Rob Kapilow, “Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas”
Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 7:30PM
Walter S. Gubelmann Auditorium

Favorite Christmas songs such as “White Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” and Silver Bells,” among many others were written by Jewish composers. The evening tells the story of immigrant outsiders who helped write America’s soundtrack. Rob Kapilow, host of NPR’s “What Makes It Great?”, is joined by two Broadway vocalists, Michael Winther and Gabrielle Stravelli, and the Pop/Rock Choir from Palm Beach Atlantic University as they weave together remarkable tales and explore the music of some of the world’s most beloved holiday repertoire.

Songs to be Performed and Discussed 

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
White Christmas
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow
Baby it’s Cold Outside,
The Christmas Song
Silver Bells
THE CHRISTMAS WALTZ  (NEW SONG, also by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne)
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Santa Baby
Do You Hear What I Hear

Featuring:
Gabrielle Stravelli
Michael Winther
Pop/Rock Choir from Palm Beach Atlantic University

For over 20 years, Rob Kapilow has brought the joy and wonder of classical music – and unraveled some of its mysteries – to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Characterized by his unique ability to create an “aha” moment for his audiences and collaborators, whatever their level of musical sophistication or naiveté, Kapilow’s work brings music into people’s lives: opening new ears to musical experiences and helping people to listen actively rather than just hear.

Kapilow’s range of activities is astonishingly broad, including his What Makes It Great?® presentations (now for over 20 seasons in New York and Boston), his family compositions and Family Musik® events, his Citypieces, corporate programs, and residencies with institutions as diverse as the National Gallery of Canada and Stanford University.

Kapilow has appeared on NBC’s Today Show with Katie Couric; he presented a special What Makes It Great?® for broadcast on PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center; and he has written two books published by Wiley/Lincoln Center: All You Have To Do Is Listen, which won the PSP Prose Award for Best Book in Music and the Performing Arts, and What Makes It Great (2011), the first book of its kind to be especially designed for the iPad with embedded musical examples. He is currently finishing a new book for Norton/Liveright on the American Songbook.

Rob Kapilow also writes and composes new music. He was the first composer to be granted the rights to set Dr. Seuss’ words to music, and his Green Eggs and Ham has been called “the most successful piece written for families this half century.” He is currently working on a new piece for the 25th anniversary of Ottawa Chamberfest based on Louise Bourgeois’ spider sculpture, “Maman.”

He was featured on Chicago Public Radio’s Composers In America series, and is a recipient of an Exxon Meet-the-Composer grant and numerous ASCAP awards.

Kapilow has conducted many of North America’s orchestras, as well as new works of musical theater, ranging from the Tony Award-winning Nine on Broadway to the premiere of Frida for the opening of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, and premieres of works for the American Repertory Theater.

 

MICHAEL WINTHER

Michael’s Broadway credits include: Fun Home, 33Variations, Mamma Mia!, 1776, Artist Descending a Staircase, The Crucible and Damn Yankees. Most recently, he portrayed Albert Einstein in author and theoretical physicist Brian Greene’s multimedia theater piece, Light Fallsin New York, Princeton, Australia. The piece was recently broadcast on PBS/WNET. He toured the country with the national tour of the Tony award-winning best musical, Fun Home. Equally comfortable on the Broadway stage as the concert hall and recording studio, Michael collaborated with mulitiple Grammy-nominee, jazz composer Fred Hersch and poet, Mary Jo Salter in the premiere of a new song cycle, Rooms of Lightfor Peak Performance at Montclair University.He starred as “Dan” in the Pulitzer winning musical, Next To Normal at Baltimore/Centerstage; Frank London and Neil Berger’s A Night In The Old Marketplacein São Paulo;Tectonic’s The Laramie Project Cycle at BAM/Harvey Theatre; Fred Hersch’s multimedia jazz-theatre piece, My Coma Dreamsin NYC, Berlin, San Francisco; Merrily We Roll Alongat City Center Encores!®. He regional credits include productionsat Center Theatre Group/LA, Guthrie Theater, Yale Rep, McCarter Theater, Old Globe, Goodspeed Musicals, Theatreworks/Palo Alto, La Jolla Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, Perseverance Theater, O’Neill Theatre Center, Sundance Theatre Lab. His film credits include The Avengers, Jumper, The Break-Up, Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Recent television credits include “The Hunt,”“The Blacklist,” “Mysteries of Laura,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Hostages,” “Leverage” and “Law & Order. 

He has appeared with Rob Kapilow in “What Makes It Great?” at Lincoln Center and in major venues across the country celebrating the songs of Sondheim, Arlen, Gershwin, Porter, Bernstein and Rodgers. Other concert credits include: four appearances as part of Lincoln Center’sAmerican Songbook series (William Finn’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, The Songs of Fred Hersch, and two consecutive years of his solo evening, Hear & Now: Contemporary Lyricists and Composers); Broadway Cabaret, Broadway By The Year and Broadway Unplugged series’ at The Town Hall; many concerts with the New Voices Collectiveat Symphony Space; as well as concerts with The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall. He has performed various solo evenings of music at 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, Birdland, SubCulture, The Metropolitan Room and Ars Nova. Michael is a graduate of Williams College.

