THE ANCIENT LAW featuring Donald Sosin & Alicia Svigals

** An Affiliated Event **
November 14, 2023 - 7:00pm
Old Cabell Hall

Photo credits Oles Cheresko & Futography LLC.On November 14 at 7pm, the UVA Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures will host a screening of the recently restored 1923 silent film THE ANCIENT LAW (dir. E. A. Dupont, 135 min.) in the Old Cabell Hall Auditorium. Ewald André Dupont’s 1923 silent masterpiece, is the moving story of the rupture between a rabbi and his son in a Polish shtetl, when the young man abruptly leaves to become an actor in Vienna. With its fascinating attention to cultural detail, and an ensemble of some of the great actors of the day, the film still resonates deeply with audiences in its 100th anniversary year. The renowned klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals and the celebrated silent film pianist Donald Sosin will be present to perform their newly composed score live. You can read more about the film and watch a trailer here.

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. 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. With jazz pianist Uli Geissendoerfer, she recently released Beregovski Suite: Klezmer Reimagined, a recording of contemporary interpretations of klezmer music from a long-lost Soviet Jewish archive. 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.”

Pianist/composer Donald Sosin grew up in Rye, New York and Munich, and has performed his scores for silent films, often with his wife, singer/percussionist Joanna Seaton, at Lincoln Center, MoMA, BAM, the National Gallery; and major film festivals in New York, San Francisco, Telluride, Hollywood, Pordenone, Bologna, Shanghai, Bangkok, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow, and Jecheon, South Korea. He records for Criterion, Kino, Milestone and Flicker Alley, and his scores are heard frequently on TCM. Sosin has had commissions from MoMA, the Chicago Symphony Chorus, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. He lives in rural Connecticut with his family.

This event is free and open to the public. Please contact Prof. Paul Dobryden ( with any questions.

This event is hosted by the UVA Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, and co-sponsored by the Germany on Campus program of the Germany Embassy in Washington D.C.; the Sunrise Foundation for Education and the Arts; UVA Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures; the UVA Center for German Studies; the UVA Jewish Studies Program; the UVA Department of Music; the UVA Department of Media Studies; and the UVA Department of Art.

This event is presented by the UVA Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures.  Please contact Prof. Paul Dobryden ( with any questions.

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UVA Department of Music
112 Old Cabell Hall
P.O. Box 400176 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176