Composer of Symphonies, Opera and Ballet
A Choral Symphony: Halevi by Arnold Saltzman / Washington, DC North American premiere February 24, 2019 with the American University Orchestra and Chorus, Matthew Brown, orchestral conductor, Daniel Abraham and Casey Cook, choral conductors. Soloists - Janice Meyerson, mezzo-soprano and Rob McGinness, baritone, and the Strathmore Children's Chorus, Michael Wu, artistic director, perform the hour-long, six movement choral symphony under the soaring stained-glass windows of the National Presbyterian Church, near American University in Washington, DC. The performance was made possible by a generous gift from the Eugene M. Lang Foundation in celebration of the life of its founder, Eugene M. Lang.
"It was a great privilege to channel my father's philanthropy and spirit to support AU's magnificent performance of Arnold Saltzman's A Choral Symphony: Halevi. The Performance was memorable and profoundly meaningful--my father would have been deeply moved, as I was. Thanks for the opportunity to play a small part in sharing this stunningly beautiful work in our community. It was a splendid evening." Jane Lang (daughter of Eugene M. Lang) on behalf of the Eugene M. Lang Foundation.
A Choral Symphony: Halevi/European premiere June 3, 2018 at the Alba Music Festival, Alba Italy. Artists featured at the Alba Music Festival included pianist Brian Ganz, violinist Jose Cueto, and I Soloist Veneti. A Choral Symphony: Halevi was the finale to the 15th Annual Alba Music Festival.
A Choral Symphony: Halevi by Arnold Saltzman
This symphony in six movements, for Orchestra, Chorus, Children's Chorus, Mezzo Soprano and Baritone soloists, is a symphonic interpretation and song cycle of the last poems of Judah Halevi (1075-1141) translated into English by author Raymond P. Scheindlin, a Guggenheim Fellow and Professor Emeritus of Medieval Hebrew Literature. The poems tell of the journey and difficulty Halevi experienced, both physically and emotionally as he left his family and Spain for Jerusalem in order to fulfill a religious obligation and dream. This is very much a sea symphony and musical work of hope for humanity, stating that we are not alone in the Cosmos and that "God is at our side". A Poet, Doctor and Philosopher, Halevi was well known, and his arrival in Alexandria, Egypt was cause for celebration. Judah Halevi is a man who did everything right yet he is all too familiar with the second class status and dangerous predicament of Jews living in 12th century Spain.
It is truly a compelling work and got more compelling with every hearing."
A Choral Symphony: Halevi by Arnold Saltzman concert in Alba, Italy with Dr. Jeffrey A. Silberschlag, conducting the Romanian State Philharmonic Orchestra, the Alba Festival Chorus, Sonia Franzese, Dir., Ping of the St. Mary's College of The University of Maryland, Dr. Larry Vote, Dir., Janice Meyerson, mezzo-soprano and Maurizio Leoni, baritone soloists. June 3, 2018 in the Chiesa di San Domenico, during the 15th Alba Music Festival, Giuseppe Nova and Jeffrey Silberschlag directors, Alba Italy and Chesapeake Orchestra USA.
(See GALLERY for CD information)
Photo credit of concert: Black & White photos by Paulo Benegiamo. Photo credit of seascape, Th. Jefferson's Monticello & the town of Alba by Arnold Saltzman
An American Symphony (Sym. No. 3) by Arnold Saltzman, a four cameo movement work, composed and dedicated to four American Presidents on the theme of Religious Freedom: Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe. The premiere at the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts with Dr. Joel Lazar conducting, was compared in the Washington Post review to Aaron Copland and John Williams. It was performed again by the Trinity Orchestra of Washington. Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, has been called an 'American Sphinx' by author Joseph Ellis for his contradictory nature: championing freedom, especially religious freedom, while at the same time being a slave owner in Virginia.
Rescue in Denmark Symphony (Sym. No. 2) by Arnold Saltzman is dedicated to the people of Denmark who in a few weeks during 1943 rescued almost their entire Jewish population. The symphony premiered in Washington, DC at Adas Israel Congregation with the support of the government of Denmark whose Ambassador, Amb. Ulrik Federspiel brought greetings and thanks for this new symphony on behalf of the people of Denmark. TV-2 of Denmark filmed and created a news story viewed by over one million people in Denmark and northern Europe. At the request of the Government of 'Denmark Rescue in Denmark Symphony' by Arnold Saltzman was presented again at the Washington Hebrew Congregation with the participation and sponsorship of the Danish Embassy and its Ambassador Peter Taksoe Jensen.
An Israel Symphony by Arnold Saltzman was composed for the 50th Anniversary of Israel, and repeated again four years after its premiere. Its premiere was included in the Kennedy Center celebration of Israel called 'Art of the State' and included in the schedule of Kennedy Center events. Review: "...Pastel hues and a mix of big band sonorities..." Joan Reinthaler, The Washington Post
"I very much enjoyed your outstanding composition and I hope many other people will have an opportunity to enjoy it too!"
