Matti Kovler is a Russian-born Israeli composer and artistic director of the newly established Jewish Music Theater (JMT). Kovler's music has been described as “part mystical, part comical” (Grade A Entrepreneurs) and praised for its “emotive potency” (New York Times). Called by the New York Times “a potentially estimable operatic composer in the making,” Matti wrote his first opera at the age of 17. His works have since been performed worldwide. Notable recent performances include the Carnegie Hall 2009 premiere of his mono-opera "Here Comes Messiah!" as well as the 2011 premiere of "Fanfare to Israel" by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Musical influences include Jewish folklore, improvisation, and the cult writings of the French theatre philosopher Antonin Artaud. From 2000 till 2008 he appeared as a singer, pianist and arranger of the Israeli Ha'Oman Hai Ensemble, focused on contemporary interpretations of Hassidic Nigunnim. Upon moving to the US, in 2010 he founded the Matti Kovler Ensemble, specializing in creating new works of Jewish Music Theater. In 2012, JMT began operating as an independent company aimed to explore the potential of the genre beyond its fiddler-on-the-roof stereotype. It engages singers/actors of different backgrounds: from Yemenite chant to opera, from Jewish inspired rap to cantorial singing. Participating instrumentalists come from a wide range of musical experiences: from classical, jazz to ethnic and electronic music. Based out of the New Center for Arts and Culture in Boston, JMT operates in close collaboration with Theodor Tezhik Company (visual design for Cirque Du Soleil, Slava Polunin). The company's first productions ("Here Comes Messiah!" and vernacular oratorio "The Escape of Jonah") were produced to critical acclaim in Jerusalem, Boston, New York and Moscow.
Here Comes Messiah! Excerpt
The Escape of Jonah Excerpt