Hurwit: An Inspiring Experience

Albert Hurwit’s Symphony No.1, ‘Remembrance [is] an inspiring experience.”

And so, Edie Broida, Co-President of inSIGHT Through Education shares as the Palm Beach Symphony prepares to perform the work on January 31. The performance will be presented by inSIGHT Through Education — a local non-profit outreach organization — as part of its annual benefit, and will be guest-conducted by Michael Lankester. InSIGHT’s mission is to inspire and educate using the lessons learned from the Holocaust and other genocides worldwide. The concert takes place at Eissey Theatre on the campus of Palm Beach State College. Earlier in the day, Hurwit will interact with 750 students by participating in an educational composer residency, and the orchestra will perform the third movement of the symphony.

Broida adds. “Symphony No.1 was chosen by inSIGHT Through Education for students in the Palm Beach School District. The haunting melodies recall the Hurwit Family’s journey to America: the uplifting melodies reflect the hope for the future. InSIGHT believes the symphony experience will enhance students’ recent studies about immigration and, ideally, relate to their own family stories of hope and courage.”

Hurwit’s Symphony No. 1 is based on own family’s escape from Russian persecution in the early 1900s to begin a new life in America. The composer notes, “[When I wrote Symphony No. 1], I was driven by pure passion, with no consideration for musical rules or the practicalities of getting it performed…For centuries, the persecution of various ethnic groups has forced younger generations to separate from their elders and seek safety and freedom in foreign lands. It is the story of this symphony and the story of untold families.” He continues.“There is nothing like being in a concert hall surrounded by an audience during a symphonic performance of one’s own music. My emotions run from concerns about the performance and fear, to pride, joy, and an enormous sense of gratitude and fulfillment to the point of tears. Although I have often been invited on stage to say a few words about my music during a performance, the upcoming events are more ambitious. I have been asked to speak at the two concerts as well as at a Liberal Arts Conference at the Palm Beach State College and will not be able to let the music simply speak for itself! I feel fortunate to participate in all these events and look forward to hearing my music performed by the Palm Beach Symphony conducted by Michael Lankester.”

Symphony No. 1, “Remembrance” is available on MSR Classics (MS1134), featuring Michael Lankester leading the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra.