Merima Ključo: The Sarajevo Haggadah for Orchestra


Composer-performer Merima Ključo has expanded her acclaimed work about the dramatic story of one of Jewish culture's most treasured manuscripts with a new chamber orchestra arrangement commissioned by CityMusic Cleveland, illuminating the work’s themes and ideas with the full color of the orchestral ensemble.

Using the musical traditions of Spain, Italy, Austria, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ključo illustrates and illuminates the Haggadah's travels from medieval Spain to 20th-century Bosnia, where it was hidden and rescued during World War II by Muslims, to its restoration by the National Museum in Sarajevo after the 1992-95 war.

Inspired by the historical novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks and originally commissioned by the Foundation for Jewish Culture, The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book creatively interprets this miraculous artifact as a universal symbol of exile, return, and co-existence.

The orchestration for the Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book was commissioned by CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, and received major support from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America Grant, with additional support provided by other donors. It saw its premiere at CityMusic Cleveland in March 2018.



"Powerful music. An incredible story. Haunting images...

Oozing from its every measure were palpable senses of the book's beauty and value and of the loss and human tragedies it has witnessed over half a millennium."

The Cleveland Plain Dealer