TICO to offer unusual music, dance program Nov. 15, 17

By David Amos

David Amos

David Amos

SAN DIEGO — When you hear about an upcoming concert with the music of Kabalevsky, Crusell, and Grofé, you may ask, “Where is the music of the great masters we all know and love?”, referring to Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and so on. But, trust me, the former names will provide you with enduring music, a satisfying comfort level, and melodies you will probably be singing and whistling long after the concert.

This is what the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra (TICO) will be performing at the two concerts in the Synagogue’s Cohen Social Hall on Sunday, November 15th, 3:00 p.m., and Tuesday the 17th. At 7:30 p.m.

The Dimitri Kabalevsky overture, titled “Colas Breugnon” is a merry five minute romp which has been a concert favorite for decades. This Soviet composer was quite prolific; he was a music critic in Moscow, and composed many works which are both entertaining and of lasting value. I remember reading his review of Leonard Bernstein’s unusual interpretation of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony in 1959 with the New York Philharmonic during a Moscow tour.

Dr. Joseph Stein, TICO’s principal clarinetist, recently “discovered” the music of Bernhard Crusell, a somewhat obscure composer, contemporary of Beethoven. Crusell composed many works, and of the ones which have survived, there are three magnificent clarinet concertos. Together with guest conductor Robert Zelickman, Stein will perform the Concerto No. 3 in B Flat, a challenging piece which is full of rich melodies and catchy rhythms.

Joseph Stein is an academic cardiologist with expertise in cardiac arrhythmias and medical computing who has enjoyed music as a lifetime hobby. He studied with Jerome Stowell of the Chicago Symphony. He has been a TICO clarinetist for over thirty years, and principal for 17 years. To play the TICO repertory, he resumed study with Robert Zelickman and has appreciated his masterful teaching and help in challenging difficult pieces as an amateur.

Conducting this work will be Robert Zelickman who is highly respected in San Diego for his conducting, teaching, and virtuoso clarinet playing, including his participation in the “Second Avenue Klezmer” ensemble.

The second half of the concert will be something completely different, American, and very strong visually. Ferde Grofé was an American composer and arranger. You may have heard some of his work as an arranger many more times that you may be even aware of it. I am referring to Gershwin’s immortal “Rhapsody in Blue”! Gershwin wrote the piece for piano and jazz band, but it was Grofé who orchestrated it for piano and symphony orchestra, and that is the version most frequently played.

Grofé’s most popular work, by far was his own composition of the “Grand Canyon Suite,” a five movement orchestral showpiece depicting five pictures of the Grand Canyon. They are titled Sunrise, Painted Desert, On the Trail (the most popular of the movements), Sunset, and the tumultuous finale, Cloudburst.

As some TV commercials state, “But wait, there’s more!”.

Accompanying TICO in the Grand Canyon Suite will be the dance ensemble titled isadoraNOW. With Elyssa Dru Rosenberg as its leader and choreographer, the six-woman group will dance, depicting the various movements of the Suite, symbolizing nature’s blending with the human spirit.

isadoraNOW fuses contemporary dance with historical preservation and uses dance history to help audiences understand, appreciate, and relate to the art of dance. Through accurate reconstructions, creative new stagings, and new choreography, isadoraNOW gives contemporary audiences a taste of the artists who pioneered modern dance as well as an exciting look at how their ideas remain relevant today. Founded in New York City and now based in San Diego, isadoraNOW also works to educate audiences about the relevance of dance, and as it influences and is influenced by history, politics, society and culture, showing how it can be both universal and representative of the time and place in which it is created. The company also provides dance education to children who might otherwise remain unexposed to the arts.

Elyssa Dru Rosenberg, the founder and director of  isadoraNOW, is a choreographer, dancer, and educator. Elyssa’s choreography and Isadora Duncan reconstructions have been performed at many venues on the East Coast. A fourth generation Isadora Duncan dancer, Elyssa has taught master classes and workshops in Duncan’s technique and history at schools and universities throughout the United States. She currently serves as chair of the Isadora Duncan International Symposium Outreach Committee, and as a Steering Committee member of San Diego Dance Connect.

For more information on the concerts, individual or group tickets, reservations, directions, or a season brochure, call (619) 697 6001, or you can buy your tickets online at www.tiferethisrael.com/TICO.

Amos is conductor of the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra (TICO) and has guest conducted professional orchestras around the world.  He may be contacted via [email protected] 

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