For several years now Enrico Fink has been one of the major figures in the Jewish music and theatre scene in Italy, regularly touring Europe and the US with different groups and projects – and invited to hold speeches, seminars and lectures from universities, music schools, Jewish museums and institutions the world over.
Enrico was born in Florence, the great-grandson of a Jewish-Russian refugee who served as cantor in many Italian synagogues. After a variety of musical experiences in groups ranging from funk-rock to contemporary music (with pauses to complete a degree in physics) he has devoted himself
to new interpretations of the Jewish cultural tradition, finding a path between “radical” and traditional, which uses both music and musical theater as means of expression. He frequently appears in major venues throughout Europe, and with Ensemble Lucidarium is going to have his fifth US tour in February 2015, a tour which will include a presentation of his “Shirat hayam” project in New York, with the participation of Frank London.
He has created a number of theatrical productions, including “Yonah,” “Purimspil” and “Lokshen,” and performing in many national productions (also starring as Motl in Italy’s blockbuster production of “Fiddler on the Roof”). As a lecturer, he has held yearly classes as Professor of History of Jewish Music at the Jewish Studies University in Rome, at the Florence Bet haMidrash, at the Scuola di Alto Perfezionamento Musicale di Bertinoro, at the Circolo Gianni Bosio in Rome: and has been an invited lecturer in US universities (Yale, Stanford, Syracuse, UC in Santa Cruz, UW in Madison…), as well as in Jewish institutions and schools throughout Italy, Europe and the US. As actor and musician he has performed just about everywhere, from international pop festivals to classical concert houses, from jazz clubs to discos, from sidewalks to the most famous theater houses. And besides native Italy, where he performs regularly, he has recently appeared in venues such as the Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto, the Festival De Musique Sacree de Perpignan, the Mozartsaal at the Wien Konzerthaus, the San Francisco Jewish Music Festival, the TribOz club and the Sala Verdi in Rio de Janeiro, the Netwerk Oude Muziek Holland, the York Early Music Festival, the Budapest Jewish Music Festival, the Music Biennale Zagreb, the Seattle Early MusicFestival,andinanimpressivenumberofvenues throughoutCroatia,Poland,Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria, France, Holland, England, Brazil.
Enrico’s first works have mainly focused on klezmer and east european Jewish tradition, both secular and religious; but he has been working for a long time on an Italian repertoire, vast and in some respects unexplored. Already in his first play and CD, Lokshen-Patrilineare (1999), his paternal family’s long voyage from Russia to Italy at the start of the century was told in music, bringing together East European hazanut and some melodies of Italian liturgical tradition; much research has followed, especially in Ferrara and Firenze Jewish communities, listening not only to the melodies still in use (and which Enrico often sings in the synagogue), but also to long- forgotten music, thanks to sheet music and recordings belonging to families and public institutions. In 2005 he has published his second CD The Jazz Singer’s Return to Faith for one of Italy’s oldest and best-known indie companies, Materiali Sonori – an album devoted to a very personal and creative rendition of Jewish Italian religious music; and together with Lucidarium, one of Europe’s leading early music ensembles, he has explored the Renaissance roots of this material, publishing La Istoria de Purim in 2006 for the French label k617. He is since 2006 the director of the “Orchestra Multietnica di Arezzo”, a 30-some element band made up of musicians of many different origins and cultures: the “O.M.A.” has produced two CDs, and was awarded the “Suoni di Confine” prize for its 2009-2010 live exhibitions by Italy’s Independent Music Meeting in Faenza. Its second CD was “Album of the week” for the national public radio Channel 3.