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Launching the 2013-14 Commission and Tour of The Sarajevo Haggadah

August 19, 2013
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Accordionist Merima Ključo, composer of the 2013-14 NJCN commission and tour, The Sarajevo Haggadah (Credit: Ziyah Gafić)

Accordionist Merima Ključo, composer of the 2013-14 NJCN commission and tour, The Sarajevo Haggadah (Credit: Ziyah Gafić)

The FJC is proud to announce that its 2013-2014 New Jewish Culture Network music commission is The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book.  Composed by Bosnian-born, Los Angeles-based accordionist Merima Ključo, The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book traces the incredible journey of one of Jewish culture’s most treasured manuscripts.

Artist Ruah Edelstein’s video animation and shadow projections enhance The Sarajevo Haggadah’s story.

Artist Ruah Edelstein’s video animation and shadow projections enhance The Sarajevo Haggadah’s story.

Ključo is collaborating with animator and visual artist Ruah Edelstein to create a multimedia project exploring the Sarajevo Haggadah as a symbol of diaspora and displacement.

The book was smuggled from Spain during the Inquisition, hidden from Nazis during WWII by a Muslim librarian, saved from the ravages of the 1992 Bosnian War, before eventually being restored to the National Museum in Sarajevo. Ključo’s commission uses the Sephardic traditions of Spain, Italy, Austria, and Bosnia-Herzegovina and also draws inspiration from Geraldine Brooks’s historical novel, The People of the Book.

Pianist Seth Knopp, founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning Peabody Trio.

Pianist Seth Knopp, founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning Peabody Trio.

The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book performance was commissioned by the Foundation for Jewish Culture’s New Jewish Culture Network, a league of North American performing arts presenters committed to the creation and touring of innovative projects, and developed in residence at The Yellow Barn. The Yellow Barn will host a work-in-progress presentation at Sandglass Theater in Putney, VT on October 24 and 26, 2013.

Alongside Ključo and Ruah Edelstein, The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book’s artistic team includes pianist Seth Knopp, founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning Peabody Trio, and dramaturg Derek Goldman, an award-winning stage director, playwright, and scholar.

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The 2014 tour will include the following stops, along with artist-in-residency workshops, talks, panel discussions, and other public programs to be announced:

The New Jewish Culture Network is the Foundation for Jewish Culture’s pipeline for contemporary performing arts that explore the Jewish experience. NJCN is a collaborative commissioning and touring program represented by a select league of performing arts presenters, both Jewish and general. Music composition is a priority for the first several commissions. Past commissions recipients include Alicia Svigals for The Yellow Ticket (2012) and Galeet Dardasthi for Monajat (2011). The 2013-14 commission and tour has received major support from the Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Anne Abramson Foundation and other donors.

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