JMI Music Festival Programmes

Here you can find a full list of programmes of festivals and conferences hosted by JMHT/JMI between 1984-2011.

Click on the title of any underlined date in the list below to read the full corresponding programme.

Introduction by Geraldine Auerbach MBE, founding Director of JMI

In the summer of 1984, the first major international festival devoted to Jewish music – anywhere in the world – took place in London UK. It was called the Bnai Brith Music Festival and lasted over 4 weeks. It was filled with choral, vocal and instrumental concerts in London’s major concert halls and other interesting venues. It featured everything from Chasidic music and Jewish jazz, to oratorios, orchestral and chamber music. There were also illustrated talks and Jewish music in situ in synagogue services – including in the oldest Sephardi synagogue in London, Bevis Marks.

This first festival marked the beginning of the trajectory that culminated in the establishment of the Jewish Music Institute at the University of London in 1999. As the founding Director of the festival and of JMI, I realised that Jewish music was like a radioactive cable reaching from the bible to infinity – and that people wanted to be warmed by its glow. I spent the next 30 years of my life, dedicated to making it available to the best of my ability in all its manifestations.

More festivals followed, every two years until 2000. For each festival, all the concerts and events were documented in a single programme book. These are now fascinating historical documents and hugely informative on the scope and reach of Jewish music and the composers and artists involved.

Several works were commissioned, and many old and new works were given first performances in the UK. Special ensembles were brought in from Europe, Israel and America and new ensembles were created in the UK to perform special repertoires. Highlights included music composed by and for the Rothschilds performed at their stately homes and a day of Jewish music in the Millennium Dome.

Working with the Council of Christians and Jews, we presented Ronald Senator’s oratorio, Kaddish for Terezin in Canterbury Cathedral in 1986 with Rabbi Hugo Gryn, who had been an inmate, as narrator, blowing the shofar in the Cathedral – broadcast live on Radio London. Then in 1990 there was Ernest Bloch’s Sacred Service in Hebrew in York Minster as part of a long weekend we organised and presented, commemorating the 800th anniversary of the massacre of the Jews of York.

The Sacred Service was performed again in 1995 at St Paul’s Cathedral under the baton of Yehudi Menuhin in the presence of HRH The Prince Philip. This was part of a special festival called Sacred Music of two Traditions.

Other special festivals were the Austrian Jewish Music Festival of 1996, the World of Jewish Music in 1998 and the last festival A Travelling Festival in 2000.

In the intervening years there were mini festivals at the Southbank Centre and Wigmore Hall such as Thwarted Voices: Music Suppressed by the Third Reich, ‘Continental Britons – The Émigré Composers’, Musical Dialogues of East and West (Israeli Music) and a Tribute after he died, to Yehudi Menuhin, who had been the valued President of JMI.

At last, all these festival programmes, and the programmes of five international conferences on aspects of Jewish music have been digitised – with many thanks to our partners, the Jewish Music Institute in Paris under Herve Roten and Jean-Gabriel Davis for managing the process. Thanks to them, we can have them on the JMI website for all to see – hopefully forever.

Geraldine Auerbach MBE, London, November 2019


Jewish Music Heritage Trust /Jewish Music Institute 1984 – 2011 Full list of programmes of festivals and conferences (*including some not sent to Paris for digitising)

No.DatePagesSizeNote
Biennial Festival Programmes   
1:1984 BB Festival programme52A51st Festival Red cover
2:1986 BB Festival programme92A52nd Festival Green cover
3:1988 BB Festival programme124A53rd Festival Orange cover
4:1990 BB Festival programme52A54th Festival Blue cover
5:1992 BB Festival programme82A55th Festival Red /Black
6:1994 BB Festival programme52A56th Festival Yellow/Blue
7:1996 8th Festival programme80A4 shortAustrian/Jewish culture white
8:1998 9th Festival programme76A4 shortWorld of Jewish Music cream
9:2000 10th Festival programme80A4 shortA travelling celebration pink
   One-off Southbank Festivals/ Events  
10:1993 March Southbank Centre16A5*Adler/Schechter.Sitkovetsky
11:1994 October Barbican20A4*Joe Loss Tribute concert
12:1997 mini festival Southbank Centre20A4 shortEastern European
13:1999 mini festival Southbank Centre24A4 shortJewish Culture Day
14:2000 mini festival Southbank Centre28A4 shortYehudi Menuhin
15:2001 mini festival Southbank Centre28A4 shortThwarted Voices
16:2002 mini festival Wigmore Hall36A5 tall‘Continental Britons’
17:2003 St John’s, Smith Square8A4*Jewish choral festival
18:2003 November Union chapel12A5*Klezmer Beats on Upper St
192004 mini festival Southbank Centre44A5 tallMusical Dialogues of East and West
202004 Dec mini festival Southbank Centre20A5 tallCantors in Concert 1
212004 Southbank Centre QEH8A4*It’s Chanukah
222005 July Southbank Centre QEH12A4*Jewish Choirs in Concert
232005 November Southbank Centre QEH24A4*Jewish Songwriters
242006 June Southbank Centre QEH20A4*Youth sings and Cantors in Concert2
252006 Nov mini festival Southbank Centre24A4Borsht to Blighty
262007 March Arts Depot/Menuhin Sch16A4*Klezmer to Classical
272007 July LJS St Johns Wood16A4*Kol Isha
282008 mini festival Southbank Centre40A5Musical Dialogues     purple
292009 Bloch festival Wigmore Hall12A5Goldner Piers Lane
302009 Bloch festival Wigmore Hall12A5Liebeck
312011 Purcell Room Southbank16A5*Soundscapes of Israel
32Grand Total of Pages 1146  
 Conferences    
11st international conference on Jewish musicA51994 April, City University
22nd international conference on Jewish musicA51997 April, City University
33rd international conference on Jewish musicA42000 June, SOAS
4Thwarted Voices: Composition class of Franz SchreckerA42000 July, SOAS
5Impact of Nazism on 20th C musicA52008 April, Senate House LU
Extras
11990 March York136A5Clifford’s Tower Commemoration
21995 November Sacred music festival100Tall thinSpecial: tall thin b/w
32000 March SOAS12A5Launch of JMI
42000 Fundraising document with CD6A5Fundraising with CD
52003 March SOAS16A5Launch JMI Jewish Music Library
62003 July SOAS and House of Commons20A5Yiddish Culture Forum Launch
72006 Round House12A5poster book JMI

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