The Jewish Music Forum Complete Listing of Sessions (2005-06 to 2016-2017)
FIRST SEASON, SPRING 2005
January 28, 2005 – Inaugural Lecture “Memory and History in Jewish Music” Kay Kaufman Shelemay, G. Gordon Watts Professor of Music at Harvard University
February 11, 2005 “Studying Jewish Music in Israel: Achievements, Failures and Challenges for the Future” Edwin Seroussi, Emanuel Alexandre Professor of Musicology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Respondent: Stephen Blum, City University of New York
March 11, 2005 “Who Will Reclaim the Golden Sounds?: Judaism, Tradition, and Music Scholarship in an American Context” Judah M. Cohen, New York University Respondent: Mark Slobin, Wesleyan University
April 8, 2005 “Beyond Yiddishland: New Studies from theJewish Musical Mediterranean” Mark Kligman, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Respondent: Professor Uri Sharvit, Bar-Ilan University
May 13, 2005 “Between Wissenschaft and Etnografiia: The Search for a Jewish Musical Science in Eurasia, Past and Present” James Loeffler, Columbia University Respondent: Dr. Lyudmila Sholokhova, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
SECOND SEASON, 2005-2006 Friday, September 23, 2005 “The Philadelphia Russian Sher Medley: Viewing the Immigrant Experience through a Musical Text” Hankus Netsky, New England Conservatory of Music Respondent: Mark Slobin, Wesleyan University
Friday, November 4, 2005 “Between Church and Synagogue: The Organ in German- Jewish Culture” Tina Frühauf,CUNY Graduate Center Respondent: Dr. Philip Bohlman, University of Chicago
Friday, November 18, 2005 “The Sephardic Voice in Ottoman Song: The Life and Art of Tanburi Isak Fresco (1745-1814)” Walter Zev Feldman, Bar-Ilan University Respondent: Karl Signell, Editor, Ethnomusicology Online
Friday, December 2, 2005 “From Rossi to Rossini: Shifting Paradigms in Italian Jewish Musical Culture” Francesco Spagnolo,Hebrew University/U.C.-Santa Cruz Co-sponsored by the Centro Culturale Primo Levi as part of the symposium “Humanism and the Rabbinic Tradition in Italy and Beyond” Respondent: David Ruderman, University of Pennsylvania
Friday, January 20, 2006 “The Tradition Continues on the Lower East Side: Experimental Music and the American-Jewish Imaginary in 1990s New York City” Tamar Barzel,Wellesley College Respondent: Jonathan Freedman, University of Michigan
Friday, February 10, 2006 “Finding the Rhythm: Dance and Music in Jewish Studies” Nina Spiegel, National Museum of American Jewish History Respondent: Judah M. Cohen, New York University
Friday, March 17, 2006 “Assimilating (Post-Modern) Jewish Music: Ambivalence in Contemporary Composition” David Schiller, University of Georgia Respondent: Klara Moricz, Amherst College
Friday, March 31, 2006 “Energizing Jewish Musical Memory: Encounters with Sound and Text in Archives and Libraries” Judith Pinnolis, Brandeis University Respondents: Bret Werb, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Gina Genova, New York University / Milken Archive of American Jewish Music
Friday, April 28, 2006 “‘I am a Jew from eternal nowhere’: Yiddish song in the aftermath of the Holocaust” Shirli Gilbert, University of Michigan Respondent: Jeremy Dauber, Columbia University
Friday, May 12, 2006 “The Migration of Memory: New Contexts for Mizrahi and Bukharian Musical Poetic Traditions in Israel and the United States” Evan Rapport,City University of New York and Galeet Dardashti, University of Texas at Austin Respondent: Mark Kligman, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute, New York
THIRD SEASON, 2006 – 2007
September 15, 2006 “How Do You Play the Musical Scream in Gideon Klein's Terezin Requiem?” Michael Beckerman, New York University Respondent: Gershon Kingsley, composer and conductor
October 20, 2006 “Music and Memory among Crypto-Jews in Portuguese Border Villages” Judith Cohen, York University, Toronto Respondent: Jane Gerber, CUNY Graduate Center Co-sponsor: American Sephardi Federation
November 10, 2006 “Composing Herself: Finding Miriam Gideon in Her 1958 Opera Fortunato” Lecture, Performance and Panel Discussion Stephanie Jensen-Moulton, CUNY Graduate Center Panel discussion: Ellie Hisama, Columbia University, Bruce Saylor, CUNY Graduate Center, and Cantor Charles Osborne
December 8, 2006 “Mediterranean Israeli Music: The Politics of Aesthetics” Amy Horowitz, Ohio State University Respondent: Zvi Ben-Dor Benite, New York University Co-sponsor: American Sephardi Federation
February 16, 2007 “Sephardic Music On Record: A Century of Commercial Ladino Recordings” Edwin Seroussi, Hebrew University, Jerusalem and Joel Bresler, discographer Respondent: Dr. Virginia Danielson, Harvard University Co-sponsor: American Sephardi Federation
March 9, 2007 “The Media and the Messenger: Transforming the Cantor's Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” Jeffrey Shandler, Rutgers University Respondents: Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, New York University, and Mark Slobin, Wesleyan University Co-sponsor: Working Group on Jews/Media/Religion at the Center for Religion and Media, New York University
April 27, 2007 “Blacks and Jews in American Popular Music: The Business of Cultural Mediation” Jonathan Karp, SUNY Binghamton Respondent: Jonathan Schorsch, Columbia University
May 8, 2007 “Kurt Weill's Kol Nidre: Lecture with Music Performance” Tamara Levitz, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Respondent: Kim Kowalke, Eastman School of Music, Kurt Weill Foundation. Co-sponsors: The Weill/Lenya Institute; Milken Archive.
