Not just Klezmer

By By Sarah Anderson

By Sarah Anderson

In what promises to be an intimate affair, pianist Steven Michael Glaser will perform this evening in the relatively small Dumke Recital Hall in Libby Gardner Hall.

Glaser’s program is titled “Celebration and Explorations: From St. Petersburg to Jerusalem, A Pianistic Journey of Jewish Classical Composers” and features works from seven 20th-century composers, including Saminsky’s “Danse Rituelle du Sabbath,” Krein’s “Two Jewish Dances,” Bloch’s “Visions and

Prophecies,” Glick’s “Sonata for Piano,” Stutschewsky’s “Four Sketches of Israel,” Ben-Haim’s “Five Pieces for Piano, Op. 34” and Castelnuevo-Tedesco’s “Le Danze del Re David.”

Each composer on tonight’s program has contributed to the rich library of Jewish-themed music. Saminsky and Krein were founding members of the Russian New School of Jewish Folklore in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Glick won numerous Canadian awards for his contributions to Jewish music in his native country. Castelnuevo-Tedesco moved to the United States from his home in Italy in the 1930s because of anti-Semitism. Bloch, born in Switzerland, also moved to the United States and based many of his works on Jewish themes.

Stutschewsky and Ben-Haim, both Israeli composers, have made contributions to the style known as the Mediterranean School, incorporating the influence of the Middle East into their music.

Glaser is an experienced performer and teacher of Jewish music. He currently holds a professorship in the School of Music at Ohio State University and is on the faculty of the Melton Center for Jewish Studies at the university. Additionally, Glaser is the visiting professor of piano at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at the Tel-Aviv University in Israel.

Glaser holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Michigan and a master’s from The Juilliard School, where renowned pianist Nadia Reisenberg taught him as her scholarship student. Glaser has received many awards for his solo and chamber work. He has also won many competitions, including the New York Chopin International Competition, the Liederkranz Competition and the Society of American Musicians Competition.

In the “Con Fuoco Duo,” Glaser performed with clarinetist Robert Walzel. The duo was chosen from more than 200 applicants for the United States Information Agency’s Artistic Ambassador Program and had the opportunity to tour Africa as part of the program. Glaser’s current tour includes performances across the United States as well as recitals in Europe and the Middle East.