Composer/performer Stuart Brotman, collaborated with colleagues Marlene (“Cookie”) Segelstein and Joshua Horowitz, and with Temple Israel of Alameda, to create a purely instrumental concert suite in klezmer style for chamber trio. The piece, in four movements, was written to capture the power of synagogue without the use of words. They premiered The Klezmer Shul at three Bay Area temples.
Stuart Brotman led the composition, preparation, and performance of the music, working closely with the two other members of the klezmer ensemble Veretski Pass–Cookie Segelstein and Joshua Horowitz. The group is named for Ms. Segelstein’s father’s birthplace–a multicultural area of what is now the Ukraine. Veretski Pass works in musical styles rooted in 19th and early 20th century Ashkenazic, Jewish cantorial, and klezmer traditions. Brotman and the ensemble also collaborated closely with Josh Cohen of Temple Israel of Alameda, a respected classical musician, conductor, and presenter, as well as an authority on Jewish liturgical music. Mr. Cohen assembled a Temple Israel Working Committee to listen to and provide feedback to the piece as it developed.
Stuart Brotman was co-founder of Los Angeles’ first two klezmer revival bands in 1976-77, Chutzpah and Ellis Island, and has performed with many of the most highly respected klezmer ensembles, including Brave Old World, The Klezmorim, Khevrisa. and The San Francisco Klezmer Experience. Veretski Pass, of which he is a member, works in musical styles rooted in 19th and early 20th century Ashkenazic, Jewish cantorial, and klezmer traditions.
The work premiered in three locations in February 2010: Temple Israel of Alameda; Congregation Netivot Shalom (Berkeley); and Congregation Etz Shayim (Palo Alto); and the CD was released in September 2011 (Golden Horn Productions).