Belsize Square Synagogue caught Knapping with concert series

Alexander Knapp (left) with Norman Solomon of The Ernst Bloch Society

Alexander Knapp (left) with Norman Solomon of The Ernst Bloch Society - Credit: Archant

The Jewish Music Institute is celebrating musicologist Alexander Knapp’s 70th birthday with a concert this Sunday, writes Michael White.

For several decades now there’s been a Jewish Music Institute based at SOAS, the School of Oriental & Asian Studies, University of London. And for much of that time its presiding figure has been Alexander Knapp, a musicologist who specialises in the life and work of the Swiss-American composer Ernst Bloch but who is also a composer in his own right.

For Knapp’s 70th birthday the JMI has a celebration concert at Belsize Square Synagogue this Sunday, Feb 7th, which runs as part of the Music at Belsize season established there two years ago.

If you don’t know about this series, it presents the odd big name – like violinist Maxim Vengerov who will be dropping grandly by for a recital later in 2016.

For Feb 7th there’s nothing quite so grand as that. But there is the Belsize Synagogue Choir and Wallace Ensemble under their conductor Benjamin Wolf. And alongside works by Knapp there’s a performance of Bloch’s Sacred Service, as well as some Handel and Elgar.

Starts 7.30pm.

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The Hermes Experiment are a mixed group of young musicians who met as Cambridge students and dedicate themselves to doing off-piste programmes – one of which plays at the Forge, Camden Town on February 16 and explores the relationship between sound and vision. Performed against projected animations, there are several world-premieres, including an improvised graphic score by leading composer Giles Swayne, alongside visually-inspired works by Debussy, Richard Rodney Bennet and Don McLean (an adaption of his Van Gogh tribute, Vincent).

Starts 8pm;