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Ronit Seter

[Berman, Bernhardt]

(b Wiesbaden, July 20, 1923). Israeli critic, composer and musicologist. He moved to Mandatory Palestine in 1936. After studying composition with Paul Ben-Haim, his most influential teacher, Bar-Am attended the Ecole Normale de Paris (1949–51). He studied musicology at Tel-Aviv University (BA 1977), where he became the principal lecturer for courses on Jewish music and Israeli contemporary music (1973–96) and the first director of the Archive of Israeli Music. The secretary general of the Israeli League of Composers (1960–76, 1976–8), he became chair of the organizing committee of the ISCM in Israel in 1980. Though most influential as the music critic of the Jerusalem Post between 1958 and 1995, Bar-Am also wrote many essays on Israeli music in Hebrew, English and German, notably ‘A Musical Gateway between East and West’ (Jerusalem Post, 20 April 1988). He ceased composing in the early 1970s but resumed in ...


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 (classical and spoken dialects), culture, and history, and Hebrew linguistics at Tel-Aviv University (BA 1969–72). In 1996 she was appointed to a post at the Music Teachers’ Training College.

Fleisher is a very prolific and diverse composer. The ideology of East-West synthesis, which has concerned many Israeli composers, has been deeply ingrained in Fleischer’s personality. Her admiration for the qualities of Arabic poetry has found its expression in a series of settings that smoothly alternate between Western and Arabic idioms, as in the Ballad of Expected Death in Cairo. The trilingual Oratorio 1492–1992, written in commemoration of the expulsion of Jews from Spain, shifts freely between atonal and tonal harmonies, monophonic cantillation, and patterns borrowed from Spanish folk music. Her aesthetic attitude is best represented by her Hexaptichon, six versions of settings and interpretations of ‘I’m Sick of You’, a powerful Arabic poem by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, ranging from a vocal performance in pure Arabic style (especially as recorded by the superb vocalist Etti ben Zaken) to a Western, two-piano version, and mixed East-West versions for string quartet, a cappella choir, and baroque ensemble....


Speranța Rădulescu

(b Romania, 1930; d Copenhagen, 4 April 2015). Romanian-Danish ethnochoreologist. She worked as a researcher at the Institute of Ethnography and Folklore in Bucharest from 1953 to 1979. She contributed to the foundation and development of scientific research on traditional dance in Romania, where she conducted extensive fieldwork, filming dances and rituals in over 200 villages. Her main interests concerned the contextual study of dance, the analysis of dance structure, the processes of dance improvisation, and dance as an identity marker for the Roma minority group. She also investigated the way traditional symbols were manipulated in Romania for national and political power legitimation.

After 1980 she lived in Denmark, where she conducted research on topics such as continuity and change in the traditional culture of the Vlachs (a Romanian speaking ethnic minority of Serbia) living in Denmark, the Romanian healing ritual căluş, and on the theory and methods of field research in contemporary society. She was the Honorary Chairperson of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology and the leader of the Sub-Study Group on Fieldwork Theory and Methods, a Board member of Danish National Committee for ICTM, and Doctor Honoris Causa of Roehampton University, London. She had a great number of publications and a fruitful activity as a lecturer on an international level. In her last years, she worked with Margaret Beissinger and Speranța Rădulescu on the volume ...


Eliyahu Schleifer

(b Budapest, March 5, 1932). Israeli composer, pianist and ethnomusicologist. As a young boy, he survived the Nazi invasion and miraculously escaped deportation. In 1949 he entered the composition department of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where he studied the piano with György Kósa and Erno Szégedi, composition with Endre Szervánszky and Ferenc Szabó, and ethnomusicology with Zoltán Kodály. As a Kodály disciple, he spent two years among the Hungarian gypsies, collecting songs and stories. This resulted in his Gypsy Cantata on poems of Miklos Randoti, which won first prize at the Warsaw International Youth Festival (1955).

Following the failure of the Hungarian uprising, Hajdu escaped to France, where he studied with Milhaud and Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire. At the same time he wrote music for films and conducted youth choirs. From 1959 to 1961 he taught the piano and composition at the Tunis Conservatory and was active in ethnomusicological research there. This period is represented in his ...


Octavian Cosma

(b Timişoara, May 28, 1931). Romanian composer and musicologist. After attending the Arts Lyceum in Cluj, in 1948 he began to study conducting and the piano at the Hungarian Arts Institute then at the Academy in Cluj. Junger became a teacher (1954), lecturer (1957) and reader (1970–79) at the Cluj Academy, also working as a researcher at the Institute of Art History in Cluj (1955–7). In 1969 he attended classes in Darmstadt; he studied for the doctorate in musicology with Toduţa. In 1976 he settled in Israel and became a teacher at the Rubin Academy in Tel-Aviv. He has published many articles and in 1960 co-designed a harmony course for students. Well-versed in tradition, Junger writes music that is rich in chromaticism, thematically diverse and robustly expressive.

