Omaha Chamber Music Society Gets ‘Inspired’


February 12th, 2014

Omaha, NE — Chamber music meets Klezmer music this weekend.


This Sunday evening the Omaha Chamber Music Society continues its tradition of presenting a concert at Omaha’s Jewish Community Center. Violist Thomas Kluge gives several reasons he and his colleagues enjoy performing there.

Omaha Chamber Music Society

Omaha Chamber Music Society

“I really think it’s a beautiful collaboration,” Kluge said. “The audience there is so supportive, so appreciative. It gives the musicians a chance a lot of music that we otherwise don’t get to play, and also it gives us a chance to work with our colleagues in ways that we often don’t get to work together.”

Joining Kluge for this performance are clarinetist Carmelo Galante, violinists Anne Nagosky and Jeffery King, cellist Paul Ledwon, and pianist Christi Zuniga. Sunday’s program is called “Inspired: expressive chamber works shaped by Jewish musical traditions.” The title refers to the fact that, while the composers weren’t Jewish, they were influenced by Jewish music traditions and culture.

“Max Bruch was not a Jewish composer,” Kluge said. “He was banned in Germany for a number of years during the Nazi era, basically because he wrote a couple of piece based on Jewish themes. One of them is the Kol Nidre, based on the Jewish prayer, for cello and orchestra.”

A version of Bruch’s “Kol Nidre” for cello and piano will appear on the program, along with selections from Bruch’s “Eight Pieces for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano.”

“One of the pieces in particular is called ‘Romanian Folk Melody’, but it sounds maybe a little less gypsy when you think of Romanian, then it does Jewish,” said Kluge.

Also on the program is a Jewish liturgical song arranged for violin and piano by Maurice Ravel and the “Overture on Hebrew Themes” by Sergei Prokofiev. The overture is scored for the unusual combination of clarinet, string quartet, and piano. Kluge points out that the addition of clarinet give the work a feeling of authenticity.

“Clarinets are used in Klezmer music, a style of Hebrew folk music from primarily Eastern Europe, I think. You can definitely hear the relationship of Klezmer music to this composition,” said Kluge.

The Omaha Chamber Music Society presents “Inspired” on Sunday, February 16 at 7 PM. The performance is at the Jewish Community Center in Omaha and is open to the general public. More information is available at or by calling 402-960-6943.

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