An interview with composer and new ROIer Matti Kovler, by Matt Kitzen-Abelson
As someone with an extensive background in music, I was pleased to have the opportunity to sit down with one of this year’s participants who uses music as a conduit through which to express distinctive aspects of Jewish culture and tradition, Matti Kovler. A classically trained composer with a deep affection for musical theater, Matti has come to ROI with the objective of rekindling the Jewish Community’s awareness of Art as a legitimate outlet for relaying the Jewish narrative. He believes that Jewish musical theater traditions have become stagnant over the last 60 years, with Fiddler on the Roof
serving as the immediate association to Jewish musical theater. Despite acknowledging that the time-honored mantra, “Tradition!” has maintained a certain degree of unity within the Jewish world, Matti seeks to overcome what he views as a cultural preoccupation with preservation by shifting the focus to creation. Through propelling original, innovative content in the genres of musical theater, opera, and instrumental music, Matti has made it his mission to usher in a new era of Jewish art as the Founder and Artistic Director of the Jewish Music Theater, currently based in Boston.