What Is Going on Down the Ohio River in Cincinnati? Originally Published October 29-30, 2021.

Jack Lindy is a composer and retired psychiatrist who lives in Ohio.  He contacted a few Pittsburghers to talk a bit after 10.27.18.  Subsequently he has composed a cantata depicting his sense of those whom we lost.  Talking with Dr. Lindy was a total delight.  Your correspondent had to miss the performance, which was recorded, due to it being scheduled on the same day as the yahrzeit of the eleven, but we look forward eagerly to hearing the composition in the webcast.

The composer says, “I felt I was there, that day of the killings, and needed to express the anguish of the victims and the hope of the survivors through music.”

The work was presented by ish, an organization which “brings artists and communities together to explore Jewish and Israeli cultural heritage through the arts, and is best known for producing Cincinnati’s biennial Jewish and Israeli arts and culture festival.”  They refer to Cincinnati as home to the oldest Jewish community west of the Alleghenies.  More information is available at https://ishfestival.org/

This is all a part of the Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial!  This calendar year (2021) marks the 200th anniversary of the establishment of Jewish community life in the city, beginning with the founding of the Chestnut Street Cemetery.  (Pittsburgh’s first Jewish organization was a burial society and cemetery, as well.)  They have rededicated the cemetery with an Ohio historic marker.  They will have on November 4th the opening reception for “A Portrait of Jewish Cincinnati” at the Cincinnati Skirball Museum.  And for the rest of the year they have dozens of events planned. 

One of the events is the broadcast of Jack Lindy’s Tree of Life Cantata, which they refer to as “a collection of movements composed in memory of those who lost their lives during the … massacre.”  The concert of which this work is a part will be streamed live on November 9th at 7:00 p.m.  For tickets to the webcast (free but one might make a donation), see https://www.jewishcincy200.org/calendar/tree-of-life-cantata-debut.

Information is at https://JewishCincy200.org.  Here is what they say about the concert:

“As a tribute to those killed and those who survived that dark day, Concert Nova Chamber Ensemble premiered the performance of Jacob Lindy’s Tree of Life Cantata. The concert will also include a quartet piece by Pavel Haas, a composer who was murdered during the Holocaust.

“In light of ongoing concerns around the health and safety of our community, the Tree of Life Cantata will be presented as a high-quality virtual streamed experience on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021. November 9th marks the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht, ‘the Night of Broken Glass,’ when thousands of anti-Jewish violent protests and vandalization took place across Europe, ultimately foreshadowing the devastating events and acts which would come to define the Holocaust.”

Cincinnati is just down the river from us.  We ought to connect more often.