Omaha Symphony Joins Temple Israel and San Diego Jewish Men’s Choir


January 12th, 2018

Omaha, NE—Omaha symphony is reuniting with Temple Israel this weekend for a free symphonic and choral concert, Tradition to Tradition. The concert will feature the Temple Israel choir, with Cantor Wendy Shermet as a soloist, concertmaster of Omaha Symphony, Susanna Perry Gilmore playing works for solo violin, and the San Diego Jewish Men’s Choir.

Enrico Lopez-Yañez returns to Omaha as the guest conductor for the concert. Tradition to Tradition considers Jewish themes in music, but that doesn’t limit the scope of the performance according to Lopez-Yañez.

“I think what’s really interesting about the Jewish culture is that they have such a deep and rich heritage,” Lopez-Yañez said. “’Jewish themes’ truly is a very broad spectrum in what it covers, which is why this program is so perfect in that it’s able to tie in all these different connections to some more modern history or things like movies and film as well as things that are very historic. One of the pieces that is very dear to me and I’m very excited to be presenting for the first time with the Omaha Symphony is Kurt Weill’s Second Symphony, and I think it’s truly one of the hidden orchestral gems in the repertoire.”

Also in the lineup:

“Two beautiful pieces, one is by Ernest Bloch named ‘Nigun,’ which is just one of the most luscious and beautiful pieces for solo violin and orchestra that I’ve ever worked on as well as the very famous theme from Schindler’s List by John Williams. The concert really covers a wide spectrum of music ranging from stuff that you might know from movies, like “The Prince of Egypt” to musical theater, music from Fiddler on the Roof, even some opera with the San Diego Jewish Men’s Choir singing pieces like the ‘Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves,’ from Verdi’s Nobucco, so it really covers a wide gamut of music. Even if you’re not familiar with Jewish themes, you’ll probably encounter that you actually did know some just because of the wide spectrum of music that will be presenting at this concert.”

Covering symphonic music, film scores and show tunes, Tradition to Tradition might make some unexpected connections with a piece by composer Ricky Kej that explores the Jewish tradition in India.

“I truly think there is a larger sort of entity that is Jewish music that can be connected even to people who are not Jewish. I think that people who are not Jewish can also enjoy and appreciate it and learn something from the music composed both by Jewish composers and non-Jewish composers who have really put forth an effort in learning about the culture and embodying it in their writing.”

Tradition to Tradition is this Saturday, Jan. 13th at 7pm at Temple Israel. Audience members will be invited to meet the musicians and singers at a post-concert wine and cheese reception. For more information or tickets, visit


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