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Sid Rabinovitch

Yuri Klaz

Winnipeg Singers

The Winnipeg Singers Concert Highlights Jewish Composers-Oct 19, 3:00 pm at Shaarey Zedek

September 29, 2014


Sunday October 19, 2014, 3 p.m.

Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, 561 Wellington Cres, Wpg MB


The Winnipeg Singers has long been regarded as one of Canada's finest choral ensembles.  The twenty-four trained singers present an annual subscription series of four concerts,  commission new Canadian works, and premiere other new works.  The choir employs some of North America's finest musicians as guest artists.  It regularly collaborates and appears as guest artists with such organizations as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and the Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers.  In 1989 the choir conducted a three week tour of Austria and West Germany, serving as choir in residence at the Classical Music Festival in Eisestadt, Austria.  In 1999 they toured Alberta and Saskatchewan.  In 2005 they traveled to Taiwan and Japan where they represented Canada at the 6th Taipei International Choral Festival and the 7th World Symposium on Choral Music in Kyoto.  Yuri Klaz has filled the role of Artistic Director for The Winnipeg Singers for the past ten years.


The Winnipeg Singers is excited to be appearing at the Shaaray Zedek Synagogue for the first concert of this 2014-15 season.  We have chosen to highlight the music of Jewish composers in this concert, specifically many Canadian Jewish composers, and more specifically, the music of Winnipeg composer Sid Robinovitch.  A special feature of the event will be the  Canadian premiere of "Songs in the Time of War" by Mr. Robinovitch.  He writes the following about this work:


"In 2001 I was approached by the University of Wisconsin to write an extended work for chorus and piano.  In my search for an appropriate text for the commission I discovered an Israeli poet by the name of Elisha Porat.  Porat, a  veteran of 3 Israeli wars, had written extensively on the subject of war, and I decided to base my piece on his work.  I contacted one of Porat's translators for additional material and ended up engaging a lively email correspondence with Elisha himself.  He was extremely encouraging about the project and helped me understand some of the more obscure references in his poems.  My piece, entitled "Songs in a Time of War," was premiered in Wisconsin in March of 2012.  I sent Elisha a recording of the performance and he seemed quite pleased with the musical treatment I had given to his words.  A few months later I was in Israel and visited Elisha at Ein Hahoresh, a kibbutz near Hadera where he had lived practically his entire life.  Being somewhat limited in his mobility, he gave me a tour of the kibbutz on his motor scooter.  Included in the tour was a visit to the local cemetery where his parents were buried.  Little did I realize that Elisha would end up in that same cemetery less than a year later, dying at the age of 74 from heart complications."


Robinovitch's work deals with different facets of war; a reminiscence of happier times when lovers meet, the slaughter of innocents at a polluted spring, waiting at home for the return of a soldier, and remembering the friends that have been lost.  We are very pleased to be presenting this work in this Remembrance season.  Local artists appearing with us will be Richard Turner (harp), Wes Elias (organ), Victoria Sparks (percussion) and Dan Peasgood (countertenor). 


Other works in the program will be Chichester Psalms (Leonard Bernstein), selections from Songs from Shakespeare (Harry Freedman),  American Folksongs (Aaron Copland), and Sing Unto the Lord a New Song (Sril Irving Glick).


This promises to be a very special event, and members of the community are strongly encouraged to attend.    Adults $25.00 (regular 30), seniors $22.00 (regular 25), under 30 $10.00 (regular 15), and under 6 free.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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