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SONGS - An evening with Theodore Bikel and Tamara Brooks

TUESDAY, JUN 08 2010, 07:30 PM

The Austrian Cultural Forum takes special pride in presenting a unique event: the world-famous singer and actor Theodore Bikel will appear in the Austrian Cultural Forum and treat us to his distinctive style of folk music. The gifted musician’s repertoire includes songs from all over the world – Yiddish, German, Russian, English, French, Croatian – he speaks six languages and sings in twenty. His accompanist is the pianist and conductor Tamara Brooks, who has an impressive career in her own right. By combining their talents, Bikel and Brooks promise us an unforgettable evening in the fine theatre of the ACFNY.

The list of Theodore Bikel’s accomplishments is long. He is one of those rare multi-talented people whose outstanding accomplishments are not limited to one discipline. He starred in over 30 films and in numerous series (African Queen, My Fair Lady, Star Trek, Murder She Wrote, Law and Order etc) and was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the film The Defiant Ones. For his performance as Henry Kissinger in The Final Days he won an Emmy Award. Bikel has been in demand as a stage actor for decades. It was Bikel who first portrayed Baron von Trapp in the Sound of Music. Tevye, the poor milkman in Fiddler on the Roof, he has played over 2,000 times. For his most recent performance, in Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears, he was nominated for the famous New Yorker Drama Desk Award. Bikel has also frequently served as president or vice-president of many film and theater organizations. But above and beyond all the honors he has received, the roles he has played, and the offices he has held in the course of his exciting career, it is Bikel’s big personality that is so impressive. At 86, he is “robust, magnetic, full-voiced” (Gwen Orel, 2009), a friend of the arts and of his fellow human beings, and he has remained on friendly terms with Austria, the country of his origin, even though he had to flee from it in 1939.

Tamara Brooks is a graduate of the famed Juilliard School of Music, has conducted leading orchestras worldwide – including the Mozarteum Salzburg – and has performed in the USA, Europe, and Asia. A champion of new music, she has performed and commissioned contemporary compositions of composers such as Takemitsu, Cage, Ligeti, Schuller, Persichetti, and numerous more. Brooks made a Grammy nominated recording of choral music of Vincent Persichetti and teaches internationally.