Ladino Soul's performances are laced with the music sung in Ladino, the language spoken by Spanish Jews expelled from Spain in 1492.
The music of Ladino Soul travels through time and space, finding its sails between the Mediterranean, Aegean and Adriatic Seas, from Spain to Turkey and North Africa to the Middle East. The program will include beloved, well-known Ladino Romansas such as Adio Kerida, Durme Durme and Morena Me Yaman. It will also include an original piece in memoriam of the Jews of Salonika, Siniza i Fumo (Smoke and Ashes), composed by Daniel Akiva, performed by orchestras worldwide and broadcasted regularly on Israeli radio channel Kol Hamusica. Akiva is the composer of the soundtrack of the film Jerusalem that was in Spain. A suite from the soundtrack will be performed in a chamber version.
The performers are internationally-acclaimed soprano Ronit Widmann-Levy, renowned Israeli guitar virtuoso and award-winning composer, Daniel Akiva, and world-renowned recorder virtuoso Lilach Akiva-Kabiri.
Ronit's prestigious career has taken her to world-renowned opera houses, festivals and concert halls. Her most notable accomplishments include performances with the San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony and New World Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas.
Known for her musical passion, Ronit's vocal luminary performances are sung with warmth and beauty weaving in vignettes about the origins of the music she interprets. She is the OFJCC Director of Arts and Culture.
Internationally-acclaimed composer, performer and educator and Artistic Director of the Guitar Gems Festival in Israel, Daniel is a native of Haifa. His family has lived in Israel for over five hundred years and he was steeped in the Sephardi tradition from youth. Many of his compositions have evolved from the music of Sephardi Jews. His repertoire includes music from the Renaissance period all the way to contemporary music.
A sought-after performer, Daniel played concerts as a guitarist and lutenist in Israel, the US, Russia, Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Portugal, Mexico and most of the countries in Central and South America. His compositions range from pieces for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, choir, voice, orchestra and concertos for guitar and orchestra.
In 1984 Daniel accompanied soprano Victoria de los Ángeles in a series of concerts held at the prestigious Israel Festival. His work Psalms for guitar solo and his string quartet Ciclos were awarded Israel's highest music award, the ACUM prize for composition.
In 2017 he was awarded the Prime Minister Prize for composers in Israel. A graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and the Geneva Conservatory in Switzerland, Daniel established the Music Department at the Wizo Haifa High School for the Arts, which he founded in 1986 and headed until 2017.
Lilach has spent much of her life combining her two greatest interests: music and psychology. At a young age, she began playing the recorder and studied with the best recorder players in Israel such as Drora Bruck and Pieter Van Houwelingen. She has performed on well-known stages in Israel, Europe and the United States and recorded for Israeli radio and television.
Lilach graduated from the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance with a bachelor of Music under the supervision of Professor Michael Meltzer. In addition, she studied with Professor David Bellugi at the Cherubini Conservatory, Florence (Italy), and with Professor Massimo Lonardi, Pavia (Italy).
Lilach is also a practicing psychologist. She graduated summa cum laude from Pavia University (Italy) with both bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology. In her doctoral studies, she combined her two main fields of interest, music and psychology. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Psychology at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. She has won many prizes and scholarships including the Italian foreign affairs scholarship to foster cultural cooperation between Israel and Italy, the Lady Davis Fellowship, Daniel Turnberg travel grant, and the Negev scholarship for academic excellence from Ben-Gurion University. Her research interests include musical synesthesia, absolute pitch and involuntary musical imagery.
Currently, Lilach is a post-doctoral fellow at the Neural Connectivity unit of the Perinatology Research Branch at Wayne State University, Michigan. She is studying the effect of music on fetuses and infants.
Ronit and Daniel are heading Kedem Vayam—קדם וים, an Israeli center for arts, promoting collaborations and cross-pollination between Arab and Israeli/Jewish artists of all genres.
Sunday, July 15
Schultz Cultural Arts Hall
Free but registration is required
Contact: Ilanit Gal | [email protected]
The event is held in partnership with the [email protected]