JMI Newsletter No. 7
posted 10 June 2003
Eastern European Jewish Culture
1. Yiddish Culture to be Honoured at the House of
A reception will be held in the Members Dining Room at the House of Commons
on Thursday July 10 from 4pm6pm to inaugurate the Jewish Music Institute's
International Forum for Yiddish Culture (IFYC). Host and Vice President
of the Forum, Lord Janner said. 'I am delighted to welcome this sign of
the rebirth of a great Jewish culture and where better than from the Mother
of Parliaments'. This historic ceremony at the House of Commons, highlighting
the importance of the culture that flourished in London's East End, will
follow an evening of Songs and Stories of the Yiddish World, hosted by
Michael Grade CBE (Chairman of Camelot, former Head of Channel 4 TV and
a fluent Yiddish speaker) who is also a Vice President of the new Forum.
This takes place at SOAS University of London at 8.00pm Wednesday 9 July.
This event will be co-ordinated by Zalmen Mlotek, (the third of the Triumvirate
of Vice Presidents) who is also the Director of the Yiddish Theatre in
New York. These events will be the culmination of the JMI Summer programmes-
in Yiddish language, folklore, music, song and dance at SOAS. Dating from
the 10th century, Yiddish fuses Germanic dialects, Hebrew language and
scripts and Slavic languages in what became the leading vernacular of
European Jews. Immigrants brought it to the UK along with a rich tradition
of literature, theatre and journalism, led by such writers as Sholem Aleichem
and I.L. Peretz. It has a richness that English can't help but borrow:
mensch for decent and good-hearted person; mitzvahs for good deeds and
other things we admire; chutzpah, for audacity. During World War II, half
of the world's 11 million Yiddish speakers were killed by the Nazis and
their allies. Among Jews who settled in the US, the UK and Western Europe,
Yiddish faded fast in the mill of assimilation. Now enrolment in Yiddish-language
programmes has grown steadily over the past two decades at many secular
universities, including Columbia NY; Oxford; UCL and SOAS both part of
the university of london. The JMI International Forum for Yiddish Culture
will collaborate with many organisations at home and abroad active in
this field such as the newly founded Jewish East End Celebration Society,
the Jewish Museum, The Spiro Ark, Springboard, Jewish Renaissance and
SOAS, in programmes of Yiddish language, music and culture. Yiddish musical
culture, along with the genres of Sephardi music, synagogue music, classical
music and music suppressed by the Third Reich is one of the elements that
make up the work of the Jewish Music Institute. Newsletter readers who
would like to attend the summer courses or any of the celebratory events
should telephone 020 8909 2445, or email.
2. First UK Jewish Music Library Inaugurated
Dr. Christian Meyer, Director of the Schoenberg Institute, Vienna
opens the JMI Library SOAS with Nimrod Schwart Oud Player, Geraldine
Auerbach MBE Director JMI, Lady Lipworth Joint Chairman of JMI, Lady
Solti and Leopold Rothschild CBE Joint Presidents of JMI (Photo: John
The new Jewish Music Institute Library was opened on 18 March at SOAS by
Dr Christian Meyer, Director of the Schoenberg Institute, Vienna. He brought
greetings from his Institute which houses the Schoenberg archive as well
as a concert hall and exhibition gallery. In his opening speech Dr Meyer
remarked how Arnold Schoenberg had supported Jewish music Institutes and
scholarship. Over 200 people enjoyed a variety of Jewish music from Yemenite
love songs to Yiddish Tangos and choral music as well as being entertained
by 20 members of the SOAS Klezmer Classes.