Michael Winther received nominations from the Drama Desk and Drama League for his critically acclaimed off-Broadway solo performance in the theatrical song cycle, Songs From An Unmade Bedat New York Theater Workshop directed by David Schweizer with lyrics by Mark Campbelland music by eighteen different composers. The recording is available from Sh K Boom/Ghostlight Records and on iTunes and has garnered a devoted following since it’s release a decade ago! Michael’s most recent recording project, Waiting For The Angel, a collection of new songs featuring the lyrics of David Hajdu was released by Miranda Music last year.

Award-winning vocalist Gabrielle Stravelli has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal following through her rich sound, original compositions, and entirely individual viewpoint when interpreting material from the Great American Songbook as well as by a varied array of contemporary artists.
In April of 2019 Gabrielle released her fourth CD, “Pick Up My Pieces: Gabrielle Stravelli Sings Willie Nelson” and in January she led her quintet on a tour of Chile that included headlining the 2019 Providencia Jazz Festival in Santiago. Highlights of recent years include headlining international and American jazz festivals and premiering new works by jazz luminaries Wynton Marsalis and Fred Hersch. Gabrielle headlined the 2018 WBGO Jazz on the Mountain Festival in New Paltz, NY, the 2016 All That Jazz Festival in Eleuthera, Bahamas and the 2014 Maree Sonore Festival in Venice, Italy.

As she dipped and swooped, twirling notes and phrases with a confidence and playfulness that recalled Ella Fitzgerald in her prime, Ms. Stravelli began interpreting lyrics with a ferocity that her vocal pyrotechnics accentuated.” –Stephen Holden, New York Times

Gabrielle grew up playing piano and french horn, and in 2017 she released “Dream Ago”, an album comprised primarily of original songs co-written with bassist Pat O’Leary and lyricist Jason Robinson. She toured the United States, Italy and Norway promoting the album after receiving wide critical praise from varied outlets, most notably a five-star review in America’s leading jazz publication, Downbeat Magazine.
In 2015 Gabrielle was named a “Jazz Ambassador” by the United States Department of State and has since led her group on four tours of Eastern Europe, Pakistan and Southeast Asia. Gabrielle believes deeply in music diplomacy and the power of music to bring people together across boundaries of race, age, gender and religion. Gabriele holds a BFA from the prestigious University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Her website is gabriellestravelli.com

Event Info

Favorite Christmas songs such as “White Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” and Silver Bells,” among many others were written by Jewish composers. The evening tells the story of immigrant outsiders who helped write America’s soundtrack. Rob Kapilow, host of NPR’s “What Makes It Great?”, is joined by two Broadway vocalists, Michael Winther and Gabrielle Stravelli, and the Pop/Rock Choir from Palm Beach Atlantic University as they weave together remarkable tales and explore the music of some of the world’s most beloved holiday repertoire.

Program Notes

Songs to be Performed and Discussed 

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
White Christmas
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow
Baby it’s Cold Outside,
The Christmas Song
Silver Bells
THE CHRISTMAS WALTZ  (NEW SONG, also by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne)
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Santa Baby
Do You Hear What I Hear

Watch
More About The Artist

Featuring:
Gabrielle Stravelli
Michael Winther
Pop/Rock Choir from Palm Beach Atlantic University

For over 20 years, Rob Kapilow has brought the joy and wonder of classical music – and unraveled some of its mysteries – to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Characterized by his unique ability to create an “aha” moment for his audiences and collaborators, whatever their level of musical sophistication or naiveté, Kapilow’s work brings music into people’s lives: opening new ears to musical experiences and helping people to listen actively rather than just hear.

Kapilow’s range of activities is astonishingly broad, including his What Makes It Great?® presentations (now for over 20 seasons in New York and Boston), his family compositions and Family Musik® events, his Citypieces, corporate programs, and residencies with institutions as diverse as the National Gallery of Canada and Stanford University.

Kapilow has appeared on NBC’s Today Show with Katie Couric; he presented a special What Makes It Great?® for broadcast on PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center; and he has written two books published by Wiley/Lincoln Center: All You Have To Do Is Listen, which won the PSP Prose Award for Best Book in Music and the Performing Arts, and What Makes It Great (2011), the first book of its kind to be especially designed for the iPad with embedded musical examples. He is currently finishing a new book for Norton/Liveright on the American Songbook.

Rob Kapilow also writes and composes new music. He was the first composer to be granted the rights to set Dr. Seuss’ words to music, and his Green Eggs and Ham has been called “the most successful piece written for families this half century.” He is currently working on a new piece for the 25th anniversary of Ottawa Chamberfest based on Louise Bourgeois’ spider sculpture, “Maman.”

He was featured on Chicago Public Radio’s Composers In America series, and is a recipient of an Exxon Meet-the-Composer grant and numerous ASCAP awards.

