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Immigration, in Music and Film

Mon, 09/25/2023 - 16:30
Quynh Nguyen will perform a concert of works composed for the piano by Germaine Talleferre and Olivier Messiaen at the Montauk Library.
Courtesy of the Artist

In conjunction with its exhibition "Immigration in New York State, 1650-1950," which will open Sunday, the Montauk Library has organized a series of related concerts and films. 

The music programs will kick off Sunday at 2:30 p.m. with "An American Original: George Gershwin (1898-1937)," a recital by Alexander Wu, a pianist. Mr. Wu will perform and comment on some of Gershwin's earlier piano pieces and Broadway hit tunes as well as his significant works, including "Rhapsody in Blue," "An American in Paris," and a medley from "Porgy and Bess."

Mr. Wu recently performed Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm Variations" and "Rhapsody in Blue" at Lincoln Center with the Millennium Chamber Symphony, of which he is the artistic director.

Quynh Nguyen, a pianist who grew up in Hanoi, Vietnam, and studied there and in Moscow before coming to the United States to study at the Juilliard School and the Mannes College of Music, will perform "Le Fleur de France/The Flower of France" on Oct. 8 at 2:30 p.m. That program will feature works written for the piano by two major 20th-century French composers, Germaine Talleferre (1892-1983) and Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992).

The final concert, set for Oct. 15 at 2:30 p.m., will bring Alhambra, a Sephardic music ensemble, to the library. Founded in 1981, the musicians perform Judeo-Spanish wedding music, love songs, and instrumental dances on a mix of western and Middle Eastern instruments, including the oud, classical guitar, accordion, violin, flute, shawm, dumbek, riq, def, and bandir.

The group won first prize in the Jewish Performing Arts Competition in 1985 and was a finalist in the Concert Artists' Guild Competition the following year, both held in New York City.

The films, to be shown Fridays at 5 p.m. starting on Friday, Oct. 6, include "Fiddler on the Roof," "El Norte," "Big Night," and "The Joy Luck Club."

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