Message from Tessa Jowell
This is the first library in this country dedicated to books, scores,
and recordings of Jewish music, open to scholars and the public. The Secretary
of State for Culture media and Sport, the Rt. Hon. Tessa Jowell, MP sent
the following message: 'Jewish music traces the development of a race
with a recorded history of some 4000 years and one that has occupied just
about every quarter of our inhabitable world. As a musical form it has
a richness and variety that can hardly be equalled anywhere. Indeed, music
is a strong thread that helps to keep alive the link between the traditional
and modern Jewish worlds'. She went on to say 'I see one of the library's
roles as helping to strengthen that link and to maintain the coherence
of the Jewish communities across our country. But, more than that, I hope
the library can play a full part towards what I believe is our growing
interest and understanding of the diverse cultures that do so much to
enrich the fabric of modern Britain'.
Leopold de Rothschild CBE who welcomed everyone including his Joint President,
Lady Solti, remembered the unique Lord Menuhin his predecessor
as President of JMI who had inaugurated Jewish Music Studies at
SOAS four years ago. Leo paid tribute to SOAS for its vision in embracing
Jewish music and in inviting JMI to join them. He praised the JMI 'for
creating access to Jewish culture across all faiths and levels of involvement,
a key manifestation of the age-old power of music to promote that cross-cultural
understanding and empathy so crucial today'.
Other speakers were Keith Webster, Head of Information Services and Strategy
at SOAS, who hoped the JMI Library would join his initiative of Reshet
a database of Hebraica across several Institutes and become more closely
associated with the SOAS library. Messages were also delivered by David
Hughes, Chairman of the Department of Music at SOAS; Janet Topp Fargion
Director, Director of the International Collection, British Library, Sound
Archive and Pamela Thompson, Head of Music at the Royal College of Music
and immediate Past President of the International Association of Music
Libraries Archives and Documentation Centres. Messages were also received
from Institutes across the world with which JMI has established collaboration
such as Monash University in Melbourne, Brandeis and Pennsylvania Universities
in the USA and the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Geraldine Auerbach MBE
Director of JMI, introduced a short film by TV producer Ruti Frensdorff,
to illustrate some of the contents and the unique collections in the library.
She described the special research database for printed and recorded music
Keynote designed for JMI by Gregori Schechter's Dedoc Software Company,
in consultation with British Library Sound Archive. Special features are
full instrumentation and a searchable tune manager. All the data is easily
uploaded onto the Web. This makes the Jewish Music Institute Library available
not only at SOAS but worldwide. A prototype of keynote can be seen here.
Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund JMI is able to preserve
the collections and make them accessible to the public. The evening included
music of the Balinese Gamelan indicating the enormous range of music taught
at SOAS and this important milestone in Jewish music in this country concluded
with refreshments and more music in the gallery.
3. Jewish Music in Barbican Festival
Frank London and shimmering Brass
Between 2331 May, YaDarts and the Barbican will present X-BLOC
REUNION a musically explosive Festival bringing over 30 'urban and ethnic'
bands from all over the Eastern Bloc a tremendous achievement for
Yadarts, the young Jewish Arts organisation, which was encouraged into establishment
by Geraldine Auerbach of JMI in 1999, and is spearheaded by the enthusiastic
Oxford graduates Jonathan Walton and Josephine Burton.
Jewish Music in context
Jonathan, a fluent Russian speaker and music Masters Degree student at
SOAS who has done fieldwork in Eastern Europe and who proposed the Festival
to the Barbican, told JMI 'One of the main things we really wanted to
do was to give Jewish music its rightful place in European music. I saw
this Festival as a wonderful opportunity to show the context in which
both Klezmer and Sephardic music flourished and made their impact across
Central and Eastern Europe'. To emphasise this, The Barbican has invited
Frank London the acclaimed trumpeter of the Klezmatics et al, to join
forces with a Serbian Brass Band and invited Ankica Petrovic from Sarajevo,
to give a talk on traditional Sevdah music from Bosnia which shows much
Sephardic influence. The Barbican has also invited the Kharkov Klezmer
Band, (which has been a regular visitor to JMI's London KlezFest) to show
the revival of Jewish music in the Ukraine. X-BLOC REUNION will feature
concerts in the Barbican Hall and Theatre and in the newly opened St Luke's
Church. There will be afternoon performances on the Free Stage over the
bank holiday weekend and on the postshow Clubstage. Thrilling, refined,
outrageous, spiritual, wild, funky and indescribable doesn't begin to
sum it up. The old bloc swings... For more details telephone the Barbican
on 020 7638 8891
4. Michael Haas Honoured for Suppressed Music
Kohlhaas (left) with
Berthold Goldschmidt in discussion
about one of their recordings
IFSM Research Director, Michael Haas, has been honoured for his work
in bringing to public attention the works of so many composers exiled,
banned or murdered by the Third Reich.
