Ben David Aronson: EXILE: Incantare concert series

Ben David Aronson: EXILE: Incantare concert series

Incantare launched a series of concerts called EXILE that trace the paths of populations forced into diaspora during the Renaissance and early Baroque periods, specifically refugees of war, plague, and famine; victims of cultural and political shifts; and underrepresented musicians.

Incantare’s two inaugural EXILE concerts took place in New Jersey and New York City as a pair at Rutgers University and the Center for Jewish History in March 2020. They highlighted the paths of Jewish populations as they shifted and melded with musical traditions in Italy, England, and Germany. EXILE took as its starting point the rich musical cultures fostered by Jews in early modern Italy and their points of contact with non-Jewish traditions. From there, they touched on the influences of Italian, German, and English music and Jewish culture, highlighting Jewish musicians, the non-Jewish composers they influenced, and composers who inspired innovations in Jewish composition. The purpose of the program was to draw attention to the mutual influences of the early modern European Jewish experience – to break down preconceptions of Jewish music and culture and explore the implications of diaspora on Jewish artistic legacy.

The concerts were free and open to the public, welcoming all audiences throughout the New Jersey and New York metropolitan areas. Incantare’s core members were joined by singer-specialists Molly Quinn, Clara Osowski, Garrett Eucker, and Jonathan Woody; scholar-performer Dongmyung Ahn, violin, and musicologist Dr. Rebecca Cypess playing harpsichord and organ.

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