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Jewish Music Fair 2018


Sunday 18th February 2018
9:30 am - 6:00 pm
£25 – £40


North Western Reform Synagogue, Alyth Gardens
London, NW11 7EN United Kingdom
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The JMI is proud to present the relaunch of the Jewish Music Fair at Alyth (NWRS) on Sunday 18th February 2018.

JMI’s Jewish Music Fair is a fascinating day packed with Jewish music of all kinds and genres, from the very best musicians, academics, practitioners and leaders. From lectures to workshops, Q&A’s to concerts the JMI’s Jewish Music Fair will bring you a wealth of talent from the world of Jewish Music.

With more than 20 sessions to choose from, you can find more details about all of our guest presenters by opening the drop down menu below.

Adult full price: £40 / Adult early-bird: £35 (Book before 1st Feb 2018)
Student full price: £30 / Student early-bird:  £25 (Book before 1st Feb 2018)


If you would like to come for part of the day, require a more bespoke booking or have any questions, then please email us here

Steven Isserlis in conversation with Lady Solti

Acclaimed worldwide for his profound musicianship and technical mastery, British cellist Steven Isserlis enjoys a unique and distinguished career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, author and broadcaster.

As a concerto soloist he appears regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, including the Berlin Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, London Philharmonic and Zurich Tonhalle orchestras. He gives recitals every season in major musical centres, and plays with many of the world’s foremost chamber orchestras, including the Australian, Mahler, Norwegian, Scottish, Zurich and St Paul Chamber Orchestras, as well as period-instrument ensembles such as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Unusually, he also directs chamber orchestras from the cello in classical programmes.

Steven Isserlis will be in conversation with JMI Joint-President Lady Valerie Solti.

Alex Knapp: Chinese Jews Their History And Their Music

Alex Knapp is a musician, musicologist, ethnomusicologist, composer, teacher and music consultant. He received his Doctorate from Selwyn College Cambridge, and has lectured and published in the UK, USA, Western and Eastern Europe, Israel, Eastern Siberia and China for over 40 years. His most recent publication is Ernest Bloch Studies, a book that he co-edited for Cambridge University Press. He has worked at the RCM, Goldsmiths College, Wolfson College Cambridge, City University, and SOAS, before retiring in 2006.

Daniel Jonas: An Introduction to Judeo-Arabic Music

Daniel is best known as the founder of the critically-acclaimed Sephardic group Los Desterrados, but is now in rehearsals with his new JudeoArabic group 3Ayin.

David Prager: The Almost Lost Tradition of Dazzling Ashkenazi Chazanut with Specific Modes for Defined Seasonal Prayers

David Prager was born in Manchester in 1952. A chemist by profession, he
retired following a prestigious career in BP Chemicals and its successor

He has studied the recordings, films, music and biographies of the leading
cantors of the world. He has analysed the integration of beautiful, emotionally-
intense singing with traditional Ashkenazi prayer modes.

Dr Ilana Webster-Kogen: Arabness in Tel Aviv

Dr. Ilana Webster-Kogen is the Joe Loss Lecturer in Jewish Music at SOAS, University of London. She teaches Jewish music and ethnomusicology, and her research focuses on ethnic minorities in Tel Aviv. Her first book, Citizen Azmari: Making Ethiopian Music in Tel Aviv, will be published with Wesleyan University Press in 2018, and she is currently working on a sonic cultural geography of Arabness in Tel Aviv.

Fran & Flora: Finding Your Voice In Traditional Music

This new folk and experimental collaboration between violinist Flora Curzon and cellist Francesca Ter-Berg combines traditional string music and songs from Eastern European with original compositions and improvisation. Having travelled across Europe to study with many great masters of Eastern European Roma and Klezmer music Fran &  Flora perform this repertoire incorporating their own unique arrangements creating a mesmerising sound that is both timeless and contemporary.

Known for their collaborations with many groundbreaking artists, their album will be released on Lima Limo Records in 2018.