For the second year running Michael has been awarded the JMI David Uri
Memorial Fellowship particularly for his ongoing work in the field of
'Continental Britons The Émigré Composers'. The award
is the gift of Sandra Blackman and her family who admire the pioneering
work that Michael is doing at JMI for composers who came to Britain. Following
the two concerts and Seminar last year, Michael has recorded the little
known works of Hans Gàl, Peter Gellhorn, Berthold Goldschmidt,
Karl Rankl, Franz Reizenstein, Mátyás Seiber, Leopold Spinner,
Vilém Tausky, Egon Wellesz. These works, which received welcome
critical attention, will be issued on CD in the autumn on the prestigious
Music Award for Michael Haas
In the recent awards for Jewish Culture promoted by the LJCC, Michael
was singled out for the music award for his work. In his acceptance speech
Michael noted that the composers he represented would have been pleased
to hear of the award. He also acknowledged the support of JMI's Geraldine
Auerbach and all the JMI IFSM Committee for their contribution to his
ongoing work in this field.
5. JMI Presents Concert in Vienna Festival
JMI IFSM will be presenting a concert of 'Continental Britons' in Vienna
on 13 May for the opening of an amazing exhibition at the Jewish Museum
there, on Jews and the Music Metropolis Vienna. This concert and exhibition
are also part of the Vienna Festival. IFSM is taking Erik Levi (pianist
and lecturer in music at Royal Holloway University of London and author
of Music in the Third Reich) and Christian Immler, the prize-winning baritone,
who has taken this repertoire to his heart, to Vienna for the opening
concert of this exhibition. They will be performing songs by Mahler, Gàl,
Rankl and Wellesz. Michael Haas is one of the curators of this major exhibition
called Quasi una Fantasia and of its associated concerts. For the first
time the role of Jews in Viennese musical life is examined in detail.
In 1881 the Ringtheater went up in flames. More than 900 people died in
the inferno, almost half of them Jews. Nearly a third of the students
at the Conservatory in 1895 were Jewish. Music had become the language
of assimilation for the children of immigrants. Soon Jewish composers,
performers and sponsors were considerably influencing Vienna's music scene.
Many, like Mahler and Schoenberg, were pioneers of modern music, while
others, like Kàlman and Oscar Straus, contributed to Vienna's reputation
as a city of music through their operettas. Quasi una Fantasia, which
will be presented in the framework of Wiener Festwochen 2003, highlights
these developments, while also showing the limits of music as a language
of assimilation. It documents the expulsion and murder of Jewish musicians
between 1938 and 1945, follows them into exile and takes a critical look
at Vienna as a city of music since 1945.
See the website for further details www.jmw.at
6. Goldschmidt Discovery Day Hampstead Berthold's Words and
Music in Hampstead on Sunday 18 May
JMI is supporting the Hampstead and Highgate Festival in presenting a
special day-long event in celebration of the centenary of Berthold Goldschmidt,
refugee composer, who spent the last half century of his life in Hampstead.
The event on 18 May is at Jackson's Lane, Archway Road, N6 and consists
of a Seminar from 2.306.00pm on Goldschmidt and his music. These
will be discussed and illustrated, with archive recordings, by Bernard
Keeffe, Lewis Foreman, David Matthews, Daniel Snowman and others. There
will be an evening concert of Goldschmidt's chamber music and songs. You
can book for both events together at a special price of £15 (£12
concessions) from 020 7794 0022.
