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March 21, 2003 - Image 68

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-03-21

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Rackham Symphony Choir performs
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Hebrew and Christian liturgies.

John Tanasychuk, Detroit Free Press, January 8th, 1999

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C

omposer Thomas
Beveridge's upbringing was
not Jewish or Catholic, but
he brings together memorial
rites from both religions in a work
that will be performed by the
Rackham Symphony Choir.

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Beveridge became an Episcopal priest
interested in the origins of Christian
liturgy in the synagogue. Both he and
his wife spent two years in Israel at an
ecumenical institute run by the
Vatican to bring together Christian,
Jewish and Muslim scholars.
"My father started my piano playing at
age 5 and influenced my choice of
career," says Thomas Beveridge, 67, who
will be speaking about the piece before it
is presented. "I'm a professional singer
and have performed in synagogues as a
cantonal soloist. I've written Sabbath
services and recently finished 'Symphony

Yizkor Requiem: A Quest for Spiritual
Roots will be presented 3 p.m. Sunday,
March 30, at Saints Peter and Paul
Church in Detroit. Cantor Stephen
Dubov, of Congregation Chaye Olam,
is guest artist.
The symphonic
choral work, which
is having its
Michigan premiere,
was written in
memory of the
composer's parents.
With soloists, cho-
rus and orchestra,
the work illustrates
the heritage and
Judeo-Christian tra-
ditions examined by
the late Jewish
scholar Eric Werner
in • The Sacred
Thomas Beveridge: "I conceived the idea of doing excerpts from
Bridge, a pioneering the Requiem Mass and Yizkor because they are parallel pieces."
study of the inter-
dependence of
of Peace,' a gigantic Torah service."
Jewish and Christian liturgical music.
Yizkor Requiem premiered in 1994 at
"When my father died, I was trying
St. Mark's Catholic Church in Vienna,
to think of a memorial piece that he
Va., where Beveridge conducted his
would have found interesting,"
Beveridge says. "I conceived the idea of own choral *group, the New Dominion
doing excerpts from the Requiem Mass Chorale. It has since been performed at
Chicago's Orchestra Hall, the
and Yizkor because they are parallel
Washington National Cathedral and
pieces. I've since talked to Jews and
the Academy of St. Martin in London.
Chrikians, and they find it interesting
The Choral Arts Society of
to see the interconnections. I feel that
Washington performed the work at the
all religions go to the same source."
Kennedy Center for the Performing
Arts. Conducted by Norman Scribner,
Family Influence
the performance was recorded live for
Beveridge, the only non-Jewish compos- Naxos American Classics and featured
Cantor Alberto Mizrahi.
er to be represented in the Milken
Family Foundation Archive of American
Jewish Music, wanted the religious mix
Jewish Participation
to honor his father's interest in various
"I know Cantor Mizrahi of
types of spiritual expression.
Congregation
Anshe Emet in Chicago
An organist and choirmaster at
and another cantor, Mikhail Manevic
Columbia University, Lowell

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