FOURTH SEASON, 2007 – 2008
November 20, 2007 “Yiddish Folksongs from the Ruth Rubin Archive” Chana Mlotek, YIVO Music Archivist Mark Slobin, Wesleyan University with a performance by Zalmen Mlotek and Eleanor Reissa
January 25, 2008 “Felix Mendelssohn and the Jewish Question” Professor Jeffrey Sposato, University of Houston Respondent: Professor Michael A. Meyer, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
February 22, 2008 “Creating ‘New’ Jewish Sounds” Josh Kun, University of Southern California, Judah M. Cohen, Indiana University Daniel Saks, member of the bands DeLeon and The LeeVees
FIFTH SEASON, 2008 – 2009
Note: During this season, for the first time, sessions of the Jewish Music Forum were held at sites outside of New York City,in the Northeast, in the mid-West, and on the West Coast.
November 14, 2008 “Beyond the Pale: The Russian Jewish Musical Experiment 100 Years Later” Dr. James Loeffler, University of Virginia Dr. Klára Móricz, Amherst College Dr. Lyudmila Sholokhova, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
December 12, 2008 “American Jews, Music and the Memory of the Holocaust: 1945-1962” Hasia Diner, New York University Respondent: Cantor Bruce Ruben, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
January 16, 2009 “Ethel Raim and the Center for Traditional Music and Dance: Three Decades of Showcasing Jewish Music” With Ethel Raim and Dr. Mark Slobin, Wesleyan University Co-sponsored by the Working Group on Jews, Media and Religion at New York University
February 26, 2009 “The Jewish Self/The Jewish Other: Performing Identity in the ‘Majufes’" Halina Goldberg, Indiana University Held at and co-sponsored by the University of Chicago
April 24, 2009 "’Old Lamps for New:’ Alexander Krein and Jewish Neonationalism” Dr. Klara Moricz, Amherst College Respondent: Professor Alexander Rehding, Harvard University Held at and co-sponsored by Harvard University
May 1, 2009 “The Participating Observer: Fieldwork in Jewish Settings” Jeffrey A. Summit, Tufts University Respondent: Henry Goldschmidt, Wesleyan University Co-sponsored by the Working Group on Jews, Media and Religion at New York University
SIXTH SEASON, 2009 – 2010 Sunday, November 8, 2009 “Pulitzer Prize-winning Composer Steve Reich Talks about his Jewish Music:" A unique interview by fellow Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lang Steve Reich and David Lang
Thursday, December 10, 2009 Is Israeli Art Music Jewish? Ronit Seter, Jewish Music Research Centre at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Respondent: Dr. Klára Móricz, Amherst College Held at and co-sponsored by Hebrew College, Boston
March 5, 2010 “Sacred and Secular Music Texts in Modern Times" Dr. Mark Slobin, Wesleyan University Dr. Mark Kligman, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Co-sponsored by the Working Group on the Jewish Book at the Center for Jewish History
Saturday, March 14, 2010 "Back to the Roots: Notions of Jewish Musical Revival" A panel discussion with Edwin Seroussi, The Hebrew University; Benjamin Brinner, UC Berkeley; and Judah Cohen, Indiana University, curated and moderated by Francesco Spagnolo, The Magnes, and produced by Eleanor Shapiro, the Jewish Music Festival. Co-sponsors: 25th Jewish Music Festival; The Magnes; Music Department and Jewish Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley. Held at the Berkeley-Richmond JCC, Berkeley, CA.