The website is www.hampsteadandhighgatefestival.co.uk.
You can also go to the Boosey and Hawkes site to see all the performances
of Goldschmidt 's music scheduled for the centenary year.
7. JMI Newsletter Wins Award
The JMI newsletter was awarded first prize in the non-Synagogue section
at the recent annual Board of Deputies seminar for community magazine
editors and Newsletters. It was praised for its good design, variety of
photographs and wide range of interesting articles for its readership
from 'Continental Britons' to Spitalfields Festival, Jewish and
Christian music at Norwich Cathedral and summer Yiddish programmes. Thanks
must go to Geraldine Auerbach MBE Director of JMI who Edits the Newsletter
and Anthony Auerbach of Vargas Organisation Design Strategies for the
excellent design for the Newsletter and for JMI letterheads, programmes
and publications. Many thanks too to Betty Collick the Deputy Editor and
all those who contribute articles and ideas, proofread and supply photographs
and to Graham and Tricia at Cavalier who set and print it.
8. JMI Summer Programmes: Choral Festival
Shabaton Choir in Selichot Service at Heydon Synagogue
(Photograph: Alan Fish)
First Jewish Choral Festival in London 1626 June 2003 For ten days
in June, London will resound with Jewish choral music when choirs and
choristers from all over Europe come together for the first JMI international
Choir Festival in London, set up in memory of colleague Barry Weinberg.
A JMI Millennium award to Vivienne Bellos will bring renowned choral director,
Stephen Glass from Montreal to run workshops and masterclasses for choirmasters
and choristers each evening focusing on the music of the Synagogue. These
will be hosted by London's most significant choirs: The Zemel Choir, Alyth
Choral Society, Neimah Singers, Shabbaton Choir and the London Jewish
Male Choir. Stephen will cover all aspects of choral singing and conduct
rehearsals each evening for massed male voice, children's voice and mixed
voice choirs, culminating in a final concert at St John's, Smith Square
on Thursday 26 June. This concert is open to the public. Telephone 020
7222 1061 for tickets.
During the afternoons Stephen will go into schools to work with the teachers
and children. The Jewish Youth Choir will be hosting the massed children's
choir rehearsals and will begin weekly rehearsals of the repertoire in
the summer term. All children between the ages of 8 and 16 who wish to
participate in this very exciting event are encouraged to attend these
There will be a full day of workshops and masterclasses on Sunday 22 June,
particularly useful for choirs out of London. That evening the participating
choirs will sing to each other and to the public in a choir to choir concert
at SOAS, which is free of charge.
If you sing in your synagogue, community or school; if you have a successful
choir or would like to improve; if you are a music teacher and need help
inspiring your children to sing; if you are interested in participating
in any kind of Jewish choral singing, then this is for you!
The cost of participating in the whole event is only £25 per person.
For children it's £5 and any choirmaster bringing at least ten choristers
will be welcomed free.
The JMI Barry Weinberg Choral Festival is supported by the Barry Weinberg
Fund for Jewish Music and the Jewish Chronicle. It is being organised
by Vivienne Bellos. Please contact Viv on 020 8883 1773 or email
for further details.
9. Yiddish Language Course, Ot Azoy!
Ot Azoy! This is the way
(Sunday 29 June Friday 4 July 2003)
The hugely enjoyable and effective course called Ot Azoy! This is the
way to speak, read and write Yiddish in a week! is ideal for those
who never before dared to join a longer programme, but would love to see
if they could engage with Yiddish. It is also for those who are already
at intermediate level and even above. The course is led, as last year,
by the popular faculty of Khayele Beer, of University College London with
Pesakh Fiszman of Columbia NY and Sonia Dratwa-Pinkusowitz of the Martin
Buber Institute Brussels.
