to art songs and chamber music, as well as an original dance piece drawing on themes from 1917. 

Alicia Svigals, the world’s leading Klezmer fiddler and founder of Grammy-winning Klezmatics
Award-winning jazz and world music duo of Phyllis Chapell, vocals, and Ken Ulansey, woodwinds
Cheah Chan Duo: acclaimed New York performers vocalist Phillip Cheah and pianist Trudy Chan
Members of the Daedalus Quartet (Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania): Jessica Thompson, viola; and Tom Kraines, cello, with Juliette Kang, first associate concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, violin 
Group Motion Multi Media Dance Theater (celebrating 50 years in 2018) with Manfred Fischbeck, Artistic Director
Local favorites The Hot Club of Philadelphia, dynamic gypsy jazz ensemble led by Barry Wahrhaftig, with vocalist Phyllis Chapell

$18/$15 Members
Purchase Non-member tickets

In conjunction with 1917: How One Year Changed the World

Andrea Clearfield
is an award-winning composer of music for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensemble, dance, and multimedia collaborations. Clearfield creates deep, emotive musical languages that build cultural and artistic bridges. She has been praised by The New York Times for her “graceful tracery and lively, rhythmically vital writing”, the Philadelphia Inquirer for her “compositional wizardry” and “mastery with large choral and instrumental forces”, the L.A. Times for her “fluid and glistening orchestration” and by Opera News for her “vivid and galvanizing” music of “timeless beauty”. Her works are performed widely in the U.S. and abroad. Among her 140 works are ten cantatas including one commissioned and premiered by The Philadelphia Orchestra. She is a recipient of a 2016 Pew Fellowship and a 2017 Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts and has also held fellowships at the American Academy in Rome, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo and the Copland House among others. Passionate about building community around the arts, she is the founder and host of the renowned Salon featuring contemporary, classical, jazz, electronic, dance, and world music now celebrating its 30th year and winner of Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best of Philadelphia” award. She also curates and hosts Salons around the country.


Composer/musician Alicia Svigals is the world's leading klezmer violinist and a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics, which she co-directed for seventeen years. She has written for violinist Itzhak Perlman, the Kronos Quartet, playwright Tony Kushner, documentary filmmaker Judith Helfand, singer/songwriters Debbie Friedman, Diane Birch et al, and has collaborated with them as a performer and improviser as well as with poet Allen Ginsburg, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Gary Lucas and Najma Akhtar, and many others. She has appeared on David Letterman, MTV, Good Morning America, PBS' Great Performances, on NPR's Prairie Home Companion, Weekend Edition and New Sounds, and on the soundtrack for The L Word. Svigals was awarded the Foundation for Jewish Culture's annual New Jewish Music Network Music Commission for her original live score to the 1918 film The Yellow Ticket, which she is currently touring, and a Trust for Mutual Understanding grant to bring that work to Poland next year. She has been a fellow at LABA - a non-religious house of study and culture laboratory at the 14th St. Y in NYC which every year invites a group of artists to consider ancient texts and create work that pushes the boundaries of what Jewish art can be; while at LABA she composed a song cycle based on Yiddish poetry. In 2014, Svigals was an NEA Macdowell Fellow.

Phyllis Chapell and Ken Ulansey have been blending their instruments and voices together for over fifteen years, recording in each others’ projects, mixing influences, and broadening each others’ musical outlooks. Phyllis performs a unique mix of originals, folk, jazz, pop and international music, including songs in up to thirteen languages from the US, Brazil, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. She has performed in concert throughout the US, in Brazil, Latin America, and Europe. She has been named one of the top 500 jazz vocalists of all time by Jazz Times. Ken, Penn Council for the Arts winner, plays alto and soprano sax and pennywhistle. He is a musical chameleon, having played contemporary classical music with Relache, jazz with his own award-winning band, Latin music, and folk music with most of the area’s--and even the nation’s--leading songwriters. Besides leading his own wedding band (Philadelphia Magazine's Best of Philly!) that specializes in swing, motown, klezmer, Latin, pop, zydeco and oldies, Ken has toured extensively in Europe, Asia, and the US, played on nearly 200 recordings, and worked in collaboration with dancers, film-makers, poets and storytellers.

