Composer-performer Merima Ključo's multimedia work for accordion, piano, and video traces the dramatic story of one of Jewish culture's most treasured manuscripts.
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 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.
Ključo is a frequent guest soloist with orchestras like the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Holland Symphonia, and has worked with internationally renowned artists and ensembles such as Theodore Bikel, MusikFabrik and the Schönberg Ensemble.
For this special program, Ključo performs in collaboration with pianist Seth Knopp, founding member of the Naumberg Award-winning Peabody Trio. The musicians perform with visual accompaniment -- the Haggadah's original paintings digitally animated by video artist Bart Woodstrup.
The project has toured to major venues, including the world premiere at Yellow Barn, the Cleveland Museum, Arsenal Center for the Arts in Boston, Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, Texas Performing Arts in Austin, the Morgan Museum & Library in New York, and others.
"…the sensitivity of both Kljuco and pianist Seth Knopp was, in a word, transcendent."
Click each picture below to download his-res version:
"From blue-note trillings to quasi-industrial buzzing, Ključo wrings extraordinary sounds from her instrument."
The Daily Telegraph
"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
Download this video in high-quality here.