Ot Azoy! opens on Sunday 29th June with registration at SOAS at 11:00am,
followed by an afternoon from 2.30pm at the Bandstand in Regent's Park.
Khayele will set some yiddish nature tasks and everyone will be taught
a Yiddish song. The public is also invited to bring an instrument and
join in Klezmer music and dance as well as listen to Yiddish songs and
Evenings will be filled with interesting Yiddish events, free to those
registered for Ot Azoy! and open to friends, family and the public for
a small charge. Tel JMI on 020 8909 2445
10. KlezFest: Music, Dance and Song
KlezFest London 2003 (610 July 2003)
KlezFest opens at the South Bank on Sunday 6 July, with a workshop,
films and performances open to the public, who are also invited to bring
an instrument and join the biggest klezmer band in the UK. Writer, filmmaker
and broadcaster, Simon Broughton will introduce his BBC film on the history
and revival of Klezmer. Bands attending as a group will perform to the
public in 'Klezmer: the New Generation' in the RFH foyer on Sunday afternoon.
Music co-ordinator Alan Bern (piano and accordion) has prepared a vigorous
curriculum for the following four days at SOAS with clear emphasis on
the origin, technique and repertoire of klezmer music. He will be joined
by Klezmer luminaries Michael Alpert for dance, Frank London for brass,
Deborah Strauss and Sophie Solomon for violin, Kurt Bjorling and Christian
Dawid for clarinet, Jeff Warschauer plucked strings, Stuart Brotman for
the bass line instruments, and Josh Dolgin the master of Hip Hop Klez.
There will be masterclasses for Yiddish song as well as the fabulous Yiddish
chorus, led by the incomparable Zalmen Mlotek.
Concerts Open to the Public:
Solomon and Socalled's HipHopKhasene
On Sunday 6 July, klezmer Klimax II at the Queen Elizabeth Hall will feature
the world's ultimate klezmer performers and the première of the
traditional wedding suite hip hop style. In Solomon and Socalled's
HipHopKhasene acclaimed clarinettist David Krakauer (Klezmer Madness et
al) is the 'best man', violinist Sophie Solomon (Oi-Va-Voi) the 'bride'.
They combine haunting Old World refrains with the cutting-edge New World
beats, and samples of 'groom' Socalled (Josh Dolgin). Shtetl MC will be
none other than Yiddish scholar, teacher and performer Michael Alpert,
Wedding guests will be Frank London (Klezmatics et al), Alan Bern (Brave
Old World) and others. This project was developed by Sophie with a grant
from the JMI Millennium awards. DJ Max Reinhardt has called it A work
of great chutzpah and genius. This will be a landmark British klezmer
event. The CD will be issued shortly by Pirahna. The concert will also
feature Klezmer stars such as Brave Old World, The Strauss Warschauer
Duo, Christian Dawid and others. Tickets £25, £20, £15,
£10 concessions £2 off from the Royal Festival Hall Box Office
020 7960 4242.
Songs and Stories of the Yiddish World hosted by Michael Grade
CBE Michael Grade CBE, Chairman of Camelot and a fluent Yiddish Speaker,
hosts a concert that will evoke the Yiddish world of music, poetry and
literature. Yiddish songs will be presented by Zalmen Mlotek of the Yiddish
Theatre and stories will be told by Pesakh Fiszman of Columbia University,
New York. This concert at SOAS on 9 July at 8.00pm, (together with a ceremony
at the House of Commons, hosted by Lord Janner, on 10 July) marks the
inauguration of the JMI International Forum for Yiddish Culture. Tickets
for this are £20, concessions £15 available in advance from
JMI, Tel 020 8909 2445 email.