“Fiercely passionate – a string duo bound for glory” – Max Reinhardt, BBC Radio 3 Lte Junction

Malcolm Singer: Leonard Bernstein - The 'Jewish' Works

The composer and conductor Malcolm Singer was Director of Music at the Yehudi Menuhin School from 1998 -2017 and was Musical Director of the Zemel Choir from 1983 – 1993. His own ‘Jewish’ works include Kaddish, commissioned by the BBC Singers, Yorkcommissioned for the 800th anniversary of massacre of the Jews at Clifford’s Tower and The Mask of Esthercommissioned by the St Alban’s Chamber Choir and the Zemel Choir. He has set many psalms in Hebrew, Latin and English and is currently working on new settings for the 2018 Shipley Festival.

Merlin Shepherd: The Art Of Klezmer Ensemble Playing

Merlin is one of the world leaders in traditional klezmer clarinet and has been Musical Director for The Royal National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London. He was also Klezmer Advisor for the Royal Shakespeare Company for their 1992 production of Anski’s  “The Dybbuk”.
He has worked as Music Co-ordinator for KlezKamp USA, KlezFest London and taught at KlezFest St Petersburg, KlezFest Ukraine and KlezKanada. He has also recorded and performed throughout Britain, Europe and North America with The Klezmatics, Budowitz, Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars, Sukke and the Burning Bush, he also performs regularly in a duo with Polina Shepherd and his own quintet, Hamsa.

Michael Etherton: Music in Film - The Art Of Making A Film 'Jewish'

Michael Etherton is Chief Executive of UK Jewish Film and a Member of the Board of Trustees. Over the last twelve years he has been integral in developing the UK International Jewish Film Festival into a cultural event of national significance and UK Jewish Film into a year-round film and education provider. He has a particular passion for both film music and Jewish music and is currently Musical Director of Mosaic Voices, a professional a cappella choir. He has worked as a freelance conductor including with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and is former Musical Director of the London Jewish Male Choir and Alyth Choral Society. He holds a Licentiate Performance Diploma in violoncello and studied orchestral conducting at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. He is also Chairman of the Young Actors Theatre Islington and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Joseph Finlay: (re)Arranging Jewish Music

Joseph Finlay is a composer and musical director, trained at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music. His musicals include Superhero, which was performed this summer at the Southwark Playhouse, and This is Also England with Raphael Smith. He also works extensively in Jewish music: he is Musical Director of the London Jewish Male Choir, and has worked as Musical Director/Choirmaster at Hendon Reform, New London, New North London and Central Synagogues. He works regularly as a pianist, particularly accompanist for singers, and he is accompanist for the Golden Peacock Yiddish song school.

Mich Sampson: Singing For The Sake Of Heaven

Mich Sampson is Director of Music at Finchley Reform Synagogue. A lively choir conductor and singer, she especially enjoys working with beginners, whether in the context of a synagogue, choral society, drama college or even parent and baby choir! Mich is a frequent visitor to other Jewish communities where she works with congregation and ‘lead singers’ to develop their musical confidence and ability. Most recently she has been delighted to support Edinburgh Liberal Jewish Community, East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue, and St Albans Masorti Synagogue.

Norbert Meyn: From the Archive to the Concert Hall

Short Biog: Tenor Norbert Meyn grew up in Weimar in former East Germany and has been living in London for 20 years. He teaches Lieder classes at the Royal College of Music, where he also curates the “Singing a Song in a Foreign Land” project, exploring the musical legacy of Jewish and non-Jewish musicians who came to Britain as refugees from Nazi-Europe.

He is a committee member of ICSM which brings together musicians and scholars who have a particular interest in the composers and performers who were banned, exiled, or murdered by the Third Reich and other totalitarian and oppressive regimes in the twentieth century. In 2016 he founded the professional ENSEMBLE EMIGRE to develop programmes with vocal and instrumental chamber music.

Polina Shepherd: Yiddish Choir Workshop

Polina Shepherd

Polina grew up in a Russian Jewish home where songs were frequently sung at celebrations. When living in Tatarstan and studying at the State Academy, she played Russia′s first klezmer band after Perestroika, and toured the world with her own quartet. Her current work is united by the umbrella of The Polina Shepherd Vocal Experience covering vocal music from large scale choirs to duets. Leads four choirs and works internationally.

