Secular Sacred Music
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Secular Sacred Music

May 19 , 7:00 pm

Rothko Chapel, a non-denominational, broadly ecumenical center, was designed by Jewish abstract expressionist artist Mark Rothko (born Markus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz). Originally conceived of as a Catholic chapel, the deeply spiritual, but abstract work of Rothko was quickly felt to be more fitting for a place of holiness open to all religions, belonging to none.

It was this work of Rothko’s that inspired Morton Feldman’s epic masterwork Rothko Chapel (1971). A work of great abstraction and spiritual depth, Rothko Chapel begins in what Feldman describes a “synagoguey type of way” and ends with what Feldman called a “quasi-Hebraic” melody in the Viola. In 2007 David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion, self-consciously attempted to secularize and universalize the Passion story, by setting a Hans Christian Anderson fable in the manner of a J. S. Bach Passion. In both of these works abstraction, and universalization, are Jewish responses to being in dialogue with artistic representations of Christian spirituality.

Join us for a performance of these two choral masterworks featuring the young artists of the OS Ensemble, led by Raquel Acevedo-Klein, including the performance of a new secular sacred work by composer Adam Roberts, commissioned for the occasion.

Following the performance there will be a panel discussion on the evening’s compositions and the topic of secular sacred art and music more broadly which will feature composers David Lang and Adam Roberts as well as Kate Rothko Prizel.

Admission: $15
YIVO members & students: $10

Click here for tickets.


May 19
7:00 pm
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YIVO Institute
15 W 16th St.
New York, NY United States
(212) 246-6080