November 03, 2020

The Curious Case of Klezmer: Lessons from a History Destroyed and Denied

Event Details

Date & Time

Tuesday, Nov 03, 2020 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM

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Music Department


This event is free and open to the public.


Hosted Via Zoom


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Event Type & Tags

  • Academics

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About This Event

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Michael Gersten 

Join us for a virtual lecture on Klezmer Music presented by Gonzaga's Music Department

Klezmer music, traditionally played by eastern European Jewish wedding musicians, has gained popularity in recent decades among scholars and musicians. However, a paucity of primary sources presents significant challenges in determining its real history and authentic style. Understanding the forces that created this predicament offers a lesson in the power of individuals and societies to control, create, and destroy historical narratives.   

Dr. Michael Gersten serves as Assistant Professor of Woodwinds at South Texas College and Co-Principal Clarinet of the Valley Symphony Orchestra in McAllen, TX. Passionate about klezmer music and the eastern European culture in which it thrived, he has presented and shared his expertise across the country. His Holocaust education project Hate, Hope, and Healing: Exploring the Holocaust Through Music has received two separate grants from the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. He has presented on the muddled history of klezmer music at the International Clarinet Association’s annual conference and recently presented on klezmer ornamentation in the final round of that organization’s research competition. As part of Driftwood Duo’s “Klezmer and...” project, he has written and commissioned works for two clarinets that blend elements of klezmer music with the music of other cultures. Dr. Gersten’s work as an educator has been recognized and supported with grants from organizations including the Tijerina Foundation, the Rea Charitable Trust, and the McAllen Arts Council.  

Gonzaga’s Music department is pleased to offer this unique opportunity to learn and grow in a virtual format so that you can participate regardless of your location.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020
9:25 a.m. PST