April 2, 2010 “’In a Land Large as an Apple Tree': Wolpe's Avant-Garde Music, Pedagogy, and Pacifist Zionism in 1930's Palestine” Brigid Cohen, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Respondent: Stephen Blum, City University of New York
April 15, 2010 “Imaginaries of Exile and Emergence in Israeli, Jewish and Palestinian Hip-Hop” David A. McDonald, Indiana University Respondent: Edwin Seroussi, Jewish Music Research Center of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Held at and co-sponsored by Indiana University
SEVENTH SEASON, 2010 – 2011
November 3, 2010 "Chinese Jews: Aspects of their History and their Music" Alexander Knapp, Joe Loss Lectureship in Jewish Music, University of London School of Oriental and African Studies, Emeritus Respondent: Dr. Mark Kligman, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York
November 18, 2010 “Reimagining Tradition or Preserving Its Legacy: Yiddish Songs in Hasidic Communities and in Contemporary Eastern Europe" Asya Vaisman, Visiting Research Scholar in Jewish Studies at Indiana University Respondent: Dr. Mark Kligman, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York Co-sponsored by YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
February 16, 2011 “Robert Lachman's ‘Oriental Music Archive’ and Broadcasting Project in Mandatory Palestine” Ruth Davis, University of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College Respondent: Mark Kligman, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
March 24th, 2011 “The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire” James Loeffler, University of Virginia at Charlottesville Lecture with Performance by YIVO’s Sidney Krum Young Artists Co-sponsored the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research
EIGHTH SEASON, 2011-12
November 14, 2011
One-Day Conference on German Jewish Aspirations in Music and Culture in 19th and 20th Century Germany The Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
Sponsored by: The American Society for Jewish Music’s Jewish Music Forum; Brandeis University’s: Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry; Center for German and European Studies; Library and Technology Services; with thanks to the Department of Music, Hebrew College; Brandeis University, Center for German and European Studies, and "Do Deutsch"
Welcome Michael Leavitt, President, American Society of Jewish Music
Introductory Remarks Dr. Sabine von Mering, Associate Professor of German and Women’s and Gender Studies, Brandeis University
Panel Session One, 19th century “Re-voicing Tradition: Theory and Practice of German Jewish Synagogue Music” Dr. Mark L. Kligman, Professor of Jewish Musicology, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Music Examples by singers from Hebrew College: Risa Wallach, soprano; Becky Wexler, alto; Kevin Margolius, tenor; Rick Lawrence, bass
“’Modern yet Jewish’: Searching for a Jewish Voice in Nineteenth-century Organ Music for the Synagogue” Dr. Tina Frühauf, Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University
“Die Form des Innern: The German-Jewish Musical Tradition and the Philosophical Anthropology of the Berlin School (Mendelssohn, Steinthal, Cohen)” Dr. Michael Zank, Acting Director of the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, Boston University
Panel Session Two Complexity in Negotiating Contours of Jewish Music in the 20th Century
Contextualization Dr. Eugene R. Sheppard, Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History and Thought, Brandeis University
“German Confrontations with Jewish Music: A Scholarly Dilemma” Dr. Pamela Potter, Professor of Musicology, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Response: Judith S. Pinnolis, Academic Outreach Librarian for Graduate Studies and Humanities, Brandeis University
Discussion Forum/ Q & A Dr. Eugene R. Sheppard, Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History and Thought, Brandeis University
December 9, 2011 “Jewish Identities and the Quest for Purity in 20-Century Art Music” Dr. Klara Moricz, Visiting Professor, University of Amherst
February 9, 2012 “The St. Petersburg School: The Music of Leo Zeitlin (1884-1930)” Professor Paula Eisenstein Baker With music examples by YIVO's Sindney Krum Young Artists
NINTH SEASON, 2012-13
October 29, 2012 Hebrew Union College, Chapel (Live presentation cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy - Soon Available Online)
A Prayer for Modernity: Cantor Abraham Baer (1834-1894) and the Jewish Reform Movement Anders Hammarlund, Associate Professor Center for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research
In 1877 Abraham Baer published his Baal t'fillah oder der practische Vorbeter, an epoch-making work in the history of Jewish liturgical music. Baer's publication is considered the most comprehensive documentation of traditional, 19th-century European hazzanut. While his work is well known, astonishingly little has been published or written about Baer's biography. Hammarlund's work sheds new light on the cantor's early years in the German/Polish province of Posen, and on his cultural environment in Gothenburg, Sweden, where he served as cantor, shochet and mohel from 1857. It is demonstrated that the very peculiar and specific cultural climate of the Swedish city considerably encouraged Baer in his efforts. His Baal t'fillah emerged from a fascinating interplay between Jewish, Swedish and German cultures characteristic of "the Gothenburg spirit." Further, Baer could be described as a pioneer of Swedish ethnomusicology.
Dr Anders Hammarlund is a Swedish ethnomusicologist and cultural historian. He has served as a music researcher and producer at Sveriges Radio (the Swedish public service broadcaster) and as a university professor in Uppsala, Stockholm, and Gothenburg. Currently Dr. Hammarlund serves as research archivist in charge of multicultural affairs at Music Development and Heritage Sweden (Statens musikverk), the government institution for the music scene in Sweden. At Statens musikverk, Dr. Hammarlund coordinates and supports collaborative projects of national interest as well as works to preserve, promote and make the cultural heritage within theatre, dance and music accessible.
