“Sh’lomo” was performed on June 30th, 2012, at the World Financial Plaza, as a part of the River to River Festival, with prior presentations taking place at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and as part of the “Ecstatic Music Festival” at the Kaufman Center’s Merkin Concert Hall.
Delving into the rich biblical story of King Solomon, Judd moved from a musical recitation of the literal tale told in Kings into settings of works attributed to Solomon, from the probable (Song of Songs) to the impossible (Kohelet) to the entirely apocryphal. These biblical stories, told through a mix of linear narrative and commentary through songs and chorales, took the perspectives of different characters to ultimately reveal the limits of the divine presence in the face of our human imperfection.
“Sh’lomo” drew deeply from 70s soul and Afrobeat music, contemporary indie rock, and post-minimal music, as performed by Judd’s 14-person rock band and contemporary music ensemble, The Yehudim.
Judd Greenstein was born and raised in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, where he began his compositional life by writing hip hop beats as a teenager. His concert works reflect those origins, as well as his traditional piano background, combining an urban, beat-oriented sensibility with a late Romantic classical harmonic language. Judd studied at the Yale School of Music and is completing his PhD dissertation on hip hop music at Princeton University. His music has been commissioned and performed by a wide array of ensembles around the country and his work has also been heard at festivals such as the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music and the Bang on a Can Marathon (both in New York and at Mass MoCA). In addition to his work as a composer, Judd is active as a promoter of new music in New York and around the country. He is the managing director of NOW Ensemble, the composer/performer collective that has quickly established itself as one of the most prominent and promising sounds in 21st century chamber music, and is co-director of the record label New Amsterdam Records.