Notes on Kurt Weill’s America

By the time you sit down in your seat, get ready for the orchestra to tune, and read this, concert life in America will have already shifted to something that no one would’ve imagined just a few months ago.

It was under a similar seismic shift in cultural and world affairs leading up to WWII that the German Jewish composer, Kurt Weill, found himself an emigré in the United States, learning a new language, and reinventing himself, yet again, as a viable composer for Broadway. It is a testament to his innate talent and his ability to adapt that allowed him to succeed and thrive in such an exciting, yet alien environment.

I’ve always loved Kurt Weill’s music because it captures an exact time and place. If ever there was an argument that time machines do exist, Weill’s music could be entered as Exhibit A.

Written by

Music Director of the California Symphony and Las Vegas Philharmonic

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