Hammarlund's research has focussed on topics of music and migration, cultural identity, and Jewish cultural history. From 2009 to 2011 he was in charge of the research project Gestaltung Identity Integration, which dealt with the life and work of the Jewish Cantor Abraham Baer (1834-1894).
TENTH SEASON, 2013–2014 "Mixing Music in Istanbul: Turkish Jews and Their Sacred Songs" Lecture with Live Musical Examples Dr. Maureen Jackson (University of Washington) and Dr. Münir Beken (UCLA) Monday, March 24, 7:00 p.m. Center for Jewish History
This lecture-demonstration explores the linked histories of Istanbul, its Jewish community, and historical musical traces of multi-religious music-making in Ottoman and Turkish society. Author of Mixing Musics: Turkish Jewry and the Urban Landscape of a Sacred Song (Stanford University Press; winner of the National Jewish Book Award in Sephardic Culture, 2013), Dr. Maureen Jackson focuses on the Jewish religious repertoire known as the Maftirim, which developed in interaction with Ottoman court music. Her research in Istanbul illuminates the people, places, and practices that shaped an Ottoman music world, Jewish cultural life, and continuities and ruptures experienced across the 20th and 21st centuries. Music scholar and ud master, Dr. Münir Beken, will bring to life the Turkish musical forms at the heart of Dr. Jackson’s study.
ELEVENTH SEASON, 2014–2015 "Sara Levy's World: Music, Gender, and Judaism in Enlightenment Berlin" Concert and Conversation Dr. Nancy Sinkoff (Rutgers University), Dr. Christoph Wolff (Harvard University), Dr. Rebecca Cypess (Rutgers University), and the musicians of Sara Levy's Salon Tuesday, May 19, 7:00 p.m. Center for Jewish History
In Sara Levy’s Salon: Rebecca Cypess, harpsichord and fortepiano Christoph Wolff, moderator Dongmyung Ahn, viola Christine Gummere, cello Benjamin Shute, violin Frederick Urrey, tenor Yi-heng Yang, fortepiano Steven Zohn, traverso
Step into the world of Sara Levy – a Jewish salonnière, patron and performing musician who shaped the cultural ideals of her time. This special concert will feature period music combined with sparkling conversation about Enlightenment Berlin. Sara Levy (1761–1854), a Jewish salon hostess and performing musician, interacted with important composers and intellectuals of her day, including members of the Bach family and the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. Levy’s life and persona offer a fascinating window onto the dramatic changes in Jewish thought, the social and religious landscapes of the urban Jewish elite, and the study and practice of music − changes that Levy witnessed and helped to effect.
"That Old Jewish Magic? Harold Arlen and American Popular Song” Conversation Dr. Walter Frisch (Columbia University) and Dr. Jonathan Karp (Binghamton University, SUNY) Sunday, April 26, 3:00 P.M. Center for Jewish History
"Greeted with Smiles: Bukharian Jewish Music and Musicians in New York"(Oxford University Press) Book Talk Dr. Evan Rapport (The New School) Performance by Ezro Malakov Maqom Ensemble Monday, March 2, 7:00 P.M. Center for Jewish History
TWELFTH SEASON, 2015–2016
"Jews and Popular Music in the Americas" Presentation and concert by Dr. Amalia Ran, Dr. Moshe Morad, and Dr. Nili Belkind. Featuring live music by Dr. Ben Lapidus and his band and Roberto Juan Rodríguez and his band. Sunday, June 19, 2016 at 8pm. Center for Jewish History A book talk and performance in coordination with the American Jewish Historical Society's Biennial Scholars Conference, in recognition of the publication of Mazal Tov Amigos: Jews and Popular Music in the Americas (Brill, 2016).
