by Mike Telin
“I have always been fascinated by the Sarajevo Haggadah, with its story and amazing history,” Bosnian-born accordionist and composer Merima Ključo told ClevelandClassical.com in a 2015 interview. “After reading Geraldine Brooks’s People of the Book, I became obsessed with the idea of a project that would musically and visually follow the Haggadah’s journey from Spain to Sarajevo.”
Dating from 14th-century Spain, the Jewish prayer book that became known as the Sarajevo Haggadah went through many hands before ending up in Bosnia, having been rescued from destruction by such unlikely figures as a Jesuit priest in Venice and a Muslim imam in Sarajevo — who hid it from the Nazis in the library of his mosque during World War II after it was smuggled out of the Bosnian National Museum by its chief librarian.
That project was presented at the Cleveland Museum of Art in its original scoring for accordion and piano in November of 2015. This week Merima Ključo will return to Cleveland for six free performances of her orchestrated version of the work with Avner Dorman and CityMusic Cleveland as part of the orchestra’s “Two Faiths: One Spirit” project. [Read more…]