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Ury Eppstein

Musical life in modern Jerusalem can be divided into two separate spheres: the liturgical music of the various Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious communities who maintain their living musical traditions; and Western secular art music.

Most of the many Jewish religious musical traditions are represented in the synagogues of the various communities, the most ancient being of Middle Eastern origin, mainly from the Yemen, Baghdad, Kurdistan, Iran, Bokhara and Syria. On further investigation, these may prove to preserve elements of musical traditions from biblical times. There are also representatives of the musical traditions of Spanish-based Sephardi communities, especially those from North Africa, Greece and Turkey, as well as of the mainstreams of eastern European Ashkenazi tradition, namely Hasidism (which created in Jerusalem a special vocal style imitating instruments, stimulated by the ban on instrumental music imposed to signify mourning for the destruction of the Temple) and its opponents, Mithnagdim, who developed a Jerusalem version of the Lithuanian-style Bible cantillation. Western European communities, mainly from Germany, also have synagogues with their own musical traditions....

Article

Israeli institution dedicated to the research and propagation of liturgical and para-liturgical Jewish music. It was founded in Jerusalem in 1957 as the Israel Institute for Sacred Music by Avigdor Herzog, a former student of Kodály and Szabolcsi, to study and preserve the musical traditions of the Jewish communities that converged on Israel during the mass immigrations of the 1950s. Herzog, the centre's first director, wanted to preserve these disparate traditions before they were diluted in the melting-pot of modern Israel and so developed the institute on ethnomusicological and educational lines. He recorded the sacred songs of various communities and, under the title Renanot, periodically published leaflets of selected transcriptions, based on Bartók's methods. Working alongside Herzog were Yehoshua Leib Neeman, who published books and records on biblical cantillation and liturgical chants according to eastern European tradition, Meir Shimíon Geshuri, who investigated Hasidic music and Uri Sharvit, who researched Yemenite chants. The institute organized an annual musicological conference and, from ...

Article

William Y. Elias

Israeli string quartet. It was founded in 1959 and the original members were Chaim Taub (b Tel-Aviv, 1 Aug 1925), Uri Pianka, Daniel Benyamini (b Tel-Aviv, 17 April 1925) and Uzi Wiesel (b Tel-Aviv, 8 Jan 1927). Pianka was replaced in 1963 by Menahem Breuer, who was in turn succeeded by Yefim Boyko (1971–83) and Lazar Schuster (from 1983). Taub was educated in Israel, studying the violin with Oedoen Partos, then at the Juilliard School of Music, New York, with Galamian (1947–51). After an engagement with the Pittsburgh SO he joined the Israel PO in 1959, and soon became its leader. He teaches at the Rubin Academy of Music, Tel-Aviv. Benyamini studied at the Shulamit Conservatory, Tel-Aviv, and then at the Jerusalem Academy. He joined the Israel PO in 1950 and became its principal viola in 1960. Wiesel studied at the Tel-Aviv Academy, in New York, and with Casals in Prades (...