Songs Celebrating Jewish Communities Worldwide: Gershwin, Ravel,
Sephardic Melodies, many more
Featuring Dina Kuznetsova, Rinat Shaham, Steven Goldstein, Steven Blier
and Michael Barrett
FEBRUARY 18 AND 20 2009
at 8 PM

Kaufman Center and New York Festival of Song (NYFOS, www.nyfos.org),
will present Voices of the Jewish Diaspora on Tuesday and
Thursday, February 18 and 20, 2009 at 8 PM at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman
Center. It is the third subscription concert of the New York Festival of
Song, whose CD, Spanish Love Songs, (Bridge
Records, 2008) featuring Lorraine Hunt
, Joseph Kaiser, Steven Blier and Michael Barrett was named one of the “Best of the year” by Opera News.

The program features songs in many languages celebrating the culturally
diverse Jewish communities that flourished as the tribes of Israel spread
out across the globe: Sephardic melodies arranged by Roberto Sierra;
Second Avenue specialties by Irving Berlin and Abraham Ellstein; art
songs by Ravel and Mahler; plus music by Gershwin, Bernstein, and Harold

The cast of Voices of the Jewish Diaspora features soprano
Dina Kuznetsova, of the San Francisco Opera, Glyndebourne Festival
and Lyric Opera of Chicago, and featured in NYFOS’s Obsession à la
Russe last season; mezzo-soprano Rinat Shaham, an
internationally acclaimed Carmen and guest star with the New York City
Opera, the Berlin State Opera and such orchestras as the Berlin
Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
under Daniel Barenboim; tenor and Broadway actor Steven Goldstein,
a frequent performer at the New York City Opera and other major
companies, a Founding Member of New York’s Atlantic Theater Company, and
a regular guest artist on several television series; a string quartet,
TBA; and NYFOS Co-Founders and Artistic Directors Steven
and Michael Barrett as pianist/hosts (bios below).

Tickets for Voices of the Jewish Diaspora are $40-55, and
are available at (212) 501-3330 or

Merkin Concert Hall is at 129 West 67th Street, between Broadway
and Amsterdam Avenues, New York, NY 10023. There are also
half-priced student tickets, as available, one half-hour before curtain,
and a limited number of $15 student tickets are available in advance from
New York Festival of Song at (646) 230-8380.

Upcoming NYFOS concerts at Merkin Concert Hall include Songs of the
Irish Poets on March 17 and The Welcome Shore (songs of
rivers and oceans) on May 19 and 21. Carried Away (with the
lyrics of Comden and Green), the NYFOS Annual Gala will be
presented at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on April 14.



Leonard Bernstein

Des Antonius von Padua

Gustav Mahler

Gelb rollt mir zu Füssen, from Twelve Persian

Anton Rubenstein

From Songs from the Jewish Folk Poetry, Op.
Dmitri Shostakovich
1. Lament over the death of a small child
2. The Thoughtful Mother and Aunt
6. The Forsaken Father
7. Lullaby in Time of Need
11. I Linked Arms with my Husband
From Four Children’s Songs, Op. 35
Ha Geshem (The

Paul Ben-Chaim
Ruach (Wind)
Meyerke mayn Suhn, from Sept chants

Maurice Ravel

Kaddisch, from Deux mélodies

Papir Iz Doch

Volt Majn Tate Rajch
Lazar Weiner
Zog Nit Keyn

Hirsch Glick

Ulai laze yihie li

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
From Songs from the
Roberto Sierra
1. De
las mares altas
2. Échate a la mar y alcançalo
4. Mi
suegra la negra
Caminí por altas torres
7. La

Sadie Salome (Go
Irving Berlin and Edgar Leslie

Abraham Ellstein
Mene, Mene,Tekel, from Pins and

Harold Rome

(Program subject to change)

NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier, called by The New
York Times “A national treasure when it comes to the art of song,”
also enjoys an eminent career as an accompanist and vocal coach. Among
the many artists he has partnered in recital are Renée Fleming, Cecilia
Bartoli, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade,
Jessye Norman and Samuel Ramey. He has performed throughout North America
and Europe, including recitals at Carnegie Hall, La Scala, Milan, and a
Live From Lincoln Center telecast. Mr. Blier co-founded the New
York Festival of Song (NYFOS) in 1988 with Michael Barrett. Since the
Festival’s inception he has programmed, performed, translated and
annotated over one hundred vocal recitals with repertoire spanning the
entire range of song. His discography includes the premiere recording of
Leonard Bernsteins Arias and Barcarolles (Koch International),
which won a Grammy Award; the NYFOS discs of Blitzstein, Gershwin, and
German Lieder (Unquiet Peace); Gershwin’s Lady Be Good!
(Nonesuch Records); four albums of songs by Charles Ives in partnership
with baritone William Sharp (Albany Records); first recordings of music
by Busoni and Borodin with cellist Dorothy Lawson (Koch International);
and Spanish Love Songs with Joseph Kaiser and the late
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Bridge Records). This season, Bridge will
release the original cast recording of Bastianello / Lucrezia, the
acclaimed John Musto and William Bolcom operas with libretti by Mark
Campbell, commissioned and premiered by NYFOS.

Associate Artistic Director Michael Barrett is also the CEO of
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and General Director of the
Caramoor International Music Festival. In 1992 Mr. Barrett and his wife
Leslie Tomkins founded The Moab Music Festival in Utah, for which he
serves as music director. He has conducted major orchestras here and
abroad in the symphonic, operatic, and dance repertoire, and is the
former director of the Tisch Center for the Arts at the 92nd Street
Y. Mr. Barrett has conducted and played premieres by Bernstein,
Blitzstein, Bolcom, Kernis, Sellars, Harrison, Takemitsu, Del Tredici and
John Corigliano.

New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) was founded in 1988 by Steven
Blier and Michael Barrett. NYFOS is dedicated to creating intimate
song concerts of great beauty, humor and originality, combining music,
poetry, and history to entertain, educate and create community among
audiences and performers. With a far-ranging repertoire of art songs,
concert works and theater pieces, its thematic recitals have included
programs from Brahms to the Beatles, from the nineteenth-century salons
of Paris to Tin Pan Alley, from Russian art song to Argentine tangos,
from sixteenth-century lute songs to new music. NYFOS particularly
celebrates American song literature and culture, and specializes in
premiering and commissioning new American works