The Ger Mandolin Orchestra

Ashkenaz, in association with the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre and the Yellow Rose Project, are please to present as part of Holocaust Education Week, the Ger Mandolin Orchestra.

The GER MANDOLIN ORCHESTRA is the brainchild of Israeli-American Avner Yonai, whose search for his family roots in Poland led him to a tattered photograph of his grandfather and two other relatives playing in a pre-WWII Jewish mandolin orchestra in the Polish town of Gora Kalwaria (Ger in Yiddish). The photograph inspired Yonai to create a contemporary version of this musical group, as a memorial project for his own family and the orchestra members, most of whom perished in the Holocaust. This all-star group of international musicians features authentic instrumentation and repertoire that re-creates what at one time was the most popular form of community music-making in Jewish life. Mandolin orchestras proliferated across the towns and shtetlakh (villages) of Jewish eastern-Europe, and flourished in the immigrant communities of North America, before losing popularity in the postwar years. The new Ger Mandolin Orchestra brings back to life this quintessential Jewish musical form, achieving a rare synergy between history and cutting-edge musical creation. The group’s repertoire includes a mix of Klezmer and Yiddish music with Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Italian, Czech and classical selections.

The Ger Mandolin Orchestra is led by renowned multi-instrumentalist Mike Marshall, a multiple Grammy nominee/winner for his work over the last 35 years with such artists as Bela Fleck, David Grisman, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, and the Modern Mandolin Quartet. A master of many musical styles, Marshall is known best for his work as a bluegrass and “new acoustic music” innovator, as a significant figure in the revival of classical mandolin music, and as the leading American proponent of Brazilian choro music. Marshall is joined in the Ger Mandolin Orchestra by an all-star cast of ten mandolinists from Canada, the US, Europe and Israel, including Chris Acquavella, Tom Cohen, Tim Connell, Brian Oberlin, Dana Rath, Adam Roskiewicz, Eric Stein, Don Stiernberg, Jeff Warschauer, and Radim Zenkl.

Watch the Ger Mandolin Orchestra on YouTube:
1. AFP News: The Ger Mandolin Orchestra in Poland, September 2011
2. 13-Min Documentary about the creation of the Ger Mandolin Orchestra
3. Ger Mandolin Orchestra live: Shalom Aleichem

Thursday November 7, 7:30pm
George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St.
Tickets $36 + HST – on sale Monday September 16
For tickets call Ticketmaster toll-free 1-855-985-2787 or buy online  (please note Ticketmaster adds a $6.25 service charge per ticket)
To avoid service charges, purchase tickets in person at the Toronto Centre for the Arts box office, 11am-6pm Tuesday to Saturday, 12-4pm on Sundays.

“We have a lot of stone monuments, but this is a living monument…it brings something to life rather than honouring something that’s dead.”
-Prof. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Columbia University NY
Program Director, Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw

Ashkenaz is pleased to partner with the Yellow Rose Project (YRP), producers of the Senior Prom, to bring Holocaust Survivors to this concert at no charge. With your help we will share this special cultural experience with those for whom it will have so much meaning.

$125 – Purchases two tickets for yourself, plus a free ticket for a Holocaust survivor.
$100 – Purchases one ticket for yourself, plus a free ticket for a Holocaust survivor.
$72 – Purchase a free ticket for a Holocaust survivor.

A charitable tax receipt will be provided for the total minus $36/per ticket for each ticket used. If you are not attending the concert, you will receive a tax receipt for the full amount of the donation.

Note: this opportunity is only available directly through the Ashkenaz office.
Contact us at 416-979-9901 or by email at for more information.

Presented in association with Neuberger HEW 2013 Holocaust Education Week and Yellow Rose Project

Media Sponsors: Classical 96FM and AM740

This event is generously sponsored by Moses, Libby and Sam Znaimer; Bonny Silver and Family; and by Helen Stollar in memory of her husband, Jack Stollar; The Gorman and Shore Families; and the Centre for Jewish Studies – University of Toronto.


Bonny Silver and Family
Moses, Libby and Sam Znaimer

First Mandolins
Harry and Sara Gorman
Helen Stollar, in memory of her husband Jack Stollar

Second Mandolins
Gail and Stanley Debow
Heather and Ron Hoffman
Warren and Debbie Kimel
Mel Stein and Family
Jack and Judy Winberg

Matthew Bernstein, Risa Prenick & Family
Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Toronto
Eleanor Dover
Cynthia MacDougall
The Reta and Max Merkur Foundation
Tom Mihalik (Tom’s Place)
Florence Minz
The Miransky Fund
Harry and Evelyn Rosen
Badar Shamim
The ShaRna Foundation
Alan and Faye Shiner
Marty and Lisa Starkman
Naman Tahrir

Tobie and Aaron Brotman
Alex and Olga Eisen
Dr. Robert Erlich
Faylaura Investments Inc.
Seymour & Rochelle Frydrych & Family
Michael Miloff
Terraplan Landscape Architechts

Elliot Berlin
Myrna Berlin
Susan Fremes
Elias Gefen
Robin Gofine
Rebecca Holzman
David Kaufman and Naomi Alboim
John Mackie
Penny and Richard Parnes
Mary & Les Richmond
Allan and Ellen Rosenbluth
Ed Segalowitz
Trademark Fire Protection
Kurt Yakov Tutter


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