Born Israel Isidore Beilin in 1888 in Tyumen, Russia, Irving Berlin immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 5 years old. As was the case for so many other immigrant families at the time--especially eastern European Jewish families--the Beilin's were not so much seeking out America, as they were fleeing a homeland that did not want them. But having arrived here they proceeded, again like so many others, to become Americans as soon and as fully as possible. Indeed, Israel Beilin's own path left him one of the clearest American voices of his century: indeed, through classics like "God Bless America", "White Christmas" and many more Irving Berlin helped articulate what it means to be an American almost better than anyone else.
But Irving Berlin wasn't the only immigrant composer to help define his new homeland. Indeed, the entire popular song industry of the early 20th century seemed peopled by those who were not born here. In this, our first 2006 OFAM evening concert at The Shedd, Dick and company are joined by soprano Maria Jette and OFAM favorite's Bill Hulings and Michael Stone in a celebration of the great first and second-generation immigrant songwriters that changed the face of American music, including Irving Berlin, George & Ira Gershwins, Harry Warren, Yip Harburg, Harold Arlen, Leonard Bernstein, Rodgers & Hart, among others.
| ||Give My Regards To Broadway|
(1904) - George M. Cohan (w/m)
| ||September Song|
(1938) Knickerbocker Holiday - Maxwell Anderson (w) Kurt Weill (m)