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Jeffrey Schanzer: The Past Is Present

TODAY8:00 pm
$25 advance$30 doors$20 Student/Senior (w/ ID, Senior 65+)doors 7pm

The Past Is Present is a cantata about and by Holocaust survivors and their children. All of the text is taken from the oral testimony of members of Jeffrey’s family. The visuals are taken from old family photographs as well as original artwork by Noah Bogan, who is also the son of survivors. The characters are: A Father, who mourns the loss of his first son, who survived the Holocaust but died of leukemia when they immigrated to the United States. A Mother, who describes her flight from the Nazi blitzkrieg of Poland and later, her life in post-war Europe, travelling to the US, getting married and having children. A Cousin, who describes Schanzer family life before the War and later, her immediate family’s experience under Nazi occupation. A Son, who struggles to understand his place in the world in the aftermath of an event which occurred before his birth. This piece premiered at The Kitchen in 1999.

Isabelle Ganz Mezzo Soprano
Sylvia Bloom Soprano
Brian McCorkle Tenor
Thomas Meglioranza Baritone
Laura Seaton Violin
Joyce Hammann Violin
Ron Lawrence Viola
Mary Wooten Cello
Margot Leverett Clarinet
Ned Rothenberg Bass Clarinet
Kevin Norton Drums

A livestream will be available free of charge at 8pm on the day of the performance and archived for future viewing. Watch below or on YouTube.


Jeffrey Schanzer is a composer and guitarist involved in a wide variety of music, ranging from fully notated to fully improvised. He has studied composition with Morton Feldman and Anthony Davis and guitar with Oswald Rantucci. Jeffrey performs with his wife, composer/pianist Bernadette Speach, in Schanzer/Speach Duo, and leads the Jeffrey Schanzer Ensemble. Within the context of the Duo and his Ensemble, Jeffrey has worked with such musicians as Lester Bowie, Marty Ehrlich, Jason Hwang, Joseph Jarman, Oliver Lake, Leroy Jenkins, Joelle Leandre, Myra Melford, Bobby Previte, Ned Rothenberg and Wadada Leo Smith. His recordings include “No More In Thrall,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald, where his father was a prisoner, performed by the Sirius String Quartet with percussionist Kevin Norton on the CRI label, “Dualities” by the Schanzer/Speach Duo on the Mode label and, as a sideman, Leroy Jenkins’ and Joseph Jarman’s “Out of the Mist on Ocean Records.”

Jeffrey Schanzer: The Past Is Present

TODAY8:00 pm
$25 advance$30 doors$20 Student/Senior (w/ ID, Senior 65+)doors 7pm

The Past Is Present is a cantata about and by Holocaust survivors and their children. All of the text is taken from the oral testimony of members of Jeffrey’s family. The visuals are taken from old family photographs as well as original artwork by Noah Bogan, who is also the son of survivors. The characters are: A Father, who mourns the loss of his first son, who survived the Holocaust but died of leukemia when they immigrated to the United States. A Mother, who describes her flight from the Nazi blitzkrieg of Poland and later, her life in post-war Europe, travelling to the US, getting married and having children. A Cousin, who describes Schanzer family life before the War and later, her immediate family’s experience under Nazi occupation. A Son, who struggles to understand his place in the world in the aftermath of an event which occurred before his birth. This piece premiered at The Kitchen in 1999.

Isabelle Ganz Mezzo Soprano
Sylvia Bloom Soprano
Brian McCorkle Tenor
Thomas Meglioranza Baritone
Laura Seaton Violin
Joyce Hammann Violin
Ron Lawrence Viola
Mary Wooten Cello
Margot Leverett Clarinet
Ned Rothenberg Bass Clarinet
Kevin Norton Drums

A livestream will be available free of charge at 8pm on the day of the performance and archived for future viewing. Watch below or on YouTube.


Jeffrey Schanzer is a composer and guitarist involved in a wide variety of music, ranging from fully notated to fully improvised. He has studied composition with Morton Feldman and Anthony Davis and guitar with Oswald Rantucci. Jeffrey performs with his wife, composer/pianist Bernadette Speach, in Schanzer/Speach Duo, and leads the Jeffrey Schanzer Ensemble. Within the context of the Duo and his Ensemble, Jeffrey has worked with such musicians as Lester Bowie, Marty Ehrlich, Jason Hwang, Joseph Jarman, Oliver Lake, Leroy Jenkins, Joelle Leandre, Myra Melford, Bobby Previte, Ned Rothenberg and Wadada Leo Smith. His recordings include “No More In Thrall,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald, where his father was a prisoner, performed by the Sirius String Quartet with percussionist Kevin Norton on the CRI label, “Dualities” by the Schanzer/Speach Duo on the Mode label and, as a sideman, Leroy Jenkins’ and Joseph Jarman’s “Out of the Mist on Ocean Records.”