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May 20 2024

The Ancient Law: A Cine-Concert

Milken Family Foundation

In light of the recent events on the UCLA campus and the ongoing repairs to Royce Hall, we have accepted the gracious offer of space from the Milken Family Foundation at their office building space in Santa Monica to host this very unique program, co-presented by the Center for Musical Humanities and the Lowell Milken Institute for Music of American Jewish Experience.

The Ancient Law: A Cine-Concert is presented as part of our three-day conference A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Synagogue: Cantors, Opera Singers, and Jewish Performance Culture. Click here for the full conference program.

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.

The Milken Family Foundation at The Milken Institute

1250 4th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Parking Structures 1 & 9 are the closest to the venue


If you have any questions, please email us at infomilkencenter@schoolofmusic.ucla.edu 


We look forward to seeing you!

About the Ancient Law

The Ancient Law is a special cine-concert event, with live original music composed and performed by world-renowned klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals and celebrated silent film pianist Donald Sosin.

Ewald André Dupont's 1923 silent film The Ancient Law (Das alte Gesetz) was digitally restored by the Deutsche Kinemathek with generous support from the Sunrise Foundation for Education and the Arts. The Ancient Law is an important piece of German-Jewish cinematic history, contrasting the closed world of an Eastern European shtetl with the liberal mores of 1860s Vienna. With its historically authentic set design and ensemble of prominent actors – all captured magnificently by cinematographer Theodor Sparkuhl – The Ancient Law is an outstanding example of the creativity of Jewish filmmakers in 1920s Germany.

Violinist/composer Alicia Svigals is the world's leading klezmer fiddler and a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics. She has performed with and written for violinist Itzhak Perlman, and has worked with the the Kronos Quartet, playwrights Tony Kushner and Eve Ensler, poet Allen Ginsburg, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Debbie Friedman and Chava Albershteyn. In May 2023, Svigals was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by the Jewish Theological Seminary for “extraordinary contributions to the arts and Jewish life.” Svigals was awarded a Foundation for Jewish Culture commission for her original score to the 1918 film The Yellow Ticket, and is a MacDowell fellow. Her CD Fidl (1996) reawakened klezmer fiddle tradition. Her newest CD is Beregovski Suite: Klezmer Reimagined, with jazz pianist Uli Geissendoerfer—an original take on long-lost Jewish music from Ukraine. Alicia Svigals

Donald Sosin is one of the world's leading silent film musicians, with over fifty years of performances and dozens of recordings for Criterion, Kino, Milestone, TCM and European labels. Donald's music has been commissioned by MoMA, the Chicago Symphony Chorus and the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. He brought the The Ancient Law to the New York Jewish Film Festival in 2019 with Alicia Svigals. They have also scored City Without Jews (1924) and The Man Without A World (1991). Sosin's chamber opera Esther was performed at the National Yiddish Book Center in 2013. Other Jewish music includes a Shabbat cantata, arrangements of Yiddish folk songs for mezzo and chamber ensemble; a short opera on the I. B. Singer story, "A Parakeet Named Dreidel," and several psalm settings premiered in 2009 by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Donald grew up in Rye, NY and Munich, and lives in northwest Connecticut with his family. Donald Sosin

Presented by the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience and the UCLA Center for Musical Humanities at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

This event is made possible by the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

This program is made possible by the Joyce S. and Robert U. Nelson Fund. Robert Uriel Nelson was a revered musicologist and music professor at UCLA, who, together with his wife, established a generous endowment for the university to make programs like this possible.

Co-sponsored by The UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies and the Natalie Limonick Program on Jewish Civilization in memory of Miriam Nissell Rose, and the Sunrise Foundation for Education and the Arts.

Like most of The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music’s programs, this event is FREE! Register in advance for this event via the link below. You will have the option to register for just The Ancient Law Cine-Concert, or for the entire conference.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.  Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Early arrival is recommended. Registrants receive priority up until 15 minutes before the event.