Jim Cockey. Photo by Hollenbaugh Photography
by DANA OLAND in the IDAHOSTATESMAN
When Boise Baroque Orchestra artistic director Dan Stern commissioned a piece inspired by the Jewish liturgy from Jim Cockey, the composer had no idea of the personal journey he would embark upon.
The early discussions about the work began centering on the Holocaust as a possible topic because April is Holocaust Remembrance Month.
“I just ran with that,” Cockey says, but it took him somewhere he didn’t expect. Cockey realized that he is Jewish, a fact that was hidden by his mother when he was growing up.
“I remember when I was very young my brother told me we were Jewish and not to tell anyone because if something bad happened they would come for us,” Cockey says. “I realized my mother in Idaho in the 1950s was still terrified of what might happen. It helped me understand the power (the Holocaust) has to affect generations.”
The piece for orchestra, baritone and choir starts in darkness and transcends toward hope through the stories and poetry of Holocaust survivors. Cockey’s score mixes musical lyricism with contemporary dissonance, inspired by Eastern European folk music.
Boise Baroque Orchestra, Opera Idaho Chorus and baritone Jason Detwiler will perform at 7:30 p.m. April 24 and 2 p.m. April 26 at the Cathedral of the Rockies, 717 N. 11th St., Boise. $25 general, $20 seniors and students at boisebaroque.org and at the door.