There are discounts for coming to both courses and early booking discounts
if booking by May 31. There are student rates and some scholarships may
For more details and registration forms, telephone JMI 020 8909 2445 email
Ot Azoy! and KlezFest are organised and presented by the Jewish Music
Institute SOAS, University of London in association with the Department
of Music and Language Centre SOAS, YaDarts and supported by the Jewish
Chronicle. They are also part of the first World Music Summer School at
SOAS, where you can also study Indian, Chinese, Thai and Indonesian music
11. JMI Autumn Series Jewish Music Performances
JMI will once more present a series of prestigious and varied Jewish
music performances this autumn, starting with a concert at St John's,
Smith Square on 15 October to celebrate the 50th birthday of composer
and music Director of the Yehudi Menuhin School, Malcolm Singer.
Hungarian Jewish culture day at the South Bank
The highlight will be a day of Hungarian Jewish culture on Sunday 30 November.
As part of Hugary in Focus, this day will feature the Gyor Ballet Company
with ballets 'Purim' and 'Klezmer Suite' at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
The famous Budapest Klezmer Band has written and will perform the music
for these ballets. Klezmer Suite will be accompanied as well by the renowned
Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, who will also be performing in concert
with the acclaimed Israeli/Canadian/British violist Rivka Golani, in the
Purcell Room. The Hungarian Nobel laureate for literature will give a
talk and there will be a poignant photographic exhibition of Jewish gravestones
in Hungary in the QEH Foyer.
Concert for Peace
On 30 October JMI is pleased to be associated with a concert by the Israel
Chamber Orchestra, conductor Ada Pelleg at St John's, Smith Square. This
concert will highlight the village of Neveh Shalom/Wahat Al-Salam, an
oasis of peace in Israel, where Jewish and Arab families have chosen to
live together committed to working through problems and difficulties.
Upbeat notes at the Union Chapel
The atmospheric Union Chapel in Islington will be the venue for four
stimulating events. On 9 November we present, together with The Spiro
Ark, the eagerly anticipated, Tangele The Pulse of Yiddish Tango,
the second concert by Lloica Czackis's Ensemble this time including
dancers after last year's sell-out success at The Spitz. The Tango
theme will be continued on 23 November, with a return visit of the remarkable
Giora Feidman quartet, appearing after a gap of 13 years with a new programme
of Klezmer/Tango. On 20 November the international Klezmer theme includes
The World Quintet of Switzerland who will fill the Chapel with wonderful
jazzy klezmer sounds. The Union Chapel series will finish with a performance
by the outstanding Budapest Klezmer Band on Saturday 29 November, which
will herald the day of Hungarian Jewish music and dance at the South Bank
Centre the following day.
To be sure that you receive advance information, join the friends of JMI
or telephone 020 8909 2445 email.
12. Events in the Jewish Art Festival March 2003
Three talks on Oriental and African Jewish Music
Alexander Knapp, Joe Loss Lecturer in Jewish Music at SOAS chaired two
interesting lectures on Algerian and Baghdadi Jewish music and delivered
a fascinating illustrated talk on Ethiopian Jewish music in the recent
lunch-hour series. Maurice El Medioni, 74 year old Algerian-Jewish pianist
was interviewed by Jonathan Walton and performed his spectacular blend
of Andalous, Rai, Boogie Woogie, Klezmer and traditional French Chanson.
Dr Sara Manasseh ethnomusicologist, researcher, lecturer and performer
of music in the Jewish Babylonian (Iraqi) tradition, in a timely talk,
spoke and showed slides about the Jewish community of Baghdad in the 19th
and 20th centuries and its involvement in music and how its traditions
transferred later with its community to Bombay. Alex described the traditional
life-style, languages, and religious observances of the Ethiopian Jews,
and aspects of their distinctive vocal and instrumental musics, as practiced
both in Ethiopia and more recently in Israel. The talks were presented
by JMI in association with the Department of Music and the Centre for
Jewish Studies SOAS.
Synagogue Music Renaissance? Revision? Regression?
The British Jewish Music Network posed questions on the state of synagogue
music in this country to a distinguished panel including Synagogue and
Church music directors. What was happening in Orthodox and Progressive
communities and ways of keeping alive the interest from the congregation
in liturgical music were aired under the chairmanship of Alex Knapp. A
good example of Jewish choral singing was supplied by the choir of Southgate
Synagogue who opened the meeting with some rousing and moving psalms.
