13.12.2020 - online

Marcin Masecki & Mike Marshall in tribute to Ger Mandolin Orchestra

One of the most intriguing Polish pianists and composers, Marcin Masecki, and the three-time Grammy-nominated mandolin virtuoso Mike Marshall will perform a piece commissioned by the POLIN Museum - a tribute to the pre-war Jewish mandolin orchestra from Góra Kalwaria.

The mandolin - today a rather niche instrument - has an extremely rich history and holds a special place in the history of Polish and Jewish musical culture. Mandolin orchestras played to the dance, they also accompanied the first workers' demonstrations. Learning to play the mandolin was often part of the curriculum in Yiddish schools. Mandolin was also one of the few means of musical expression available to women in pre-war Jewish communities. A hundred years ago, the mandolin was therefore a unifying, democratic and community-building instrument.

Thanks to a concert organized by the POLIN Museum and co-presented with Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto, the mandolin will once again return to tell its forgotten story. The new mandolin music was composed by Marcin Masecki, who will be accompanied by one of the greatest virtuosos of this instrument - Mike Marshall, leader of the Ger Mandolin Orchestra. 

Ger Mandolin Orchestra

An international mandolin orchestra composed of the world's greatest virtuosos. They include: Mike Marshall (three times nominated for a Grammy Award) and Avi Avital (artist Deutsche Grammophon, nominated for a Grammy Award, winner of Echo Klassik). The ensemble was created to commemorate the pre-war Jewish mandolin orchestra from Góra Kalwaria, whose name in Yiddish is Ger.

The premiere of the piece is possible thanks to the kind support of the Ashkenaz Foundation of the Goethe Institute in Warsaw.

The project was financed thanks to the support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as part of the Composing Commissions program.