One of St. Louis County’s most unique music festivals returns this week for its seventh season. The Gesher Music Festival brings professional musicians to St. Louis to perform chamber music with a Jewish inflection.
The theme of the Gesher 2017 is “War & Peace” and explores music and stories that reflect the Jewish experience. It also illuminates our common humanity that never wavers, even in times of conflict.
In “Prayers for Peace” Gesher tells the painful stories of war and conflict through music. It will be held Saturday, August 19, at the 560 Music Center in University City. On Sunday, August 20, “Transcending Borders” will be held at the Jewish Community Center’s Wool Studio Theatre at 2 Millstone Campus Dr.
The Arts Blog asked Gesher organizers if Gesher is unique in its mission in scope. The answer is that Gesher is a one-of-a-kind music festival. Most festivals with a Jewish theme tend to offer primarily Klezmer or Jewish folk music rather than classical chamber music.
Gesher has been a definite success, with audiences growing substantially through its seven-year history.
“We have developed quite a strong following and have very large crowds at our primary events,” said Marla Stoker from Marquee Media.
The War & Peace theme was part of Gesher’s artistic vision of remembering history, she said.
“The first year it was “Music of the Degenerates” in keeping with the Missouri History Museum exhibit of Propaganda and Degenerate Art in Nazi Germany. Last year, we took our theme from the “Route 66” exhibit with our “American Dreams” programs featuring music of American immigrants. This year’s theme of “War & Peace” is built on the museum’s World War I exhibit.”
The 2017 Gesher festival has two local connections: Eva Kozma, assistant principal second violin from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and Peter Myers, cellist, son of Dana Myers, first violin SLSO and Timothy Myers, Principal Trumpet.
More information on Gesher is available at www.geshermusicfestival.org.