Zalmon Shoval, Ambassador of Israel
Touro by Arnold Saltzman is an opera with music and libretto by Arnold Saltzman set in Colonial - Newport, Rhode Island just prior to the American Revolution. It premiered at George Washington University Lisner Auditorium for a capacity audience. Its theme is Religious Freedom and leads up to George Washington's letter to the Touro Congregation stating "the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution, no assistance..." requires the support of its citizens who can in return expect equality as citizens.
Review: "Thoroughly enjoyable...full of digressions...beautiful melody...well crafted...carefully designed..." Joseph McLellan, The Washington Post
Children's Chamber Music with Actor/Narrator
The Little Rooster: Story and Music by Arnold Saltzman - 18' minutes - Flute, Oboe, Guitar and Cello
Solomon and the Dove: Story and Music by Arnold Saltzman - 20' minutes - Flute, Oboe, Guitar, Cello (2)
The Founding Fathers Suite by Arnold Saltzman settings of letters by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison for two part youth choir SA and piano.
Photo credit: Razi Yitzchak - Act 2 of Touro; Curtain call of full cast, ensemble, composer, conductor, stage director, choreographer, choral director.
Arnold Saltzman has been profiled by America's leading news organizations: The NY Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Opera News, ABC-TV, NBC-TV, PBS, and internationally on TV-2 of Denmark, Israeli TV, Voice of America, Cuneocronica.it, and La Stampa. Known for his symphonies, opera, ballet and settings of Jewish liturgy, his works explore the themes of universal experience, the Jewish experience and American experience in history, a remarkable heritage.
His main composition studies were with Dr. Leo Edwards, Dr. Robert Sanders, Dr. Miriam Gideon, Dr. Charles Walton and Dr. Robert Suderburg.
His music has received critical acclaim and has been performed at the American University in Washington, DC, the Alba Music Festival, Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts at University of Maryland, Kennedy Center 'Art of the State', Strathmore Performing Arts Center (350 Years), and Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University. His 4th symphony received its Washington, DC premiere with the Orchestra, Chorus, Chamber Singers of American University, with soloists Janice Meyerson and Rob McGinnes of American University conducted by Matthew Brown, with choral preparation by Daniel Abraham and Casey Cook. In addition The Strathmore Children's Chorus participated with Michael Wu, artistic director.
He is the recipient of many grants and foundation awards for music composition including: Eugene M. Lang Foundation Grant to American University in order to premiere A Choral Symphony: Halevi,
The Harman Family Foundation, The Fox Family Fdtn., Cafritz Fdtn., Robert and Clarice Smith, Robert and Arlene Kogod, David Bruce Smith, Norman and Diane Bernstein, Nehemiah and Naomi Cohen Fdtn., the Morningstar Foundation, The Cantors Assembly, United Synagogue and the Embassy of Denmark on behalf of the Government of Denmark.
He is the recipient of a Doctorate in Music, honoris causa from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, an MA in Music: Choral Conducting and Education from Columbia University, Teachers College, a BA in Music from the City University of New York-Brooklyn College, a BSM and Cantorial degrees from the Jewish Theological Seminary. In addition he is ordained as a rabbi and cantor.
Currently, and since 2016, he is focused on writing music as his main work and future work with plans for a 5th symphony, and additional works for opera.
His works have been recorded and/or published by RCA Victor, Decanter Productions, Or-Tav, Cantors Assembly, and the Alba Music Festival.
A Choral Symphony: Halevi by Arnold Saltzman with poems by Judah Halevi and English by Raymond P. Sheindlin /
"This is Classical music at its best!" Matthew Brown, conductor, American University Orchestra
"A Colossal work!" Daniel Abraham, conductor, American University Chamber Singers
"It was a wonder to watch more than 200 performers-students from across American University, faculty and guest artists-- breathe life into this work for its first North American performance..." E. Andrew Taylor , associate professor and chair of AU's Department of Performing Arts.
"We're glad about including your premiere in Alba. Everyone was excited ...all glad to participate with you at the premiere." Giuseppe Nova, artistic director,
Alba Music Festival, Alba, Italy
An American Symphony by Arnold Saltzman / "...Saltzman's symphony stands as a monument...to religious freedom...the work often sounded like a movie score influenced by Aarno Copland and John Williams...A solid brass section eased its way through fanfares, while compassionate strings served as the symphony's backbone, painting a mysterious frontier..."
Grace Jean, The Washington Post
Rescue in Denmark Symphony by Arnold Saltzman /"You have created a chef d'oeuvre!...You have made the story unforgettable!" Robert St. John,
author and Journalist
"One million people in Denmark have now heard pieces of your symphony...I am still simply overwhelmed by the fact, that you actually wrote a whole symphony about and dedicated to the Danish efforts during the war."
Camilla Kjaerolff, TV-2 Denmark
"A Powerful Rescue in Denmark Symphony"
The Washington Post
An Israel Symphony by Arnold Saltzman / "An Israel Symphony (by Arnold Saltzman) his debut in the genre, is warmly energetic and pleasing to the ear...melodically flowing and strait to the point."
Pierre Ruhe, The Washington Post
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