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JMI Conferences

JMI runs major international conferences on its own and in conjunction with other universities and with the Institute for Musical Research at Senate House.

Recent Conferences:

Art Musics of Israel:
Identities, Ideologies, Influences
28 – 31 March 2011

Full programme with abstracts
Conference short report (1.5 pages)
Conference longer report (12 pages)
Conference Photos

The conference is presented by:
The Jewish Music Institute (JMI) Forum for Israeli Music (FIM) at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in association with the SOAS Department of Music and the Institute of Musical Research (IMR), School of advanced Study, University of London.

It is an exciting initiative of JMI and IMR, to highlight the wealth of music from Israel and show its significance in an international context. Not only are many of the most significant scholars attending – but there will be numerous musical presentations, round table discussions and concerts. Something for everyone to enjoy and learn from when attending the full four days from Monday 28 March at 9.30am at Senate House University of London WC1E 7HU to Thursday 31 March at 10.15pm after the final concert at the Purcell Room.

We are privileged to have a panel of leading international guest speakers: the distinguished historian of musical nationalism; Professor Amnon Shiloah (Hebrew University), an expert on Music in Islam and the musical relations of East and West; Professor Arnold Whittall, (King’s College, London), leading authority on music in the 20th and 21st centuries, and Professor Jehoash Hirshberg (Hebrew University), expert on music in Israel and British Mandate Palestine, and author of the only biography of Paul Ben-Haim.

We are fortunate to feature several leading composers from Israel including Yehezkel Braun, Andre Hajdu, Tsippi Fleischer, Michael Wolpe, Haim Permont, and Oded Zehavi who will discuss their works. Professors and doctoral students from leading universities around the world (South Africa, USA, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Turkey, Israel, and UK) will present papers ranging over many topics, with themed days focused on aspects of East and West, Arabic and Jewish musics and relationships, nationalism and ideologies of pioneer generations, modernism and post-modernism. Papers on composers from the former USSR in the 70s and 90s, mix with more general topics such as sociology of music, memory and the impact of the Holocaust. Also addressed are popular musics such as Cabaret and nightclubs in Tel-Aviv, Israeli Rock, and the impact of folk song and liturgical styles and collaborative Arab-Jewish projects in Israel and beyond.

Complementing the scholarly sessions will be several wonderful performance events, at the Chancellor’s Hall of London University and the SouthBank Centre’s Purcell Room. Two outstanding Israeli groups, the Meitar Ensemble and Ha’Oman Hai, give major evening concerts with many premieres. Meitar specialise in chamber works by young Israeli composers and Ha’Oman, a group of instrumentalists and singers working with Andre Hajdu, revitalise Hebrew liturgical texts in a creative eclectic mix of styles. Virtuoso pianist Gila Goldstein, an expert in the music of Ben-Haim, the Galay Cello-Piano Duo, and others, participate in the concerts each day. 

Malcolm Miller, Conference Director September 2010  

Conference Academic Advisory Board

Dr Malcolm Miller Chairman (Open University in London, Associate Fellow, IMR)
Professor Philip Bohlman (Chicago)
Julian Dawes (composer, London)
Professor Taiseer Elias, Head of Arabic Music Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance
Professor Jehoash Hirshberg (Emeritus Hebrew University, Jerusalem)
Professor John Irving (Director of the Institute of Musical Research)
Professor Robert Saxton (Oxford)
Dr Ronit Seter, JMRC (Hebrew University, Jerusalem); Council Member, AMS (Capital Chapter).
Professor Emeritus Malcolm Troup (City University – London)
Professor Arnold Whittall (Emeritus Professor Kings College London)
Dr Michael Wolpe (Head of Composition Jerusalem Academy)
Dr Abigail Wood (Joe Loss Lecturer in Jewish Music, SOAS, University of London

Past Conferences:

Ernest Bloch, the Man and his Music for the 21st Century
29 - 31 July 2008, Cambridge University

Music, Oppression and Exile: The Impact of Nazism on Musical Development in the 20th Century
April 2008, University of London

Updated April 28, 2011




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The Jewish Music Institute is an independent Arts organisation based at SOAS, University of London. It is an international focus bringing the ancient yet contemporary musical culture of the Jews to the mainstream British cultural, academic and social life. Its programmes of education, performance and information highlight many aspects of Jewish music throughout the ages and across the globe for people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures.