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Muzsikás: The Lost Jewish Music of Transylvania
November 5, 2015
For over 40 years, the musicians of Budapest’s Muzsikás Ensemble have been the leading global emissaries of Hungarian folk music. Their legendary career began in the mid-70s when they pioneered in the development of Budapest’s Tanchaz (dancehouse) scene, a roots music revival that grew into a national movement celebrating Hungary’s rich musical culture. They have since toured all over the world, collaborated with leading artists, released many acclaimed recordings and received countless accolades and awards.
In the early 90s, the group embarked on one of their most challenging and meaningful projects: to reconstruct the musical traditions of Hungary’s pre-war Jewish community. Focusing particularly on the region of Maramaros (Maramures) in Transylvania, once home to over 5,000 Jewish families, the group conducted field research in the spirit of Bartok and Kodaly, seeking out those who had played with Jews before WWII or could remember anything of the community’s musical life. Their work resulted in a widely-acclaimed CD, considered by many to be the most authentic depiction of pre-war Hungarian-Jewish music. Click HERE to read a historical essay by Judith Frigyesi about the significance of Muzsikás’ “Maramaros” album.
In this stirring program, the master musicians of Muzsikás bring forth a unique hybrid repertoire, strongly influenced by the broader musical vernacular of the region but inflected with a distinct Jewish accent. Not quite Klezmer and not quite Hungarian village music, this unique repertoire and style stands as a reflection of a community that was deeply integrated in its cultural context. This moving concert program has been described as “aural” history, and is a rare and poignant expression of musical riches now lost from Hungary’s cultural fabric as a result of the Holocaust. This unique program was last presented in Toronto 20 years ago, as part of the very first Ashkenaz Festival.
Presented by Ashkenaz Foundation as part of Holocaust Education Week.
Presented with the generous support of Tom’s Place; Moses, Libby and Sam Znaimer; Andrea Kalmar; and the Consulate General of Hungary in Toronto.
Thursday November 5, 2015, 8pm
George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St.
Tickets $36 / $30 (+ HST and service charges) Click HERE to buy now.
For tickets call Ticketmaster toll-free 1-855-985-2787 or buy online at www.ticketmaster.com (service charges apply). To avoid service charges, buy tickets in person at the Toronto Centre for the Arts Box office, 1-6pm Tuesday to Saturday (closed Sundays and Mondays).
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