Kurt Weill, American
(Rochester, New York) – Michael Lasser, host of Fascinatin’ Rhythm, celebrates the music of Kurt Weill with three shows dedicated to the German-American composer. Funded in part by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc., the Kurt Weill, American series, airing Saturdays, March 9, 16 and 23 at 11 a.m. on Classical 91.5 and on public radio stations across the country sets the stage for the 15th Annual Lotte Lenya Competition, which will take place in April at the Eastman School of Music. Lasser will also host a special performance of Weill’s music at The Harley School's Wilson Arts Center, on Sunday, April 7 at 2 p.m. which includes songs written by Weill and his American collaborators with performances by Cindy Miller and Alan Jones.
In the Kurt Weill, American series, Lasser will present commentary and songs by Weill and his collaborators. Lasser also speaks with Kim Kowalke, Richard L. Turner Professor of Humanities at the University of Rochester and President of the Weill Foundation, as well as plays portions of interviews with Weill and three of his lyricists – Ira Gershwin, Ogden Nash, and Langston Hughes.
Kurt Weill began his career in the early 1920's, after a musical childhood and several years of study in Berlin. By the time his first opera, The Protagonist (Georg Kaiser), was performed in April 1926, he was an established young German composer. But he had already decided to devote himself to the musical theater, and his works with Bertolt Brecht soon made him famous all over Europe. He fled the new Nazi leadership in March 1933 and continued his indefatigable efforts, first in Paris (1933-35), then in the U.S. until his death. His most important works: the Violin Concerto (1925), The Threepenny Opera (Bertolt Brecht, 1928), Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Brecht,1930), The Pledge (Caspar Neher, 1932),The Seven Deadly Sins (Brecht, 1933), Lady in the Dark (Moss Hart and Ira Gershwin, 1941), Street Scene (Elmer Rice and Langston Hughes, 1947), Lost in the Stars (Maxwell Anderson, 1949).
In celebration of Weill, the Eastman Opera Theatre will present Weill and Hughes’ Street Scene April 4-7, and Nazareth College Department of Theatre Arts will perform The Threepenny Opera April 12-14 and 19-21.
Courtesy of the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music
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