"New Directions in Jewish Music" A Talk and Performance Dr. Tamar Barzel, Visiting Curator, Fales Library-Downtown Collection, New York University and a live performance by Grammy-nominated composer and pianist, Uri Caine Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 7pm. Center for Jewish History
"New Sounds of Old Judeo-Spanish Songs" A Talk and Roundtable Discussion Dr. Edwin Seroussi, Emanuel Alexandre Professor of Musicology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Director of the Jewish Music Research Centre Discussants: Joel Bresler (www.sephardicmusic.org) and Dr. Stephen Blum, CUNY Graduate Center Monday, April 18, 2016 at 7pm. Center for Jewish History
"Pavel Haas' 'Al S'fod' and Defiance--Performance as Ouija Board" A Talk with Featured Singers: Cantor Joshua Breitzer, Kenneth Feibush, David Malecki, and Jay O'Brien Dr. Michael Beckerman, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music at New York University Monday, Aptil 4, 2016 at 7pm. New York University 24 Waverly Place, Room 220
"Jews, Music, and Postwar German Culture" A Book Talk and Conversation in conjunction with The Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation and the Leo Baeck Institute Dr. Tina Frühauf (RILM, CUNY Graduate Center) Discussants: Dr. Mark Slobin, Winslow Kaplan Professor of Music, Wesleyan University and Dr. William H. Weitzer, Executive Director of the Leo Baeck Institute Monday, November 30, 2016 at 6pm. The Graduate Center, CUNY 365 Fifth Avenue, Skylight Conference Room 9100
THIRTEENTH SEASON, 2016-2017 “Songs of the Nation”: Maskilic Readings of Psalms after Moses Mendelssohn A talk by Dr. Yael Sela Teichler, with Dr. Michah Gottlieb (discussant)
The biggest bestseller of the German Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah) was Sefer Zemirot Yisrael — “The Book of the Songs of Israel” — a bilingual (German-Hebrew) edition with Hebrew commentary of Moses Mendelssohn’s translation of the Psalms. Published in Berlin in 1791, the book’s novelty lies in three pioneering Hebrew essays by the young maskil, Joel Brill Löwe, the first of their kind to investigate the poetics of biblical poetry and the history of music of the Hebrews. Introducing the book, the first part of the talk discusses its significance and ontological status as a practical and seemingly traditional edition of Psalms, or a daring representation of the Hebrew Psalms as objects of modern Jewish aesthetic and historical investigation. The core of the lecture focuses on Brill’s essay on the history of music in the lands of the Hebrews. Tracing Brill’s sources, from Scriptures to early rabbinic and medieval Jewish literature as well as his implicit non-Jewish interlocutors, the talk explores Brill as a forerunner of modern scholarship of Jewish music history reclaiming the Psalms as the musical heritage of Jews, past and future, thereby challenging traditional notions of exile and redemption.
Thursday, May 11, 2017at 6pm Center for Jewish History | 15 West 16th Street | New York, NY 10011 This program is co-sponsored by the Leo Baeck Institute and the American Jewish Historical Society
Dr. Yael Sela Teichlerbecame a faculty member at the Open University of Israel in 2014, where she serves as director of the Program in Musicology. Having received her PhD at Oxford University in 2010 in historical musicology, she has held postdoctoral fellowships at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Humboldt University in Berlin, Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, and the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Her current research is concerned with aesthetics and concepts of music in the Berlin Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah) of the late 18th century, especially in the philosophy of Moses Mendelssohn. Her articles have appeared, among others, in Renaissance Studies and Jewish Quarterly Review. She is currently writing a monograph on music, aesthetics, and biblical poetry in the philosophy and commemoration of Moses Mendelssohn.
Discussant: Dr. Michah Gottlieb, Associate Professor of Jewish Thought and Philosophy in the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at NYU. He is author of many books and articles including: Faith and Freedom: Moses Mendelssohn’s Theological-Political Thought (Oxford University Press, 2011) and Faith, Reason, Politics: Essays on the History of Jewish Thought (Academic Studies Press, 2012). A new book on German-Jewish Bible translations will be published by Oxford University Press.
“'When We Remembered Zion: The New Budapest Orpheum Society Commemorates Yom HaShoah" Pre-concert talk by Dr. Philip V. Bohlman, Ludwig Rosenberger Distinguished Service Professor in Jewish History, University of Chicago
Drawing from repertories of Jewish song from the Holocaust gathered from the cabarets, camps, ghettos, theaters, and films New Budapest Orpheum Society bears witness to those murdered, those who resisted, and those who must not be forgotten. In this concert commemorating Yom HaShoah, the New Budapest Orpheum Society honors composers Hermann Leopoldi, Friedrich Hollander, Imré Kálmán, Hans Eisler/Bertolt Brecht, and Erich Korngold, whose musical contributions trace a path to the European Jewish past resounded once again.
Center for Jewish History | 15 West 16th Street | New York, NY 10011 Monday, April 24, 2017 at 6:30 PM This program is co-sponsored by the Leo Baeck Institute, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, and the American Jewish Historical Society. Please rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speaker: Dr. Philip V. Bohlman is Ludwig Rosenberger Distinguished Service Professor in Jewish History, University of Chicago. Dr. Bohlman is particularly interested in exploring the interstices between music and religion, music, race, and colonial encounter, and music and nationalism. The study of Jewish music in modernity has provided a primary focus for his research for 35 years, and since 1998 has provided the context for his activities as a performer, both as the Artistic Director of the New Budapest Orpheum Society (a Jewish cabaret and ensemble-in-residence at the Humanities Division), and in stage performances with Christine Wilkie Bohlman (the College) of works for piano and dramatic speaker created during the Holocaust. Since 2008, Phil has been conducting research in India, especially in Kolkata, Varanasi, and rural West Bengal. His research on the Eurovision Song Contest is ongoing. Since 2009, Phil has taught and conducted workshops in Germany at the University of Hildesheim and the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover, where he is also an Honorary Professor. He is the author or editor of many books in English and German, with translations into numerous languages.