Michael Haas: Saving Vienna's Exile.Arte

Michael Haas is the Director of JMI’s International Centre for Suppressed Music based at Royal Holloway College. Since 2000, the ICSM has been engaged in the recovery of music lost during the Hitler years. Unlike art, literature and theatre, music remained suppressed for reasons that had to do with a myriad of damaging post-war policies. This was largely music by Jewish composers, and led to a further 45 years of silencing.


Rachel Weston: Arbeter Froyen

Rachel has been studying and singing Jewish music for years. Her research and performance of Jewish vocal repertoire has taken her throughout the UK, North America and Israel. A professional Yiddish singer and workshop leader, she has been fully trained, with a postgraduate in Performance and Ethnomusicology.

Susan Wachowski: Music And The Holocaust

Susan Wachowski is a PhD candidate at the University of Southampton studying Holocaust memory in the DDR. She is the recipient of the 2017-18 ORT Marks Fellowship for Music and the Holocaust. http://holocaustmusic.ort.org/

Sam Eastmond: Radical Jewish Culture

Sam Eastmond is a composer, bandleader and Trumpet player. He leads the Spike Orchestra, a large ensemble dedicated to playing Radical Jewish Culture. Their critically acclaimed debut Ghetto was followed by two instalments of John Zorn’s Masada Books. He also leads Rosenblatt a chamber music group fusing RJC concepts and free improvisation with one of Europe’s foremost improvisers Sarah Gail Brand and is musical director of the JMI Youth Big Band.

Viv Bellos: Torah Cantillation - and overview of Trope

Vivienne Bellos

Vivienne Bellos trained at Dartington College of Arts and the Royal Academy of Music. After a short career in opera, she became Director of Music at the North Western Reform Synagogue (Alyth) in 1980. Here at Alyth she founded choirs and drama groups for all ages, most notably the Alyth Choral Society, the Alyth Chamber Choir, the Alyth Youth Singers and the Alyth Academy of Performing Arts.

From 1996 to 2000 she was the first and only female musical director of the Zemel Choir, and she conducted them in a variety of concerts including a concert trip to Prague and Budapest.

In 1986 the role of Music Consultant to the then Reform Synagogues of Great Britain (now MRJ) was created and for 14 years she ran hugely successful Music Seminars and Choirs Festivals and created the original Jewish Music Fairs. She then reintroduced these Fairs from 2011 at Alyth Synagogue where they are still held

In 2007 Vivienne was awarded the Lady Hilary Groves Prize for her outstanding contribution to music in the community.

In the 2015 New Year’s Honours list she was awarded an MBE for services to music and also appointed Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. At the end of 2015 Miss Bellos retired from her post at Alyth and was honoured by them with the role of Emeritus Director of Music.

Yoav Oved: Songs Of Israel

Yoav Oved – completed his Bachelor of Music at Royal Holloway, and works in and around London singing at events and private functions. He works closely with the Jewish Music Institute, in bringing Jewish music, both Sepharad and Ashkenaz, to the wider audience. He has given multiple recitals in London, Riga and Paris and has also participated as a soloist with the LSO in a contemporary visual arts project.

Yoav performed the "El Male Rachamim" prayer at the Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony at City Hall in Jan 2017 in front of the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and Assembly of London.

Zoe Jacobs: Singing For The Sake Of Heaven

Cantor Zöe Jacobs holds a unique place in Reform Anglo-Jewry as the only ordained Cantor in the Reform Movement; a statistic she is working hard to change! Zöe can mostly be found on the bima of FRS, which is where she truly fell in love with Judaism. Zöe supports the development of music and prayer within the Movement for Reform Judaism and takes any opportunity she can find to sing
in harmony with others. In 2011, she set up ‘Shirei Chagigah’, a biennial music and prayer conference, and is passionate about encouraging individuals to take a role in leading music and prayer in their own congregations.

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