Concert, lectures mark visit by composer Menachem Wiesenberg

Menachem Wiesenberg, a composer with an international reputation, will be in residence in the Department of Music and Dance from Feb. 13-17. In addition to classes and lectures by Wiesenberg, a concert of his work will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall.

The concert will feature Marjorie Melnick, mezzo-soprano, Astrid Schween, cello, Opus One String Chamber Orchestra, Lanfranco Marcelletti, Jr., conductor and Mak’hela (Jewish Chorus of Western Massachusetts) Director Kayla Werlin. Repertoire will include “Concertino for Cello & Strings,” “Entrapped Bird” and “Ein Gedi.”

Wiesenberg, who holds degrees in piano performance from the Juilliard School of Music and Mannes College of Music in New York City and the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv, began to compose at the age of 36. His works include pieces for orchestra, orchestra and soloist, instrumental chamber ensembles, and vocal ensembles, exhibit influences from classical, jazz, Yiddish, Klezmer, Arab, and Israeli folk music.

Wiesenberg’s music is performed throughout Europe and in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, the U.S. (at Lincoln Center) and Israel by well-known artists and ensembles such as the Dallas Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, Charles Niedich, Giora Feidman and Chava Alberstein. Broadcasts of his works have been on Radio Cologne, Bavaria and Geneva, French International Radio, and the Israel Broadcasting Service. Head of the Department of Jazz and Interdisciplinary Music at the Jerusalem Academy of Music, Wiesenberg has been commissioned by the Oregon Bach, Schleswig-Holstein and Lille Festivals, the University of Wisconsin, and the Tel-Aviv Foundation for Culture and Arts.

Also on Tuesday, Feb. 15 in Bezanson Recital Hall, Wiesenberg will speak on “The World of Music in Israel” at 11:15 a.m. Wiesenberg will also give two lectures on Wednesday, Feb. 16. “A Composer’s Responsibility to a Society in a Pressure Cooker” will be at 4 p.m. in 301 Herter Hall and “When East Meets West: The Intersection of Israeli and Arab Music” will be at 8 p.m. in the Jewish Community of Amherst, 724 Main St.

The concert and lectures are free and open to the public.