Music and the Holocaust 4 Talks and an Opera
Five different aspects of music and the Holocaust began with a talk by
Bernard Keeffe at the Wiener Library on Berthold Goldschmidt 1903
1996, refugee composer in Great Britain. With Berthold's own word and
music, his extraordinary life was revealed, from the artistic ferment
of Berlin in the 20s through exile to his glorious international renaissance
in the last years.
Jane Liddell-King, of the University of Cambridge explored the music and
life of Charlotte Salomon, murdered aged 26, painter of the extraordinary
series of autobiographical images 'Life or Theatre?' shown at the Royal
Academy of Art in 1998.
In Tangele The Pulse of Yiddish Tango, Lloica Czackis, mezzo-soprano
explored the history and performed examples of this fascinating 'cross-over'.
South American rhythms combined with the language and culture of the Eastern
European Jews, flourished during the 1930s and 40s in Argentina, New York
and in ghettos and concentration camps in Nazi Europe.
Clive Marks gave an Illustrated talk on Dmitri Shostakovich showing Jewish
melodies in his chamber music, songs and the great Babi Yar Symphony.
JMI supported the innovative production by Opera Up Close of The Kaiser
of Atlantis, the Terezin Opera of Viktor Ullmann with its jazz-influenced
orchestra, darkly comic libretto and bold theatricality. In this intimate
performance, directed by Russell Plows, the audience found themselves
faced with being recruited by Hitler's fanatical drummer, seeing the Kaiser
monitoring his murderous plans and yet on the other hand seeing the opportunities
that can arise when Death refuses to play ball and goes on strike! The
five performances were very impressive and the production has been invited
to other Festivals across the country.
Three concerts in our Hot Beats on Rye series at The Spitz
JMI promoted three upbeat and enjoyable concerts at The Spitz in Old Spitalfields
market. Maurice Chernick's Klezmer Band, Shir who stood in at short notice
for Gregori Schechter (who was sadly called to Israel for a family bereavement)
Lucie Skeaping and The Burning Bush who gave their usual exemplary performance
of music from the Old Jewish world and newcomers Los Desterrados, 6 young
dedicated players and vocalists, who perform Sephardi repertoire all charmed
their audiences and created a happy atmosphere in this appealing venue.
13. Jewish Music Around the Country with JMI Millenium Awardees
The Zemel Choir appoints JMI award winner Ben Wolf
The Zemel Choir has just appointed the young composer and conductor Benjamin
Wolf as their new Musical Director. Ben is a JMI Millennium Award winner
and his project "L'Chaim", is a composition for piano and orchestra.
He is now completing this work and will perform it in 2003. Ben was a
choral scholar at University College Oxford where he studied classics
gaining a double first. He was awarded a distinction from Trinity College
of Music, London for a Postgraduate Diploma in Conducting, with composition
as a second study. He has also composed a number of works for instruments,
solo voice and choral motets, some of which also have Jewish connections.
The Zemel Choir will be a host choir in the JMI Barry Weinberg Jewish
Yiddish songs at the Chard Festival Somerset
Judith Silver ended her project with a wonderful full-length concert at
the Bull Theatre, Barnet. Since then she has continued performing, teaching
and composing Yiddish songs. She is a regular attendee at Friends of Yiddish,
the group that has met on a Saturday afternoon at Toynbee Studios in Commercial
Street, for nearly a century. She works with poet Leah Thorn in schools
in Hammersmith and Fulham, recently as Artists in Residents on the theme
of Pesach (Slavery and Freedom) and they celebrated a Passover Third Seder
with Black and Jewish participants. Some of her Yiddish compositions will
be premiered at the Chard Festival of Women in Music in Somerset this
season, where she will also conduct a workshop in Yiddish song.