(selective list)


Paula Morgan

revised by Rachel Adelstein

(b New York, July 21, 1930). American ethnomusicologist. He attended UCLA (BA 1956) and then spent two years on a fellowship (1959–61) in Jerusalem, where he studied privately with Edith Gerson-Kiwi while undertaking field research among the Sephardi Jewish communities of Israel. He returned to UCLA and took the doctorate in 1967 with a dissertation on Judeo-Spanish ballads; his mentors at university included Ki Mantle Hood, Boris Kremenliev, Klaus P. Wachsmann, and Walter Rubsamen. After teaching at McGill University, Montreal (1968–9), he was an assistant professor (1969–74) and then associate professor at Columbia University (1974–5). He conducted research in Spain on a Guggenheim Fellowship (1975–6), and joined the faculty of the Graduate School, CUNY in 1976. In 1982 he became associated with the University of California at Santa Cruz (1982–9) and at Davis (1989–2007...


Lada Brashovanova

(b Ruse, Sept 23, 1925). Bulgarian folklorist and composer. He graduated in 1952 in both theory and performance at the State Academy of Music in Sofia and worked at the Music Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, as junior research fellow (1953–66) and senior research fellow (1966–89). He received the doctorate at the institute in 1973 with a dissertation on Bulgarian polyphonic folksong; in 1979 he was appointed professor of ethnomusicology at the State Academy of Music and in 1989, senior research fellow at the Institute for Folklore of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. His areas of research include various aspects of Bulgarian and Jewish folk music and he has been a member of the Union of Bulgarian Composers' executive committee since 1965. Much of his work in the 1960s on the folksong from particular regions in Bulgaria was published in Izvestiya na Instituta z muzika...


Paula Morgan

(b Berlin, Feb 3, 1921; d Lansing, MI, May 3, 2002). American musicologist of Dutch origin. He was educated in Berlin and Amsterdam, where his teachers included Henk Badings, Felix De Nobel, Marius Flothuis and Karel Philippus Bernet Kempers. During World War II he worked with Willy Rosen’s cabaret company and taught music education in the Belsen concentration camp, 1943–4. After emigrating to the USA he took the MA in 1949 from the New School for Social Research in New York and the PhD in 1955 from Columbia University, where he studied with Paul Henry Lang, Erich Hertzmann and William Mitchell. In 1948 he began teaching at the City College of New York. He held positions at Columbia University (lecturer, 1951–2), Hebrew Union School of Sacred Music (instructor, 1950–52), the University of Pennsylvania (assistant professor, 1952–5), the University of California, Berkeley (assistant professor, 1955–6) and the University of Oklahoma (associate professor, ...


Philip V. Bohlman

(b Lanus, Argentina, Sept 28, 1928; d July 11, 2014). Israeli musicologist. Of Syrian-Jewish origin, he emigrated to Palestine in 1941 and devoted himself first to a career as a flautist. Studies with Uri Toeplitz at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem (1952–4), and at the Paris Conservatoire (1954–5) were followed by a position in the Israel Broadcasting SO (1958–60). Formal ethnomusicological studies took place in Jerusalem (Hebrew University, MA 1960, Hebrew and Arabic literature and biblical studies) and Paris (Sorbonne, PhD 1963, musicology and oriental sciences). After heading the folklore department of the Israel Broadcasting Authority (1965–9), he joined the musicology department at the Hebrew University, where he taught throughout the remainder of his career (senior lecturer, 1969–71; department chair 1971–4; associate professor, 1971–8; professor, 1978–96; emeritus professor, 1996). Important administrative posts at the Hebrew University (director of the Jewish Music Research Center, ...


Robyn Holmes, Peter Campbell, and Judith Crispin


Robyn Holmes and Peter Campbell, revised by Judith Crispin

(b Tianjin, China, Sept 10, 1934). Australian composer, pianist, and musicologist. Born to Russian-Chinese parents, he emigrated to Australia with his family in 1951. He studied the piano at the NSW Conservatorium of Music, Sydney, where his teachers included Winifred Burston (1952–8), and in San Francisco with Egon Petri (1959–61). On his return to Australia, he taught at the Queensland Conservatorium (1961–5) and lectured on contemporary composition at the University of Queensland. In 1965 he assumed the position of Head of Keyboard at the newly founded Canberra School of Music (now part of the Australian National University), where he became Head of Composition and Head of Academic Studies in 1978, and Professor Emeritus and Distinguished Visiting Fellow in 2005.

Sitsky first came to prominence as a composer at the inaugural Australian Composers’ Seminar (Hobart, Tasmania, ...


Malinda Britton Schantz

(b Moline, IL, Aug 7, 1926). American composer and musicologist. She studied at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (BM 1948), Columbia University Teachers College (MA 1949) and the University of Chicago. Her composition instructors included Karl Ahrendt and Alexander Tcherepnin. After teaching in the public schools, she joined the music department at Northeastern Illinois University (1961–6) and later taught at New England College (1967–82). She has also taught composition privately at St. Paul’s School (1972–92). Her many honours include fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and first prize in the Delius Composition Competition (1971) for Haiku.

Influenced primarily by the music of Bach, Bartók, Stravinsky, the synagogue and jazz, Ziffrin's style can best be described as postmodern. Expressive and vibrant, her music often includes clear melodic lines juxtaposed against complex rhythmic gestures. Dissonance and quartal harmonies dominate many pieces. Several of her works have been recorded. Her writings include the biography ...