Kapilow has conducted many of North America’s orchestras, as well as new works of musical theater, ranging from the Tony Award-winning Nine on Broadway to the premiere of Frida for the opening of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, and premieres of works for the American Repertory Theater.

 

MICHAEL WINTHER

Michael’s Broadway credits include: Fun Home, 33Variations, Mamma Mia!, 1776, Artist Descending a Staircase, The Crucible and Damn Yankees. Most recently, he portrayed Albert Einstein in author and theoretical physicist Brian Greene’s multimedia theater piece, Light Fallsin New York, Princeton, Australia. The piece was recently broadcast on PBS/WNET. He toured the country with the national tour of the Tony award-winning best musical, Fun Home. Equally comfortable on the Broadway stage as the concert hall and recording studio, Michael collaborated with mulitiple Grammy-nominee, jazz composer Fred Hersch and poet, Mary Jo Salter in the premiere of a new song cycle, Rooms of Lightfor Peak Performance at Montclair University.He starred as “Dan” in the Pulitzer winning musical, Next To Normal at Baltimore/Centerstage; Frank London and Neil Berger’s A Night In The Old Marketplacein São Paulo;Tectonic’s The Laramie Project Cycle at BAM/Harvey Theatre; Fred Hersch’s multimedia jazz-theatre piece, My Coma Dreamsin NYC, Berlin, San Francisco; Merrily We Roll Alongat City Center Encores!®. He regional credits include productionsat Center Theatre Group/LA, Guthrie Theater, Yale Rep, McCarter Theater, Old Globe, Goodspeed Musicals, Theatreworks/Palo Alto, La Jolla Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, Perseverance Theater, O’Neill Theatre Center, Sundance Theatre Lab. His film credits include The Avengers, Jumper, The Break-Up, Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Recent television credits include “The Hunt,”“The Blacklist,” “Mysteries of Laura,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Hostages,” “Leverage” and “Law & Order. 

He has appeared with Rob Kapilow in “What Makes It Great?” at Lincoln Center and in major venues across the country celebrating the songs of Sondheim, Arlen, Gershwin, Porter, Bernstein and Rodgers. Other concert credits include: four appearances as part of Lincoln Center’sAmerican Songbook series (William Finn’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, The Songs of Fred Hersch, and two consecutive years of his solo evening, Hear & Now: Contemporary Lyricists and Composers); Broadway Cabaret, Broadway By The Year and Broadway Unplugged series’ at The Town Hall; many concerts with the New Voices Collectiveat Symphony Space; as well as concerts with The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall. He has performed various solo evenings of music at 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, Birdland, SubCulture, The Metropolitan Room and Ars Nova. Michael is a graduate of Williams College.

Michael Winther received nominations from the Drama Desk and Drama League for his critically acclaimed off-Broadway solo performance in the theatrical song cycle, Songs From An Unmade Bedat New York Theater Workshop directed by David Schweizer with lyrics by Mark Campbelland music by eighteen different composers. The recording is available from Sh K Boom/Ghostlight Records and on iTunes and has garnered a devoted following since it’s release a decade ago! Michael’s most recent recording project, Waiting For The Angel, a collection of new songs featuring the lyrics of David Hajdu was released by Miranda Music last year.

Award-winning vocalist Gabrielle Stravelli has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal following through her rich sound, original compositions, and entirely individual viewpoint when interpreting material from the Great American Songbook as well as by a varied array of contemporary artists.
In April of 2019 Gabrielle released her fourth CD, “Pick Up My Pieces: Gabrielle Stravelli Sings Willie Nelson” and in January she led her quintet on a tour of Chile that included headlining the 2019 Providencia Jazz Festival in Santiago. Highlights of recent years include headlining international and American jazz festivals and premiering new works by jazz luminaries Wynton Marsalis and Fred Hersch. Gabrielle headlined the 2018 WBGO Jazz on the Mountain Festival in New Paltz, NY, the 2016 All That Jazz Festival in Eleuthera, Bahamas and the 2014 Maree Sonore Festival in Venice, Italy.

As she dipped and swooped, twirling notes and phrases with a confidence and playfulness that recalled Ella Fitzgerald in her prime, Ms. Stravelli began interpreting lyrics with a ferocity that her vocal pyrotechnics accentuated.” –Stephen Holden, New York Times

Gabrielle grew up playing piano and french horn, and in 2017 she released “Dream Ago”, an album comprised primarily of original songs co-written with bassist Pat O’Leary and lyricist Jason Robinson. She toured the United States, Italy and Norway promoting the album after receiving wide critical praise from varied outlets, most notably a five-star review in America’s leading jazz publication, Downbeat Magazine.
In 2015 Gabrielle was named a “Jazz Ambassador” by the United States Department of State and has since led her group on four tours of Eastern Europe, Pakistan and Southeast Asia. Gabrielle believes deeply in music diplomacy and the power of music to bring people together across boundaries of race, age, gender and religion. Gabriele holds a BFA from the prestigious University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Her website is gabriellestravelli.com

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