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Marie Rolf

(b Mannheim, March 4, 1928). American composer and conductor of German birth. Both of his parents were musical, his father being a cantor and composer of Jewish liturgical music. The family came to the USA in 1939 and Adler attended Boston University (BM ...

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Nathan Mishori

(b Tel-Aviv, Oct 19, 1930; d New York, Oct 4, 1994). Israeli composer. She studied at the Tel-Aviv Music Teachers’ College (1948–50) and at the Israel Academy of Music (1950–52), where her principal teachers were Oedoen Partos (composition) and Ilona Vincze-Kraus (piano). Later, she was composer-in-residence at the Bar-Ilan University (...

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John Beckwith

(b Budapest, April 12, 1919; d Kingston, ON, February 24, 2012). Canadian composer, conductor and pianist of Hungarian birth. He studied with Kodály at the Budapest Academy (1937–41). As a young man he spent a period with other Jewish youths in a forced-labour contingent of the Hungarian Army; his later war experiences – escape, then concealment by friends during the winter of ...

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Michal Ben-Zur

( b Haifa, Nov 17, 1933). Israeli conductor . She studied the piano at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem, and subsequently studied conducting in Europe and the USA with Franco Ferrara, Celibidache, Hans Swarowsky and Boulez. From 1954 to 1960 she taught piano at the Rubin Academy of Music. Atlas won several international conducting awards, including the Dimitri Mitropoulos Competition (...

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(b Stanislav, Jan 6, 1908; d Tel-Aviv, Aug 5, 1995). Israeli composer of Russian birth. His mother was a cousin of Mahler; his adopted surname combines the word ‘Avi’ (‘father of’) with the initials of his children's names. He studied at the American University in Beirut and at the Paris Conservatoire, where his teachers included Rabaud. In ...

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Gerald Bordman and Thomas S. Hischak

(b Mogilyov, May 11, 1888; d New York, Sept 22, 1989). American composer of Russian birth. The son of an impoverished Jewish cantor, he was taken to America at the age of five. His father died when he was 13, and a year later he ran away from home, rather than be a burden to his mother. He sang for pennies outside cabarets, became a chorus boy, a stooge in vaudeville, a song plugger and a singing waiter. Berlin had no formal musical training, but taught himself to play the piano, if only in one key, F♯. He began churning out songs, usually serving as his own lyricist, and finally caught America’s ear with ...

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David Fanning

(b Moscow, April 3, 1948). American pianist of Russian birth. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Lev Oborin from 1965 to 1971, and took part in the Russian premières of works by Ligeti, Berio, Stockhausen and Cage, as well as the first performances of Denisov’s ...

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Martin Stokes

(b Boscobel, WI, Aug 8, 1952). American ethnomusicologist. He received the BM in piano at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1975, and the MM in 1980 and the PhD in 1984 in musicology and ethnomusicology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with Bruno Nettl and Alexander Ringer; he also studied for two years at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with Amnon Shiloah, ...

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(b New Orleans, LA, Sept 3, 1910; d New York, NY, April 17, 2007). American popular singer and actress of German Jewish heritage. She trained as a singer and actress in Europe and New York and began her career with appearances in Broadway musicals in the early 1930s. While continuing to perform on the stage, she starred in a number of Hollywood movies in the 1930s, famously alongside the Marx Brothers in ...

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Paula Morgan and Adena Portowitz

(b New York, Oct 9, 1928). American and Israeli musicologist. She graduated in 1950 from Hunter College, CUNY, where Louise Talma was among her teachers. During the summers of 1950 and 1951 she studied music theory with Nadia Boulanger at Fontainebleau. She received the MA from Radcliffe College in ...

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Bryce Morrison

(b Rio de Janeiro, April 22, 1948). Brazilian pianist of Russian-Jewish extraction. He studied with Jacques Klein (a student of William Kapell) in Rio de Janeiro and later with Bruno Seidlhofer and Dieter Weber in Vienna. In 1972 he won first prize in the Busoni International Competition and made his début at the Wigmore Hall, London. Wary of instant acclaim, however, he declined Deutsche Grammophon's offer of a contract and in ...

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Charles Barber and José A. Bowen

(b Bucharest, June 16, 1928; d Oklahoma City, March 5, 2005). Israeli and American conductor of Romanian birth. He studied the violin and conducting at the Bucharest Conservatory, continuing his conducting studies with Silvestri and Lindenberg. After his début with the Romanian State Opera with ...

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Henry Sapoznik

(b Brooklyn, NY, Oct 4, 1912; d Plantation, FL, March 18, 2000) American klezmer clarinetist, saxophonist, and violinist. Though born in the United States, he was considered an equal of the great European klezmer clarinetists such as Dave Tarras and Naftule Brandwein.

Beginning his career at age 12 playing violin for silent movies, Epstein mastered the clarinet and later the saxophone, and played regularly on the Yiddish stage, on the radio, and in concert. The Epstein Brothers, including Max, Willie (trumpet), Isidore, or “Chizik” (clarinet) and Julie (drums), dominated the New York Jewish music scene for nearly three decades. They are best known for their playing in the Hasidic community in postwar New York, where they became the pre-eminent orchestra. They issued several recordings, including the classic LP ...

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Jeffrey Dean

(b Berlin, April 5, 1909; d Campo di Trens, Jan 7, 1976). American musicologist of German descent, active in Italy. Through his father, the painter Lyonel Feininger, he grew up in Germany in an artistic environment and had close contacts among the Bauhaus school. He studied composition and the organ; 11 preludes and fugues for keyboard, composed in ...

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Annette Morreau

(b Kolomed [now Kolomyya, Ukraine], Nov 22, 1902; d New York, May 25, 1942). Austrian cellist, active in the USA. In 1909 his family moved to Vienna, where he studied with Anton Walter; he later continued his studies privately with Klengel in Leipzig (...

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Wesley Berg

(b Boston, June 30, 1942). Canadian composer and pianist of American birth. He studied at Boston University (BMus) and Michigan State University (MMus; PhD), and has taught at the University of Western Ontario, Acadia University, the University of Alberta (chair, 1986–9) and Queen's University, where he was director ...

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Jehoash Hirshberg

(b Haifa, 1946). Israeli composer and musicologist. She studied at the Music Teachers’ Training College (Tel-Aviv), the Rubin Academy (Jerusalem), New York University (MA 1975) and Bar-Ilan University (PhD in musicology 1995). She also studied Arabic language, culture and history, and Hebrew linguistics at Tel-Aviv University (BA ...

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Ben Arnold

(b Florence, SC, May 23, 1917; d Boston, Feb 7, 1977). American pianist and teacher. He began his studies with Walter Goldstein in New Orleans. At the age of ten he entered the Curtis Institute, where he was a pupil of Isabelle Vengerova and David Saperton (diploma ...

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William Y. Elias

(b New York, April 1, 1930; d Seattle, Jan 30, 2003). Israeli composer of American birth. She studied at the Eastman School, Rochester (BMus 1952), and at the Manhattan School, New York (MMus 1961), where her teachers included Wayne Barlow, Vittorio Giannini...

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Ruth C. Friedberg

(b Brest-Litovsk [now Brest], March 26, 1900; d New York, Nov 10, 1960). American composer of Belarusian birth. Taken to Philadelphia at the age of three, he graduated in music from the University of Pennsylvania (1918); among his early teachers were Bloch and Josef Hoffman. He taught at the Curtis Institute (...