The New Budapest Orpheum Society, 2016 Grammy nominee for Best Classical Compendium The New Budapest Orpheum Society is an ensemble-in-residence at the University of Chicago. Dedicating itself to Jewish cabaret from the late nineteenth century to the present, the NBOS performs internationally in synagogues, cultural institutions, universities, and cabarets. Founded in 2000, the ensemble has recorded four CDs, the most recent of which, When Dreams Fall Apart: The Golden Age of Jewish Stage and Film Music, 1925–1955 (Cedille Records), was a 2016 Grammy Award nomination. The eight-member cabaret ensemble is led by Artistic Director, Philip V. Bohlman (Ludwig Rosenberger Distinguished Service Professor in Jewish History, University of Chicago), and Musical Director, Ilya Levinson (Associate Professor of Music, Columbia College of Chicago). The New Budapest Orpheum Society members are: Julia Bentley (mezzo soprano), Philip V. Bohlman (artistic director), Stewart Figa (baritone), Danny Howard (percussion), Iordanka Kissiova (violin), Ilya Levinson (music director and piano), Mark Sonksen (double bass), and Don Stille (accordion).
Performer Bios: Mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley enjoys performing a broad range of genres, from operatic roles of Mozart and Rossini to the dusky back rooms of cabaret in her appearances with the New Budapest Orpheum Society. She has appeared as a soloist for such conductors as Raymond Leppard, Robert Shaw, and Pierre Boulez, and has premiered more than 200 pieces, thanks to her passion for newly composed works. A regular guest with Chicago’s ensembles, she is also on the faculty of several Chicago universities as a voice teacher, chamber music specialist, and lecturer in Art Song.
Philip V. Bohlman, artistic director, is the Mary Werkman Distinguished Service Professor of the Humanities and Music at the University of Chicago and Honorary Professor of the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover, Germany. He has received the Edward Dent Medal from the Royal Music Association, the Berlin Prize, the Derek Allen Prize from the British Academy, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and with the New Budapest Orpheum Society the Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society. Among his recent books are Revival and Reconciliation (2013) and Wie könnten wir des Herrn Lied singen in fremdem Lande? (2015).
Stewart Figa, baritone, has served as canto r at West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest since 1998, and has been a cantor in the Chicago area since 1990. He also comes to the New Budapest Orpheum Society from a tradition of Yiddish theater, beginning in New York City in the 1980s. He has had the privilege of working with some of the legendary greats of the Yiddish stage, including Leon Liebgold, Seymour Rexite, Reizel Boyzk, and Max Perlman. He has performed programs of Yiddish song throughout Chicagoland.
Danny Howard, percussion, is the newest member of the New Budapest Orpheum Society. With strong roots in the UK, he has built an international career that stretches across repertoires and genres, no less than across the English Channel and the Atlantic. Having studied in Cuba and Brazil, Danny has specialized in Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian Folkloric music for over a decade and now runs his own Latin band. His first passion, nonetheless, was classical music. The New Budapesters could not be more thrilled that he’s recently put down his diverse musical roots in Chicago.
Iordanka Kissiova, violinist, is active as an orchestral and chamber musician throughout the Chicago area and the state of Illinois. A native of Bulgaria, she studied in Sophia at the Bulgarian National Academy of Music before immigrating to the United States in 1993. She performed widely in Europe, among others with the “Sophia” women’s orchestra. A string teacher with Quinlan and Fabish, she has played regularly in regional orchestras throughout the Midwest, among them Ars Viva. She has recorded for the Bulgarian Radio Orchestra and the New Budapest Orpheum Society.
Ilya Levinson, music director, arranger, and pianist, holds degrees in composition from the Moscow Conservatory and the University of Chicago (Ph.D. 1997). His works for chamber music and orchestra have recently enjoyed performances in France, Germany, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. His Klezmer Rhapsody is recorded by the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band on the Shanachie label. Composer-in-residence with American Music Festivals, he is Assistant Professor of Music at Columbia College Chicago.
Mark Sonksen, bassist, joined the New Budapest Orpheum Society in 2008, and he has been a stalwart member of its tours in Europe and its performances of stage and film music from the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. His works are rooted harmonically in the modern jazz idiom, yet incorporate a wide variety of influences as a result of being involved in Spanish language and culture for 20 years. These influences range from music of the Caribbean to Argentine/Uruguayan Tango, New Tango, and folkloric music in addition to early twentieth-century classical music, and modern jazz in the American and European traditions.
