Salamone Rossi and Jewish Music in Early Modern Italy

For the Public
Tuesday, November 7, 2023
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM EST

Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, 6th floor, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, 3420 Walnut Street

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title page of a Hebrew book

This roundtable discussion featuring musicologists and musicians will explore the life, music, and contexts of Salamone Rossi, a Jewish composer working in Italy at the same time as Claudio Monteverdi.


A selection of related materials will be on display in the Lea Library before and after the roundtable.




The roundtable pairs with a performance of Rossi's music the same week: 


November 9 | 7:30 PM

Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 19 South 38th Street

ornate ceilingExplore the world of Salamone Rossi, a Jewish composer working in Italy at the same time as Claudio Monteverdi. Largely ignored until the 20th century, Rossi was a multifaceted musician who wrote for the glittering court of Mantua as well as for the synagogue. The first known musician to compose a collection of choral motets in Hebrew, Rossi’s The Songs of Solomon (1623) were an innovative development in Jewish devotional music. Mezzo-soprano Meg Bragle, Penn Department of Music Artist-in-Residence and WRTI classical host, returns to our stage alongside the chamber ensemble, Filament, and other nationally renowned artists to create a portrait in sound of this intriguing and talented composer.

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Edwin Seroussi

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Edwin Seroussi is the Emanuel Alexandre Professor Emeritus of Musicology and former director of the Jewish Music Research Centre at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He researches North African and Eastern Mediterranean Jewish music, Judeo-Islamic relations in music, and Israeli popular music. A pioneer in the study of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern musical cultures and traditions, Seroussi was awarded the 2018 Israel Prize in the musicology category. He has also won the Joel Engel Prize for Life Achievement in Jewish Music Research, Tel Aviv Municipality.

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Rebecca Cypess

Rebecca Cypess

Rutgers University

Rebecca Cypess is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Mason Gross School of the Arts and an Associate Professor in the Music Department at Rutgers University. She specializes in the history, interpretation, and performance practices of music in 17th- and 18th-century Europe and America, as well as music in Jewish culture, music in the history of science, and women in music. Prior to her appointment at Rutgers in 2012, Cypess served on the Music History faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music.

Meg Bragle

Meg Bragle

University of Pennsylvania

Meg Bragle has earned an international reputation as one of today’s most gifted mezzo-sopranos and an accomplished early music specialist. She has sung in North America and Europe with top symphony orchestras and chamber groups and has over a dozen recordings to her credit. Ms. Bragle is Artist in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania and also directs the Collegium Musicum and Opera and Musical Theater Workshop.

Mauro Calcagno

Mauro Calcagno

University of Pennsylvania

Mauro Calcagno is a musicologist and cultural theorist whose work focuses on opera studies, early modern music, performance studies, critical theory, and digital humanities. He received his Ph.D. in Music from Yale in 2000, taught at Harvard until 2008 and at Stony Brook until 2013. His publications include From Madrigal to Opera: Monteverdi's Staging of the Self, articles on early opera published in the Journal of the American Musicological Society and other venues, and various contributions on performance studies.


Co-presented with Penn Live Arts and the University of Pennsylvania Department of Music