Two world-renowned musicians—Karen Bentley Pollick (violin and viola) and Jascha Nemtsov (piano)—performed works of relatively unknown nineteenth- and twentieth-century Jewish-Lithuanian composers to an audience of more than 100.
The free concert hosted by EHU at the Tolerance Center of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum included works by Joseph Achron, Alexander Krein, and Vsevolod Zaderatsky, among other composers. The works were selected by Nemtsov after a dozen years of research on Jewish-Lithuanian musical heritage.
The musicians also spoke at an EHU Public Conversation and Colloquium Vilnense on the topic of Lithuania’s lost Jewish musical heritage. Nemtsov, who is also a professor of the history of Jewish music at the Liszt School of Music Weimar, stated that he feels a great responsibility to ensure that these relatively unknown works are properly appreciated by performing them well.
Pollick, who performed with Nemtsov for the first time, said that the music “has been in a time capsule waiting for Jascha to discover it. To play these melodies on violin or viola is so gratifying. This selection could be in the mainstream repertoire."
Nemtsov says he has a particular appreciation for the works of Vsevolod Zaderatsky, who, like Nemtsov, lived in the Gulag, where he created his music. Nemtsov compared Zaderatsky to J.S. Bach for his ability to create music in dire conditions, and for his notable productivity: Zaderatsky created 24 preludes and fugues in just a few years.
The concert was organized in partnership with Vilnius University, and sponsored by the Embassy of Germany in Vilnius and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
EHU Public Conversations are sponsored by Novotel Vilnius Centre. For more information, click here.