City of Joy: A celebration of music from the palace and ghetto of Renaissance Mantua.
Can an artistic dialogue between people of different faiths pave the way for a dialogue of words? In the early years of the 17th century in the Italian city of Mantua, a cultural “bridge” connected Jews and Christians—despite their otherwise complete separation—who practiced and loved the arts of music, dance, and theater.
Because of what this bridge, this exchange, represented; because of its profound effect on the their lives, the Jews of Mantua called their home “Kiryah Alizah,” their “City of Joy.” With music and song from the Jewish and Christian communities of late Renaissance Mantua, this concert, City of Joy, honors an unusual age of tolerance and explores what made it possible.
Benjamin Wolff has been an adjunct assistant professor of music at Hofstra, and a member of the Hofstra String Quartet since 1998. He is a professional cellist, performing regularly with renowned New York ensembles such as Sinfonia New York and Concert Royal. Performing with Benjamin Wolff is Aaron Brown, Melissa Fogarty, Vita Wallace and Charles Weaver.