The Ger Mandolin Orchestra & Marcin Masecki concert in Toronto

Ashkenaz and Warsaw’s POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews are pleased to present the Ger Mandolin Orchestra for the first time in Toronto since 2013. The international string supergroup will be joined by Polish pianist/composer Marcin Masecki for the live premiere of his "Ger Suite," co-commissioned by Ashkenaz and POLIN.

Conceived by Israeli-American Avner Yonai and directed by renowned multi-instrumentalist Mike Marshall, the Ger Mandolin Orchestra resurrects a little-known musical form that was once-widely popular across eastern Europe and in North American immigrant communities. The group brings to life a unique repertoire of Jewish, East European folk and light classical music, using the complete range of mandolin family instruments (mandolin, mandola, octave mandolin, mandocello, mandobass). Their rare and moving concert appearances over the last dozen years have been met with overwhelming audience and critical acclaim.

Now, in its first foray into "new" music, the Orchestra will premiere repertoire from one of Poland’s most prolific and idiosyncratic artists. Pianist/composer Marcin Masecki is known for his virtuosic fusion of styles spanning jazz, classical, and folk, blurring the line between high art and popular entertainment. His latest work, inspired by the pre-war musical milieu in which the Ger Mandolin Orchestra is rooted, displays his typically bold and irreverent approach. Blending his own distinct piano and compositional stylings with the unique tonal qualities of the mandolin family, Masecki renders an imaginative musical universe that is by turns sentimental but modern, virtuosic yet tuneful, intense but playful and lighthearted.

Learn more about the Ger Mandolin Orchestra’s fascinating origin story on the group’s website.

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