Sunday, April 28, 2019 Girma Yifrashewa to Score Exhibition in Beth Sholom Synagogue

Girma Yifrashewa
Photo Credit: Victor Jeffreys II

April 25, 2019

David Hartt will be the first artist to intervene in the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Beth Sholom Synagogue, located just outside of Philadelphia, when he installs his multimedia work into the National Historic Landmark this September. Using music, video, sculpture, and other materials, David Hartt: The Histories (Le Mancenillier) will interrogate the histories and presents of Black and Jewish diasporas in the United States and across the world.

At the center of the exhibition is the 19th-century American composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Born to a Jewish father and Creole mother, Gottschalk left his native New Orleans for Paris to study music at just age 13. Blending European classical musical training with American traditions and Afro-Caribbean song, Gottschalk’s hybrid music predated ragtime and jazz by over half a century, and though relatively little known now, is foundational to music history both in the Americas and globally.


Ethiopian pianist Girma Yifrashewa—who, like Gottschalk, trained in Europe and blends multiple global sonic traditions—will be scoring the exhibition with compositions by Gottschalk that will be played throughout in order to, according to a release from the synagogue’s preservation foundation, “transform the space and invite audiences to linger in the immersive environment.” There will be additional musical performances by other artists throughout the exhibition’s run.

Hartt’s installation will be up from September 11 to December 19, 2019.

Comment by email:
Hi Bill,
Happy to hear from you and many thanks for the information. Yes I am happy I did Gottschalk’s beautiful piano music.

Hope to come and perform these beautiful works by Gottschalk for the great exhibition at Beth Sholom. 
Best wishes Bill.

Girma [Girma Yifrashewa] 

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