Svigals-Rushefsky in “Mahler’s World: Jewish Music in the Hapsburg Empire”

Klezmer violin superstar Alicia Svigals
returns to the Maverick on July 14 at 8:00 p.m. with tsimblist Pete

Ms. Svigals and Mr. Rushefsky brought down the house last summer at
Maverick, and this year¹s concert is called “Mahler¹s World: Jewish Music in
the Hapsburg Empire.” The concert is part of Maverick¹s season-long
celebration of the centenary of Gustav Mahler¹s arrival in America to lead
the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic.

Classical concerts are Saturday evenings at 6:00 and Sunday afternoons at
3:00, with jazz, world music, and klezmer on selected Saturday nights at
8:00. Young people¹s concerts are Saturday mornings at 11:00.

The box office opens an hour before each concert; the hall opens half an
hour before curtain time. Except for the last weekend of the season, ticket
prices are $20 for adults and $5 for students. Books of ten tickets, to be
used in any combination at any regular concert throughout the season, may be
purchased at the box office for $150 or by writing to Maverick Concerts,
P.O. Box 9, Woodstock, NY 12498. Children under 12 are admitted free when
accompanied by an adult. Donors of $50 or more to the sustaining fund of the
series may attend the season-closer Friends of Maverick Concert.

Tickets are general admission with no reserved seating, and a special ³rock
bottom² area provides pay-what-you-can seating. The Maverick Concert Hall
is accessible to persons with disabilities.

The Maverick Concert Hall is located on Maverick Road, near Woodstock,
approximately one mile from the road¹s junctions with either Route 375 or
Route 28. For additional information, visit
, call the Maverick¹s recorded message
line at 845-679-8217, or send e-mail to

Klezmer is the traditional, celebratory music of eastern European Jewry,
played in the old world and the new at weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other
simkhes, or happy occasions. Euphoric, ecstatic, and heart-wrenching, its
beauty and high emotion have made it a worldwide phenomenon, as electrifying
on the concert stage as it is joyful to dance to with family and friends.
Klezmer music in this country has typically been jazzy brass bands led by
clarinets, but earlier Eastern European klezmer ensembles were string bands
led by violins accompanied by the tsimbl. A stringed instrument played like
a xylophone, the tsimbl is played with mallets padded with cotton or
leather. The multiple strings at each pitch give the tsimbl its rich and
haunting sonority. It was a popular instrument in klezmer bands across
Eastern Europe from the 1600’s through the first decades of the twentieth
century. The instrument is still quite popular in parts of Eastern Europe
and Balkans and is often associated with Rom (gypsy) musicians.
Gustav Mahler was a towering figure in the artistic and intellectual hotbed
that was Vienna at the end of the 19th Century. Mahler used, in his
symphonies and vocal works, music from both ³high² and ³low² culture to a
degree unknown before this. He was born to Jewish parents in what is now the
Czech Republic and, to a great extent, the klezmer music of eastern Europe
was a root source of melodic and harmonic material for him.
Violinist/composer Alicia Svigals, a founder of the Klezmatics and of the
all-women band Mikveh, is considered by many to be the world’s foremost
klezmer fiddler. During the past decade, she almost singlehandedly revived
klezmer fiddle playing, which came close to extinction in the last century;
traditional klezmer violin style is now being played again by hundreds of
her students, including most of today’s best professional players. She
taught and toured with violinist Itzhak Perlman, who recorded her
compositions as duets with Ms. Svigals accompanied by the Klezmatics.
Pete Rushefsky is a leading revivalist of the tsimbl. He is also executive
director of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, a New York
not-for-profit dedicated to preserving and nurturing the performing arts
traditions of immigrant and ethnic communities. He is a well-known performer
and lecturer on klezmer and other traditional musics and has a number of
published articles to his credit.
Maverick Concerts, near Woodstock, New York, is the oldest continuous summer
chamber music series in America. The Maverick Concert Hall was built by hand
in 1916 in the pristine Catskill woodland, and now it is a multi-starred
attraction on the National Register of Historic Places. Presenting concerts
by nationally and internationally known performers at affordable prices,
Maverick continues the vision of Hervey White, founder of the collaborative
101-year-old Maverick Art Colony.

Yamaha is The Official Piano of Maverick Concerts; the C7 grand piano on the
Maverick stage appears through the generosity of Yamaha Music Corporation of

Maverick Concerts, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, is supported by
The Maverick Endowment Fund, Friends of Maverick, public and private
foundations, local businesses, the Towns of Woodstock and Hurley, and by
public funds from The New York State Council on The Arts, a state agency.
The commissioning and performance of the chamber orchestra version of ³Final
Alice² is supported by the New York State Music Fund, established by the New
York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.