In the summer of 2008, musician Yale Strom traveled to Romania and discovered a musical treasure trove. In the upstairs women's balcony of the 1871 synagogue of Carei he found a box of old books including the cantor's music book with over 250 melodies notated by hand.
In Memory of, premiering in New York on December 16, is a performance based upon the cantorial music he uncovered, and is dedicated to the Jews who perished during the Holocaust. Virtuoso cellist Mike Block and his string quartet will perform the new compositon.
After the quartet Cantor Ari Priven (Cong. Bnai Jeshurun) will sing some of the melodies from the "lost" cantor's book and then Yale Strom and Mike Block will perform melodies from the same work as klezmer pieces.
Hailed by Yo-Yo Ma as the "ideal musician of the 21st Century", Mike Block is a pioneering multi-genre cello player living in New York City. While studying at the Juilliard School, Mike joined The Silk Road Ensemble as its youngest member, and upon graduation in 2006, also joined Grammy Award winner Mark O'Connor in his Appalachia Waltz Trio. Since then, Mike has become an in-demand player in many musical genres, and has joined Darol Anger's Republic of Strings, The Knights, The Absolute Ensemble, Sirius String Quartet, yMusic, Bassam Saba's New York Arabic Orchestra, and a duo with Chinese Pipa virtuoso, Yang Wei. As a composer, Mike writes extensively for the Mike Block Band, and has also had his pieces performed at the Tribeca New Music Festival, and the MATA Festival.
"Through his art, Strom has brought back his spiritual Klezmer ancestors" - TIME magazine