ICS MEMBERSHIP SPOTLIGHT
OHIO CELLIST PERFORMS JEWISH MUSIC ON SIX CONTINENTS
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio -- Daniel Kazez, one of the world's busiest and brightest
stars in the arena of Jewish classical music, will make his first concert
appearance in Africa in April of this year.
First, he will perform at the principal synagogues of Casablanca and Fez,
in Morocco. Later in the month, he will appear in the cities of Meknes
To date, Kazez has performed nearly a thousand concerts on three continents-in
major concert halls, in small and large synagogues in the U.S. and Canada,
and in the world's centers of Jewish culture, including Cercle Ben Gurion
in Brussels, the Great Synagogue of Florence, the Sternberg Centre in London
(Europe's largest J.C.C.), the Rothschild Synagogue in Paris (one of the
world's largest synagogues), and the Jewish Cultural Center of Italy in
Later in 1998, he will perform in South America and Australia.
Kazez's interest in Jewish music is at once personal and professional.
His father is a Sephardic Jew who emigrated to the U.S. after World War
II in search of further education. His mother, an accomplished artist,
is of Ashkenazic descent. Most of Daniel's relatives now live in Istanbul,
Paris, and Buenos Aires.
Kazez reports that he "discovered" Jewish-inspired Classical
music after his concert career was already well under way:
"Years ago, Pamela Hope-Levin visited my university to participate
in a Holocaust conference. She was set to give a dramatic presentation
with violin accompaniment, only to find that her violinist was ill and had
not arrived on campus. With twenty-four hours' notice, I was called to
fill in, on cello. The next day's performance--which, by the way, was quite
a success--spurred me to consider performing art music inspired by my own
Rave reviews have poured in from critics: According to the Harrogate Voice
(England), "A most unusual and intriguing musical event by a leading
authority on Jewish music. Passionate music dazzlingly played..."
The British Jewish Telegraph (Leeds): "Kazez's playing was utterly
in sympathy with the music... To listen was nothing less than a privilege."
Kazez chooses the music for his programs with the greatest of care. "My
music has a clear Jewish connection. The melodies, harmonies, and rhythms
all have an audible link to Judaism."
His programs feature a wide variety of Jewish music, including music by
Ernest Bloch, traditional Jewish folk songs, and new compositions by Moshe
Denburg and Alex Lubet.
Daniel Kazez began playing cello at the age of five, under the tutelage
of Leonard Feldman, cellist of the Alard String Quartet. He holds music
degrees from Oberlin and Peabody Conservatories. His doctorate is from
the University of Michigan.
An internationally recognized scholar as well, Kazez is the author of two
books, twenty-five scholarly articles, and numerous editions and arrangements
Kazez recently traveled to India, where he gave a series of 14 lectures
and performances. An enduring student of world music, Kazez has also traveled
to Java and Bali (to study gamelan music, dance, and shadow puppet theater)
and to Turkey and Greece (to study urban folk music).
Kazez's work is supported by the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity
and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lilly Foundation,
the Wray Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council. He was the recipient of
the 1996 Matthies Award and a 1996-97 University of Chicago/Andrew W. Mellon
Kazez is currently Associate Professor at Wittenberg University, in Springfield,
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