Don Stille, Chicago pianist and accordionist, has performed throughout the country with a long list of internationally acclaimed jazz artists and has opened for Herbie Hancock and Stephane Grappelli. Among his achievements are recognition as “Mainstream Jazz Pianist of the Year” by the Twin Cities Jazz Society, and house pianist and often-featured jazz artist on NPR’s “First House on the Right.” Don recently performed on accordion in five concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, both at Orchestra Hall and on tour. He also was recently featured on accordion in the movies Picture Paris and Swan Song. For More information: Cedille Records: http://www.cedillerecords.org/artists/new-budapest-orpheum-society Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newbudapestorpheumsociety/?fref=ts
“'Your New House': Wedding Songs, Gender, and Memory in an Indian Jewish Community" Dr. Anna Schultz, Associate Professor of Music, Stanford University
Of all the songs that Bene Israel people of western India sing, wedding songs are perhaps the most drenched in emotion and memory. This talk is about the sense-filled narratives that are activated when women sing Marathi wedding songs or remember their husbands singing Hebrew wedding songs. While men are tasked with singing during the main synagogue ceremony, until recently, women also sang songs collectively in the days leading up to the main wedding ceremony. These songs were attached to smaller ceremonies—the turmeric ceremony, henna ceremony, and varaat procession—and helped prepare both the bride and her family for the changes that would bring her to another family’s home. Today, live singing is often replaced by recorded music, or the ceremonies are dispensed with altogether. Despite these changes in medium and context, older women continue to sing wedding songs as a way to reminisce about the most vivid moments of their lives. I listen as women narrate these memories of family and place in ways that affirm their Bene Israel identity while suggesting histories of engagement with mass media, other Indians, and other Jews.
Please rsvp to email@example.com. Center for Jewish History | 15 West 16th Street | New York, NY 10011 This program is co-sponsored by the American Jewish Historical Society.
Speaker: Dr. Anna Schultz is Associate Professor of Music at Stanford University. Her first book, Singing a Hindu Nation, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013, and her second book, Songs of Translation: Bene Israel Gender and Textual Orality, is also under contract with Oxford. Her articles have been published in Ethnomusicology, The Journal of the American Musicological Society, History and Anthropology, Ethnomusicology Forum, and The Journal of Vaishnava Studies and her chapters have appeared in several edited volumes. Anna’s work in South Asia, Israel, and the United States engages with issues of cultural translation, migration, memory, diaspora, religious experience, politics, gender, ethnographic methods, and race.
Respondents: Dr. Jane C. Sugarman is Professor of Music at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she directs the program in ethnomusicology. She is the author of Engendering Song: Singing and Subjectivity at Prespa Albanian Weddings (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1997), as well as numerous articles on music and dance in and from southeastern Europe as they relate to gender and sexuality, nation, diaspora, and conflict zones. Her current book project examines a half-century of mediated Albanian musics from the former Yugoslavia and their role in imagining "modern" Albanian identities.
Dr. Eben Graves is a Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Music at Columbia University. He earned a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at the University of Texas at Austin in 2014 with a dissertation studying padavali kirtan, a genre of Hindu devotional song and storytelling widely performed and enjoyed in the Indian state of West Bengal. Using ethnographic and historical methods, his current book project engages with theories of social time to illuminate relationships between musical performance, devotional religion, and economic exchange in South Asia. His research has been supported by fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the American Institute of Indian Studies, and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.
"Singing God's Words: The Performance of Biblical Chant in Contemporary Judaism" Rabbi Jeffrey A. Summit, Ph.D., Tufts University
This talk and discussion celebrates the publication of Singing God’s Words: The Performance of Biblical Chant in Contemporary Judaism, the first in-depth study of the meaning and experience of chanting Torah among contemporary American Jews (Oxford University Press, 2016). Rabbi Jeffrey A. Summit, Ph.D. describes how this ritual is shaped by such forces as digital technology, feminism and contemporary views of spirituality.
Discussants: Dr. Mark Slobin, Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music Emeritus at Wesleyan University Cantor Richard Cohn, Director, Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Monday, February 13, 2017 @ 7pm. Center for Jewish History 15 West 16th Street, NYC Admission is free. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Rabbi Jeffrey A. Summit, Ph.D. holds the appointment of Research Professor in the Department of Music and in the Judaic Studies program at Tufts University, where he also serves as rabbi and Neubauer Executive Director of Tufts Hillel. He is the author of Singing God’s Words: The Performance of Biblical Chant in Contemporary Judaism (Oxford University Press) and The Lord's Song in a Strange Land: Music and Identity in Contemporary Jewish Worship (Oxford University Press). His CD Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings) was nominated for a GRAMMY award. His CD with video Delicious Peace: Coffee, Music and Interfaith Harmony in Uganda (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings) was awarded Best World Music CD by the Independent Music Awards.
Together with the leadership of the Abayudaya community in Uganda, he founded and runs the "Abayudaya College Scholarship Project" which has raised and administered funds to send more than 40 students to colleges and universities in Uganda from 2001-present. In conjunction with his work as Executive Director of Tufts Hillel, he runs the Cummings/Hillel Program for Holocaust and Genocide Education and was one of the founders of IMAGe (Tufts Initiative on Mass Atrocity and Genocide). His research focuses on music and identity, music and spiritual experience, music and advocacy, and the impact of technology on the transmission of tradition.
