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Yehudi Wyner: A 95th Birthday Celebration Concert

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Yehudi Wyner: A 95th Birthday Celebration Concert


May 5, 2024. Lani Hall

A message from the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience:

This past week at UCLA has been a challenging one. Access to our campus was restricted due to the very difficult circumstances.  The team at the Lowell Milken Center and our colleagues came together to make the best of a difficult situation. Professor David Lefkowitz allowed us to move our base of operations off campus to his home in order to proceed with the Yehudi Wyner residency plans. The coaching sessions for our students, the recorded historic coaching of Yehudi’s father Lazar Weiner’s Art Songs, have gone beautifully.

The campus is resuming the regular class schedule and event programs. The Schoenberg Music Building is open, and we will move forward with our Sunday event, Yehudi Wyner: A 95th Birthday Celebration Concert in Lani Hall at 4 pm. The concert event will be live-streamed as planned if you wish to view from home, you can view the event via livestream, select the Lani Hall tab.

If there is to be a theme for our center, it is resilience and strength. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow, in person or online, to honor the very special Yehudi Wyner. We thank you for your support.

Yehudi Wyner: 95th Birthday Celebration Concert

The Lowell Milken Center of Music for American Jewish Experience at the Herb Alpert School of Music celebrates the 95th birthday of Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer and pianist Yehudi Wyner with a concert of his chamber music performed by UCLA students and graduates. The selections were chosen by the Lowell Milken Center’s Neal Stulberg, UCLA Professor and Director of Orchestral Studies.

Awarded the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for his Piano Concerto, “Chiavi in mano,” Yehudi Wyner is one of America’s most distinguished musicians. His large body of work, including both “cosmopolitan” and Jewish-inflected music, encompasses all musical genres, over 100 works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, solo voice, solo instruments, piano, chorus, and music for the theater, as well as liturgical services for worship. His recording The Mirror on Naxos won a 2005 Grammy, his Piano Concerto, “Chiavi in Mano,” on Bridge Records was nominated for a 2009 Grammy, and his Horn Trio (1997) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

After an initial discussion with Wyner about which compositions he might like to feature,  Stulberg crafted a concert program consisting of five works representing different decades of Wyner’s creative life. “Yehudi Wyner has written music for some of the leading performers of our time.  His large body of work, including both ‘cosmopolitan’ and Jewish-inflected music, encompasses all musical genres,” says Stulberg. “A brilliant pianist and cherished pedagogue.” 

In addition to the concert, Wyner will spend a week of residency at the school in coaching sessions for student composers and chamber music, as well as preparation for a student undergraduate concert. He will also record a coaching session of his father Lazar Weiner’s art songs which will become available for viewing online.

“In music and in life, we do well to honor our elders,” notes Stulberg. “ In presenting this and similar residency programs, the Lowell Milken Center aims not only to preserve the heritage of music of American Jewish experience, but to renew its energy, vibrancy and impact for future generations.”

Wyner has also had an active career as a solo pianist, chamber musician collaborating with notable vocal and instrumental colleagues, teacher, director of two opera companies, and conductor of numerous chamber and vocal ensembles in a wide range of repertory. Keyboard artist of the Bach Aria Group since 1968, he has played and conducted many of the Bach cantatas, concertos, and motets.

Born in Western Canada, Wyner grew up in New York City. He came into a musical family, and was trained early as pianist and composer. His father Lazar is most widely remembered today as the supreme exemplar and advocate of the Yiddish art song genre. Through his opera of more than two hundred songs, he elevated that medium to unprecedented artistic sophistication. He is married to conductor and former soprano Susan Davenny Wyner.

For more about Yehudi Wyner and his recordings, visit

This event is free and open to the public. Registrants will be given priority seating up to 15 minutes prior to the performance but this does not guarantee a seat.

Parking available in Parking Structure 2 (Westholme, from Hilgard). Use the visitor entrances and have your license plate number with you for the kiosk. Ticket does not have to be placed on the windshield.