Christopher Wintle's book on Hans Keller to launch at the Freud museum
The launch of Christopher Wintle's Millennium project book Hans Keller
Music and Psychology: From Vienna to London 1939-52 will take place at
the Freud Museum on Wednesday 4 June 6.308.30pm. For three or four
decades after the Second World War, musical thinking in Britain was dominated
by psychology. Among the earliest of the musical Freudians was Hans Keller
(1919-85), an émigré from Vienna who later became a charismatic
figure at the BBC and a trenchant commentator on a host of issues (including
football). He arrived in London soon after the Kristallnacht of 1938,
and from then until 1952 (a watershed year in his development as a critic)
he collaborated with leading sociologists and psychoanalysts in studies
of politics, society, gender and sex. He also devised new ways of writing
Lloica on the cover of the Jewish Quarterly and in concert on 9 November
The charming Lloica Czackis is the cover girl of the Spring edition of
the prestigious magazine of Jewish culture in Britain. Her article on
the origins and development of Yiddish tango in Buenos Aries, in New York
and in Europe, based on her Millennium award project is published inside.
Since her sell-out concert at the Spitz last year, Lloica has been invited
to Leeds, Bristol and Cardiff to give a lecture illustrated with transparencies
and live performances on this subject. The next one will take place on
the opening night of Ot Azoy! at SOAS on Sunday 29 June. Tickets are £8
and concessions £6. Lloica and the Tangele Ensemble will present
the full blown concert with dancers at the Union Chapel on Sunday 9 November
presented by JMI together with The Spiro Ark. Anyone wanting to catch
these should telephone JMI on 020 8909 2445.
Gill Epstein commissions a New Cantata
Gill Epstein's new commission for the Alyth Choral Society, Musical Director
Vivienne Bellos, was reviewed by Malcolm Miller (another Millennium Award
winner) thus: Flowing Medieval Hebrew poetry and rich choral sonorities
distinguished the new cantata 'The Death of Moses' by the London-based
composer Julian Dawes, which received an impressive and enjoyable world
premiere É An experienced composer for the theatre, Dawes's accessible
setting is in nine sections, with verses depicting Moses' questioning
his fate dramatised by a narrator the actor David Sibley
and choruses that range from angelically lyrical to dance-like and jazzy.
Malcolm concludes that 'The cantata is a useful and appealing addition
to the choral repertoire, eminently performable though also stretching,
with contrapuntal textures and lots of dialogue between men and women
sections. The performance was part of the London Jewish Arts Festival.
Sophie Solomon and the Hip Hop Wedding suite
Sophie Solomon violinist of Oi-Va-Voi brought international performers
to join in her Millennium project of setting a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish
wedding suite in the hip-hop idiom. The finished product has been premièred
in New York and the recording that was part of the award has now been
signed to the prestigious Piranha record label in Germany. JMI will present
the London première of the live show Solomon and Socalleds HipHopKhasene
on the opening night of KlezFest (6 July) at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Sophie was hailed as the revelation of last year's Krakow Jewish Music
Festival, and now teaches klezmer in weekly classes at SOAS where her
students find her classes 'inspirational'.
Ed Emery to lead a Muwashahaat conference to SOAS
Ed Emery, whose project is researching the sharing of song by Christians
Arabs and Jews in the Mediterranean basin in the middle ages is organising
an international conference on the Muwashshah (a mediaeval form of Arabic
and Judaic poetry) at SOAS together with the Department of Music and the
Centre for Cross Cultural Music and Dance Performance in October 2004.
It will include Arabic and Jewish performers, and will attempt to rewrite
aspects of the dominant view of medieval Romance culture. Ed is preparing
a scenario for a film about the historical Arabo-Judaic origins of the
sonnet. He has filmed an interview with the leader of the Moroccan Harir
Band, Abdelkader Harir, in which he talks of the shared musical tradition
of Arabs and Jews in his native Morocco, and the Andalusian tradition
as it was practised by his father.