Yale Salutes Israel's 50th Birthday on May 2

Yale University will host the world premiere of a symphonic work by Ezra Laderman on May 2, 8 p.m., in Woolsey Hall, corner of Grove and College streets, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel. The event is free and open to the public.

The Honorable Guido Calabresi, former dean of Yale Law School and currently Judge of the Federal Court of Appeals Second Circuit, will be the guest of honor. Although a practicing Catholic, Justice Calabresi proudly traces his lineage to the earliest Jewish community in Italy. His father, the late Dr. Massimo Calabresi, is buried in the Jewish cemetery of Ferrara, Italy. In May, the judge will travel to Israel to receive an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University. He and the composer are long-time personal friends.

Senator Joe Lieberman, an alumnus of Yale, is honorary chair of the Yale Salute to Israel and is scheduled to speak at the event.

The symphony, titled “Yisrael,” will be performed by Yale musicians under the baton of Lawrence Leighton Smith, conductor-in-residence at the School of Music. The music is melodic, with echoes of folk and liturgical music. Laderman, professor of composition and former dean of the Yale School of Music, has been honored with the Prix de Rome and election to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He has served as president of the National Music Council, director of the NEA Music Program, and chair of the American Composers Orchestra.

“Yisrael” was commissioned by the family of Max Fisher, in honor of his 90th birthday. Fisher, a Detroit-based industrialist, Zionist and philanthropist, was national chairman of the United Jewish Appeal in 1967, during the Six Day War, and was the founding chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, which he led for 12 years.

Also on the program will be cellist Inbal Megiddo, a senior at Yale, performing Bloch’s “Schelomo.” Megiddo is the daughter of Israel’s ambassador to Singapore. An accomplished and award-winning cellist, she is also a marathon runner. Next year she will study cello full time with her mentor, the maestro of Yale Cellos, Aldo Parisot.

The program is hosted by the Yale Hillel Foundation, whose spiritual leader, Yale alumnus Rabbi James Ponet, served in the Israeli army 1977-1981. He has been Jewish chaplain at Yale since 1981.

Interviews can be arranged in advance of the event with Laderman, Ponet and Megiddo, through the Office of Public Affairs.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325