UCLA opens center to highlight Jewish music experience

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) has opened a new center for the study of music from the American Jewish experience, the university announced on Thursday.The Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience – sharing the namesake of the Lowell Milken family whose foundation donated $6.75 million to its establishment – housed in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, “will foster artistic creativity, scholarship, performance and other cultural expression” for UCLA students to study for years to come.”The Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience will unite the academic and the artistic, showcasing the artists, scholars and educators who reveal to us the authentic voice of our shared humanity and the inexhaustible call toward our noblest self,” said dean of UCLA’s school of music Eileen Strempel. “We are incredibly grateful to Lowell Milken for his generous gift to endow this center, which builds on our latest learnings, establishes a standard of excellence and an enduring infrastructure at UCLA for music of the American Jewish experience,” she added.The Milken Archive of Jewish music has been compiling collections made by Jewish artists since 1990, in order to preserve and distribute the experience of over 350 years of music.”Shaped by Jews from every corner of the globe, who absorbed their host cultures while retaining their Jewish heritage, the archive is as diverse and beautiful as America itself,” benefactor Lowell Milken, a graduate of the UCLA School of Law, said. “From the outset, our vision was to create a living archive, making education central to our mission. The partnership with the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music positions the new center as a global leader in the field of music of the American Jewish experience.”The Lowell Milken Center is also in the midst of producing videos highlighting the work of 15 Jewish composers with the enventual title “David’s Quilt.” Once it receives authorization frpm public health officials, the center intends to hold a concert to highlight the project.

“Over the past three years, Lowell Milken has enabled our exploration of the intricate ways in which music reflects and shapes the diverse American Jewish experience,” said UCLA’s Mickey Katz Professor of Jewish Music and director of the new center Mark Kligman. “The Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience will expand these efforts at UCLA and into the community, and will enhance the field of American Jewish music on an international scale.”
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