Hailed by The New York Times for the “warm tone and carefully calibrated blend” elicited from his choirs, Phillip Cheah is the Music Director of Central City Chorus, New York City’s “valuable choir” (The New York Times), and a founding member of C4: The Choral Composer-Conductor Collective. He has guest conducted New Music New York, the Amato Opera, Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble, Amuse, and various New York Summer Sings, as well as music directed productions at The Brearley School, the Dwight-Englewood School, Acting Manitou, and 13th Street Repertory Company. An accomplished vocalist, Cheah has been praised for his “particularly potent contribution” (The New York Times), a “warm tone and stately presence” (parterre box), and a unique three-and-a-half octave vocal range which “defies the laws of nature” (Time Out New York). He has sung with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s under the batons of Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Kurt Masur, Leon Botstein, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Together with pianist Trudy Chan, he is the co-artistic director of the Cheah Chan Duo which has been lauded by Time Out New York for its “restlessly inquisitive” performances of uniquely curated themed-programs at the National Opera Center, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Tenri Cultural Institute, Cornelia Street Café, Spectrum NYC, the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, and Symphony Space. Cheah has taught at The Putney School, Cathedral High School, Barnard College, and Manhattan School of Music, as served as the staff accompanist at The Brearley School. He has been the personal assistant to Peter Schickele and worked at Oxford University Press as Manager for Concert and Choral Promotion. He holds both B.S. and M.M. degrees from Indiana University where he studied piano, conducting, and opera coaching. He was also a recipient of the 2002 National Endowment for Humanities Grant to study the German operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Vienna, Austria.

Trudy Chan, since moving to New York City from Hong Kong in 2002, has performed solo piano and chamber works as part of the Annual ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards Ceremonies at Lincoln Center, was harpsichordist for an all-Telemann concert at St. Peter’s Church as well as a day-long re-interpretation of Eric Satie’s Vexations at Long Island City’s Sculpture Center, and also served as one of two pianists for Central City Chorus’s performances of Brahms’s Liebeslieder Waltzes and German Requiem. The Cheah Chan Duo, which she formed with vocalist Phillip Cheah in 2009, has performed at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, The DiMenna Center for Performing Arts, Tenri Cultural Institute, Cornelia Street Cafe, and Symphony Space. Back in Hong Kong, Trudy was staff accompanist for the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and performed with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta as well as for Radio/TV HK. She additionally spent five summers performing at Italy’s Orvieto Musica Festival. When she is not performing, Trudy runs her boutique company, Black Tea Music, specializing in managing and promoting composers.

Violist Jessica Thompson is a passionate chamber musician who has performed at the Marlboro, Portland (Maine), and Verbier (Switzerland) Music Festivals. She has toured with Musicians from Marlboro and performs frequently with the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players. Before joining the Daedalus Quartet, Ms. Thompson was a member of the Chester String Quartet, the resident ensemble at Indiana University South Bend, where she served as Associate Professor of Viola. She currently teaches viola at Princeton and Columbia Universities. Ms. Thompson has appeared as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra and has given recitals in Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and Washington, D.C. She performed at the “Wall-to-Wall Bach” event at Symphony Space in New York in 2008 and at the International Viola Congress in Minneapolis in 2004. Educated at the Curtis Institute of Music, her principal teachers have been Karen Tuttle, Korey Konkol, and Alice Preves.

Cellist Thomas Kraines has forged a multifaceted career, equally comfortable with avant-garde improvisation, new music, and traditional chamber music and solo repertoire. Mr. Kraines has been heard with ensembles such as Music from Copland House, Concertante, Mistral, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), and the Network for New Music, and at festivals including the Bravo! Vail, Bard, the Sebago/Long Lakes, and Moab. An accomplished composer of chamber music, his works have been performed across the country by artists such as pianists Awadagin Pratt and Wayman Chin, violinists Corey Cerovsek and Jennifer Frautschi, and sopranos Maria Jette and Ilana Davidson. His free-improvisation duo Dithyramb, with percussionist Cameron Britt, has performed and taught as guests of the Longy School of Music, the University of Florida at Gainesville, and the Jubilus Festival. Mr. Kraines has taught at the Peabody Conservatory, the Longy School of Music, the Killington Music Festival, Yellow Barn, and the Walden School, and Princeton University. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, violinist Juliette Kang, and their two daughters, Rosalie and Clarissa.

