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Hello Dolly! - Convergence Revisited - Conductor Manfred Honeck - Swedish Choral Music

Julieta Cervantes

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area performing arts, host David Latulippe talks with 3-time Tony nominee Lewis J. Stadlen, who plays husband-to-be Horace Vandergelder in the touring production of Hello Dolly!,  starring Tony Award-winning Broadway Legend Betty Buckley (pictured together, above). 

The Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival of Hello Dolly! opened earlier this week and runs through March 17 at the SHN Golden Gate Theatre (at Market and 6th St.) in San Francisco. 

We talk to African American Yiddish opera singer Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell. He performs at the JCC Berkeley (1414 Walnut Street) on February 21 in honor of African American history month with the program Convergence Revisited, together with acclaimed klezmer consort Veretski Pass (Joshua Horowitz, Cookie Segelstein and Stuart Brotman). 

Russell and Veretski Pass set out to create a new musical idiom by combining two distinct older ones: African American spirituals and the music of Jewish Eastern Europe, and created the album Convergence, the music of which premiered at the JCC East Bay in 2014. 

Drawing from a diverse collection of folksongs, anthems, lullabies, art and religious music, Convergence combines an array of historic genres such as early blues, Hungarian and Bessarabian klezmer, ‘old time’ fiddle music, synagogue tunes and contemporary classical.  

From the San Francisco Symphony, we talk with Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck who returns to Davies Symphony Hall with a program that includes works by the Viennese ‘King of the Waltz’ Johann Strauss Jr., as well as the Overture to his operetta Die Fledermaus, and Von Suppé‘s Overture to Poet and Peasant.  Soloist is the acclaimed German pianist Lars Vogt in Schumann’s Piano Concerto. Concerts are February 22 and 23 (8pm) and 24 (2pm) at Davies Symphony Hall (201 Van Ness Ave).

Plus, we talk with Grammy Award winning choral director Ragnar Bohlin and Swedish composer Jacob Mühlrad about Unveiling - New music from Sweden and America, by professional choral ensemble Cappella SF. The concerts are at First Congregational Church in Berkeley on Saturday, February 23 (7:30 pm) and at Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco on Sunday, February 24 (5:00 pm). 

Of the five works on the program, three are premieres. Time, by Jacob Mühlrad is a co-commission between four professional choirs – the Swedish Radio Choir, Cappella SF, Tapiola Choir from Finland and the Westdeutscher Rundfunk Chor from Cologne, Germany. 

Ragnar Bohlin conducted the Swedish Radio Choir in the world premiere, last November in Stockholm. Cappella SF will perform the US premiere of Time during these concerts. Other composers on the program are Eric Whitacre, David Conte (composer-in-residence at Cappella SF), Fredrik Sixten, and Carl Unander-Scharin. 

Open Air with host David Latulippe; heard live on Thursday, February 21, at 1pm. Listen now or anytime…