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Charity triumphant!

img  Tobias
For a small concert tour, Judith Kopecky and Aurelie Tremblay have made it their declared goal to bring the music of some of the finest Jewish composers in exile to an audience worldwide. Their first concert took place last Thursday, April 14th at the Bösendorfer Stadtsalon in Vienna. We took the opportunity to talk to Judith Kopecky after the show.

In the forefront of the concert, she had already mentioned that she felt both excited and nervous about the occasion, as she was totally convinced of the quality of the repertoire and at the same time unsure about its appeal:  "Franz Mittler, Egon Wellesz, Viktor Urbancic, Erich Wolfgang Korngold - I was always expecting people to ask: Who are these four men? What are their compositions like? How would one catgeorise their music? And, most of all, I was asking myself: Would anyone care?" On the other hand, she could be certain that the organisational aspect would be in fine hands: The Orpheus Trust is one of the most active foundations trying to save the cultural heritage of those locked up in exile after World War II. This proved to be correct, when all tickets had sold out one week before the event and both sides had already agreed on a follow-up in autumn.

The question with charity always seems to be, whether the public turns up for the good cause or the music. In this case, according to Kopecky, things were clear-cut: "The public was interested, attentative and open-minded. I was pleased to find people actually wanting to go out and explore new music. They were extremely happy to find out about these compositions, even though they were written between 1911 and 1929 and therefore anything but contemporary. In some cases, such as with the "Mädchenlieder" by Wellesz, we even had to use the original manuscripts."

The most enjoyable part of the concert had to be the feeling that audience and musicians were actually sharing the experience: "There was a clear interaction between listeners and us, the performers, and that, to me, is always the main gauge to whether a performance was succesful". Reactions after the concert justified this impression and have intensified both Kopeckys and Tremblays desire to continue searching the archives for more treasures.

The next concert will take place May, 2nd at the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York.

Homepage: Judith Kopecky
Homepage: Aurelie Tremblay
Hompage: Orpheus Trust

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