First Associate Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, violinist Juliette Kang enjoys an active and varied career.  Previously Assistant Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony and member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Ms. Kang’s solo engagements have included the San Francisco Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Boston Pops, and every major orchestra in her native Canada. Internationally she has performed with European and Asian orchestras. She has given recitals in Philadelphia, Paris, Tokyo, and Boston.  As gold medalist of the 1994 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, she was presented at New York's Carnegie Hall in a performance that was recorded live and released on CD. She has also recorded the Schumann and Wieniawski Violin Concertos with the Vancouver Symphony for CBC Records. In 2012 she made her Philadelphia Orchestra subscription debut with conductor Gianandrea Noseda.  Her next solo feature with the PO will be in January 2018, conducted by music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin.
Ms. Kang has been involved with chamber music since studying at the Curtis Institute of Music. Festivals she has participated in include Bravo! Vail Valley, Bridgehampton (Long Island, NY), Kingston (RI), Marlboro, Moab (UT), Skaneateles (NY), and Spoleto USA. In New York City she has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, at the Mostly Mozart Festival with her husband, cellist Thomas Kraines, and at the Bard Music Festival. With Mr. Kraines, violist Che Hung Chen, and pianist Natalie Zhu, she is a member of the Clarosa Quartet, dedicated to exploring and enriching the piano quartet repertoire. After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree from Curtis as a student of Jascha Brodsky, where she entered the school at age nine, she earned a Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Dorothy Delay and Robert Mann. She was a winner of the 1989 Young Concert Artists Auditions, and she subsequently received first prize at the Menuhin Violin Competition of Paris in 1992.  She serves on the Central Board of trustees at Philadelphia's Settlement Music School, one of the oldest and largest community schools of the arts in the country, founded in 1908 and having served more than 300,000 students since.

Group Motion Multi Media Dance Theater is one of Philadelphia’s longest running contemporary dance organizations, supporting a locally, nationally and internationally respected dance company. Founded in 1968 by Brigitta Herrmann, Hellmut Gottschild and Manfred Fischbeck, and under shared artistic direction of Manfred Fischbeck and Brigitta Herrmann since 1972, the company has created a substantial body of over 60 works and continues to perform and tour nationally and abroad. Group Motion also runs the famous Group Motion Workshop (since 1972) every Friday at the CEC located at 3500 Lancaster Ave and on national and international tours. The Company has a long history of collaboration with prominent national and international artists in all fields, including choreographers Carol Brown (New Zealand), Kenshi Nohmi and Akiko Kitamura (Japan), Oscar Araiz (Argentina), Wally Cardona (New York), Rennie Harris (Philadelphia), composers Phil Kline (New York), Andrea Clearfield (Philadelphia),  visual artists Peter Rose (Philadelphia) and Quintan Ana Wikswo (New York) among others.

The Hot Club of Philadelphia was started in 2001 by guitarist Barry Wahrhaftig. [War-hof-tig]. They are an acoustic ensemble, dedicated to playing ‘Gypsy Jazz.’ That’s the term used to describe the music pioneered by the legendary ‘Hot Club of France Quintet,’ which was led by guitarist Django Reinhardt and Violinist Stephane Grappelli in the 1930’s and 40’s. Django and Grappelli were inspired to do their own version of American ‘Hot Jazz,’ as played by artists like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. They used acoustic guitars, bass, and violin, rather than horns and drums. Grappelli and Django added some French and Gypsy flavor and created a blend of music that is quite popular and accessible. The HCPhilly mixes the original style of the HCOF, along with their own modern influences.

Event type:Concerts & Performances