April 29 - May 1, 2009 | ASU Tempe campus

From child prodigy to the most celebrated composer of his time: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy was hailed as a genius, reviled as a sentimentalist, beloved as a model of assimilated thinking and attacked for his Jewish heritage.

In honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest composers— and one of the most paradoxical figures—of the Romantic age, Jewish Studies, the Herberger College of Fine Arts School of Music, and Faculty of Religious Studies in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University present “Viewing Mendelssohn, Viewing Elijah: assimilation, interpretation and culture.” Mendelssohn and Elijah have been viewed through a variety of cultural and ideological lenses, with often contradictory outcomes. This conference explores this variety of interpretive perspectives, and features a performance of Mendelssohn’s oratorio, Elijah, presented by the Arizona State University Symphony Orchestra and Choirs.

download event program booklet

Related events

Celebratory events beyond the conference:

  • February 3
    Mendelssohn Birthday Concert Faculty Chamber Music Recital
    Katzin, 7:30 p.m.

    ASU School of Music faculty members Robert Barefield, Nancy Buck, Andrew Campbell, Carole FitzPatrick, Thomas Landschoot, and Robert Spring join guest pianist Laura Melton for a varied program of songs and instrumental chamber works by Mendelssohn.
  • February 14
    ASU Chamber Singers with pianists Dian Baker and Eckart Sellheim
    Katzin Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m.

    A Valentine’s Day concert featuring part-songs by Mendelssohn and the Brahms Liebeslieder Walzer (Lovesong Waltzes)
  • February 15
    Trio Soleil in Recital
    Katzin Concert Hall, 2:30 p.m.
    Featuring Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 2 in C Minor, opus 66
  • March 17
    Tuesday Morning Music and Tea
    Kerr Cultural Center, 10:30 a.m.

    A program of chamber music by Mendelssohn, featuring his masterpiece, the Octet in E-flat Major, opus 20. Performers include Carole FitzPatrick, Russell Ryan, and Robert Spring. 
  • March 25
    Vocal Master Class with Joel Revzen of Arizona Opera
    Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.
  • April 4
    Lecture: “Elijah in Sight and Sound”
    Phoenix Art Museum, 2 p.m.

    Free with museum admission. David Schildkret and Celina Chiarello speak about the artworks to be shown during the performance of Elijah later this month.
  • April 15
    Latin Dance Pachanga, Marimba Maderas de Comitan
    School of Music Courtyard, 6 p.m.
    Featuring selections from the “Songs Without Words” arranged as boleros and waltzes.
  • April 30
    ASU Gammage, 7:30 p.m.
    Pre-concert talk by Joel Revzen of AZ Opera at 6:30 p.m. 

    ASU Chamber Singers, Symphonic Chorale, Choral Union, and Symphony Orchestra with faculty soloists Carole FitzPatrick, soprano; Judy May, mezzo-soprano; Randall Black, tenor; and Robert Barefield, baritone. David Schildkret, conductor

    Mendelssohn's beloved oratorio performed by faculty and students of the ASU School of Music. During the performance, artworks illustrating the story will be projected near the stage in an exhibit curated by the Education Department of the Phoenix Art Museum.

Sponsors and support

This conference was made free and publicly accessible, thanks to the following: 


special thanks

  • This conference is made possible in part by the generous support of an anonymous donor.