An Event

To Racheli Galay

Cellist Anner Bylsma wrote in his book, Bach, the Fencing Master, that children like art, they do not like culture[1]. As I see it, art belongs to the creator and culture belongs to the consumer. Last Thursday, I participated in an event at the National Library in Jerusalem: Jewish Music Now. It was the second concert of a project, conceived and run by Racheli Galay, in which young students and faculty from the Jerusalem Conservatory collaborated with the National Library in Jerusalem in performance of Jewish music from the archives of the National Library. After greeting on behalf of JAMD, I played two arrangements of Yiddish songs by Janos Cegledy, together with the wonderful pianist Dmitry Novgorodsky. I really enjoyed seeing young people interested in music which is not very familiar to them, seeing them learn about the culture and get involved in the production of the concert. It was a full house and not just family of the young people as one would expect. The audience was interested and involved throughout the evening. Dr. Galay kept the pace with stories, ideas and a lot of humor. The entire evening was more than a concert. It was actually an event. Personally, I am not a fan of lecture recitals. I feel that the music has to speak for itself. This evening was different, though. It reminded me more of a concert I attended of The Brodsky Quartet. There was not much talking going on, but somehow, by magic, through the music, through the performance, through the words, something mysterious happened and the audience became part of the show. It was more than just people sitting and listening to music: people became part of the event. Nowadays, people can sit and listen to music at home without being crowded, without paying for tickets, without paying to baby-sitters and restaurants before and after the show. Creating an event is different. It is an art.
I am like a child: I do not like concerts. I like events. Concerts are culture. I prefer art.

National Library - Jewish Music Now

[1] – A. Bylsma, Bach, the fencing master, Page 18.
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