Dr. Mark Slobin is the Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music Emeritus at Wesleyan University and the author or editor of many books, on Afghanistan and Central Asia, eastern European Jewish music, film music, and ethnomusicology theory, two of which have received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award: Fiddler on the Move: Exploring the Klezmer World and Tenement Songs: Popular Music of the Jewish Immigrants. His current project is on the musical life of Detroit, 1940s-60s.
Cantor Richard Cohn became Director of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in July of 2015, following thirty-four years of service to Reform communities. He was most recently Cantor of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, Texas, where he helped integrate traditional and contemporary aspects of congregational life. He has been vibrantly involved in worship transformation, and he has had an innovative impact on Jewish choral music as a conductor, arranger and composer. Cantor Cohn has often been featured as the soloist in Ernest Bloch’s Avodath Hakodesh (“Sacred Service”), including performances in Israel with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, at Chicago’s Grant Park Concerts and at the Berkshire Choral Festival. He has been a frequent principal conductor at the North American Jewish Choral Festival, and he has conducted HaZamir: The International Jewish High School Choir, in concert at Lincoln Center. From 2001 to 2007, Cantor Cohn was president of the American Conference of Cantors (ACC), the professional organization of the Reform cantorate. He is also involved in the work of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality (IJS), which seeks to cultivate practices of contemplative Judaism as portals to spiritual growth. He was a member of the IJS Prayer Project Working Group and has taken particular interest in the integration of spiritual practice with areas of prayer, music and education.
"Klezmer: Music, History & Memory" Walter Zev Feldman, Visiting Professor of Music, NYU Abu Dhabi
Discussants:James Loeffler, Associate Professor of History, University of Virginia and Glenn Dynner, Professor of Religion, Sarah Lawrence College Wednesday, December 14th at 7pm. Center for Jewish History 15 West 16th Street, NYC Admission is free. Please RSVP to email@example.com
Emerging in 16th century Prague, the klezmer became a unique feature of the largest transnational Jewish culture of modern times—the Ashkenazim of Eastern Europe. No other documented Jewish culture produced a comparable phenomenon. Much of the musical and choreographic history of the Ashkenazim is embedded in the klezmer repertoire, which functioned as a kind of non-verbal communal memory. Based on the author’s new book, Klezmer: Music, History and Memory (Oxford University Press, 2016), this talk and discussion focuses both on the klezmer repertoire and performance style as expressions of Jewish musical thought, and the significance of the klezmer profession within Jewish and non-Jewish society in Eastern Europe.
Walter Zev Feldman is a leading researcher in both Ottoman Turkish and Jewish music, and a performer on the klezmer dulcimer cimbal (tsimbl). During the mid-1970s, the and Andy Statman studied with the preeminent klezmer clarinetist Dava Tarras and were two of the creators of the klezmer revival. At the time, Feldman reintroduced the cimbal into klezmer music, notably in their groundbreaking 1979 LP Jewish Klezmer Music.
In 1998 he co-founded the Khevrisa ensemble with Steven Greenman—their CD European Klezmer Music was issued by Smithsonian-Folkways in 2000. He is an authority on Ashkenazic dance, which he has taught in Israel, Germany, Canada and the U.S. Feldman is currently a Visiting Professor of Music at NYU in Abu Dhabi, Director of the Ansky Institute for Jewish Expressive Culture at the CTMD in New York, and he serves on the board of the Corpus Musicae Ottomanicae at the University of Münster, Germany.
This program is co-sponsored by AJHS, YIVO, the Sholem Aleichem Cultural Center, and the An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture at the Center for Traditional Music and Dance.
"Israel in Three Anthems" Michael A. Figueroa, Assistant Professor of Music, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Discussant: Brigid Cohen, Assistant Professor of Music, NYU Monday, November 28th at 7pm. Center for Jewish History 15 West 16th Street, NYC Admission is free. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
In this presentation, I will discuss three anthems that have helped shape Israeli society: “Ha-Tikva,” “L’Internationale,” and “Yerushalayim shel Zahav.” In light of three ideological facets represented by these songs—liberation, solidarity, and territoriality—I will discuss what constitutes an anthem in Jewish and Israeli history, theorizing a mode of performance I call the “declamatory style,” in which vocal gestures that blur the distinction between speech and song portend the political value of musical performance. By analyzing these songs as performances of collectivity, I will discuss the multifaceted nature of Zionism and related ideologies as they have helped inspire, and have been inspired by, the shifting political landscape in Israel.
Michael A. Figueroa is an ethnomusicologist whose work resides at the intersection of music and political consciousness in Middle Eastern and African American contexts. His work argues for the critical importance of musical performance and interpretation in how people construct space, place, and society. To this end, his current book (in process) looks at the role of music in the making of modern Jerusalem, the epicenter of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. His other research and teaching interests include music and poetry, performance studies, black music historiography, global popular music, critical theory, diaspora studies, media and technology, and the analysis of timbre.