The Boston Festival of New Jewish Music is a free monthly concert series presenting original music drawing from the Jewish cultural experience and highlights the best in Jewish-influenced music by composers and performers who live right here in our own backyard.
Season 1. Concert 4. An Evening of New Yiddish Song
Join us for an evening of new Yiddish song, featuring the winners of the BFNJM composition competition.
Co-Chair of the Department of Contemporary Improvisation at New England Conservatory, composer/performer/improviser Eden MacAdam-Somer is one of today’s most exciting and versatile artists. Hailed by the New York Times as reflecting “astonishing virtuosity and raw expression,” her music transcends genre through soaring violin, vocals, and percussive dance, weaving in and out of the many cultures that have formed her experience. She has been a featured soloist with symphony and chamber orchestras, jazz and swing bands, and Romanian, Jewish Music, and American folk ensembles. She has been a guest artist at such institutions as the Afghanistan National Institute of Music and the Dundalk Institute of Technology, a featured performer at the Eastbourne, Texas, and Beijing International Music Festivals, and she has toured across the contiguous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, India, Iceland, Europe, the UK, and Afghanistan.
Derek David is a composer and music educator based in Boston, Massachusetts. His dramatic and vibrant chamber music has been performed in both Europe and the United States and has received great recognition from audiences and critics alike. Originally from Los Angeles, Derek developed a passion for music at a young age. His studies led him to The San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he received his Bachelor’s in composition (2008), where teachers included David Conte, David Garner, and Conrad Susa. Mr. David received his Master’s degree in composition (with honors 2010), and his Doctorate (2017) from the New England Conservatory of Music, working mainly with Michael Gandolfi. Additional mentors include Steven Stucky and George Tsontakis (Aspen Music Festival), and Philip Lasser (EAMA Nadia Boulanger Institute).
Adah Hetko pursues diverse interests within the Yiddish cultural world and beyond. She is lead vocalist and dance leader for the Western Massachusetts-based klezmer band Burikes, and also performs with duos Adah and Allison and Adah and her Brother. In 2018 she defended her thesis “Contemporary Yiddish Women Singers and their Development of Yiddish Identity” to earn an MA in Jewish Studies from Indiana University. As a Graduate Fellow at the Yiddish Book Center, Amherst MA, from 2018-2019, Adah contributed to Asya Schulman’s Yiddish textbook for beginners, In Eynem, and researched the history of Yiddish typewriters. She has been a fellow at KlezKanada, a faculty member at Yiddish New York, and she coordinated multidisciplinary programs for KlezKanada’s 2020 virtual retreat. In addition to performing traditional songs, she composes new Yiddish songs and poetry settings, and English-language adaptations and translations.
Francesca Ter-Berg is a cellist and producer with an in-depth improvisation and collaborative practice. She is known for her specialism in Eastern European traditional music (specifically Klezmer and Roma) which she has been studying in-depth for over 10 years. Her improvisation practice stems from studying with renowned improvisors in the US and UK—including Vijay Iyer, Okkyung Lee and Ashley Paul. Since graduating from Goldsmiths University of London with a Masters in Popular Music, she has explored working with live electronics, studio composition and writing music for film, documentaries and video games.
Kirsten Lamb is a double bassist and vocalist originally from northern New Jersey. Praised by the Boston Globe for her “versatility and assurance” and the Huffington Post as a “brilliant young musician,” she has performed extensively throughout the United States and internationally. Kirsten graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory in 2009 with a Bachelor of Music in double bass and Ethnomusicology. She also holds a Master of Music Degree in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory, where she was awarded the Gunther Schuller Medal upon her 2015 graduation for “extraordinary contributions to the life of New England Conservatory.” An avid teacher, Kirsten maintains a private studio and is on Double Bass Faculty for the Wellesley Public Schools, Bridge Boston Charter School, Dana Hall School of Music, and New England Conservatory’s Jazz Lab. She holds a weekly teaching residency through Young Audiences of Massachusetts serving Horizons for Homeless Children, and another through the Brookline Early Education Program serving Brookline Public Schools. Additionally, Kirsten is a frequent guest teaching artist and workshop leader at universities and grade schools all over Greater Boston.
Jessica Ariella Bloch
Jessica Arielle Bloch is a versatile, young soprano singing music from the Baroque period through the 21st century, and a Finalist in the American Prize Competition 2020-21. This season she will perform as a Sparrow Live Resident Artist, a Young Artist with Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, and Young Artist with Music On Site. Jessica is also looking forward to making her 2022 Carnegie Hall debut in collaboration with Vincerò Academy’s Founder and Artistic Director, Maestro Abdiel Vázquez. She will sing opera scenes as Susanna from Le nozze di Figaro and Pamina from Die Zauberflöte, both composed by Mozart. Previously, Jessica has performed with NEMPAC Opera, Opera Fusion, Hartford Opera Theater, Vienna Summer Music Festival, and more. Some of her recent performance highlights include singing Blonde (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Amahl *cover* (Amahl and the Night Visitors) and her Sparrow Live debut recital series. Some of her past performances include roles and works by Mozart, Puccini, Donizett, R. Strauss, Massenet, Laitman, Higdon, and more. In addition to performing, Jessica is the founder of The Bloch Voice Studio at Bloch Performing Arts Inc. where she takes great pride in seeing the progress of her students as they advance in their vocal arts journeys. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts from Florida State University, and a Master of Music from the University of Connecticut.
Quinn Gutman is a nonbinary composer striving to share stories and experiences through their music. Their current project is “We Will Outlive Them…Letters to Rivka from Galicia”, commissioned by soprano Jessica Bloch, set from letters Bloch’s great grandmother received in the US from her family in Galicia in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. In May 2021, they premiered their opera, “Wanting: 3 Mini Operas about Queer Dating and Relationships”, which was written out of desire for the existence of an opera about, made by, and for the queer community. Quinn has written music for the ensembles Quorum Boston, Mivos Quartet, EnsembleNewSRQ, Ari Streisfeld and John Pickford Richards from the JACK Quartet and SO Percussion. Quinn is also a singer and performs a lot of their own music. Their most famous composer-performer piece is the A Cappella Arias, a collection of songs set from various poets, all sung a cappella. Quinn has a bachelor of music in composition from Oberlin studying with Lewis Nelson and Josh Levine and a masters from the Longy School of Music of Bard College, studying with Kate Pukinskis, Aaron Helgeson, and Amy Beth Kirsten.
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The Boston Festival of New Jewish Music
The Boston Festival of New Jewish Music is a free monthly concert series presenting original music drawing from the Jewish cultural experience. Hosted by BackRoom at The Boston Synagogue, co-presented by JArts, and live-streaming everywhere, the Boston Festival of New Jewish Music highlights the best in Jewish-influenced music by composers and performers who live right here in our own backyard.View Series