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(b Frankfurt, Sept 11, 1903; d Brig, Switzerland, Aug 6, 1969). German writer on music and philosopher. The son of a businessman of Jewish extraction, Oscar Alexander Wiesengrund, and a professional singer of Catholic Corsican origin, Maria Calvelli-Adorno della Piana, he adopted his mother's name in the 1920s, initially as Weisengrund-Adorno, dispensing with the hyphen in 1938. In 1937–8 he also wrote briefly under the pseudonym Hektor ‘Rottweiler’.

Strongly influenced by Ernst Bloch's Vom Geist der Utopie and Georg Lukács's Theorie des Romans while still at school, and having had a musical upbringing, with piano, violin and composition lessons from an early age, in 1921 he went on to study philosophy (with Hans Cornelius) at the University of Frankfurt with musicology, sociology and psychology as subsidiary subjects, continuing composition studies with Bernhard Sekles and piano with Eduard Jung. During his student years he became friendly with the philosopher Max Horkheimer and the literary critic Walter Benjamin, who both had considerable influence on his development. Three years after starting university he took the doctorate with a dissertation on Husserl (...

Article

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 1944–5 – are described in the memoirs of the novelist Theresa de Kerpely (Teresa Kay). After a season as assistant conductor at the Budapest Opera (1945–6), he went to Paris for further studies in piano (Soulima Stravinsky), conducting (Fourestier) and composition (Boulanger), remaining there for three years. He moved to Canada in 1949 (taking Canadian nationality in 1955), and for three years held a Lady Davis Fellowship and an appointment as assistant professor at McGill University. There he founded the electronic music studio and served for six years as chair of the department of theoretical music. He held grants for electronic music research from the Canada Council (...

Article

Helen Metzelaar

(Marie Clémence)

(b Maastricht, Dec 1, 1905; d Brunssum, March 1, 1982). Dutch composer and pianist. After gaining a teaching certificate in 1927, she studied the piano with Maria Gielen and composition with Henri Hermans. She made her début with the Maastricht city orchestra (conducted by Hermans) in 1928, both as a soloist in Mozart's Piano Concertok488 and as a composer with her Drie schetsen for chamber orchestra. From 1929 to 1942 and from 1944 to 1947 she regularly performed with this orchestra. During World War II she refused to sign a ‘non-Jewish declaration’, and consequently resigned from the Maastricht city orchestra. In 1932 she was appointed teacher of theory and piano at the music school in Heerlen, where she worked until 1972. She travelled to Paris each summer from 1930 to 1937 to study with Milhaud.

Some of Bonhomme's compositions are late Romantic in style, showing the influence of Franck, others are French Impressionistic in harmony and instrumentation, reminding one more of Ravel and Roussel than of Milhaud. Her earliest works, such as the ...

Article

Jonathan Powell

(Yevgen′yevich)

(b Odessa, 14/May 26, 1890; d Moscow, Oct 22, 1962). Russian pianist and composer. His parents were of Jewish origin, and in 1894 they moved from Odessa to Moscow. There Feinberg entered the conservatory, where he studied the piano with Gol′denveyzer, graduating in 1911. He also took private composition lessons with Zhilyayev. Over the next few years he started performing as a pianist and continued to compose. Around this time he played to Skryabin, who declared Feinberg’s performance of his Fourth Sonata the most convincing he had yet heard. In August 1914 he was sent to the Polish front, but he fell seriously ill and was sent to a military hospital, where he contracted typhus. He returned to Moscow and convalesced there for the rest of World War I. In 1922 he was appointed professor of piano at the Moscow conservatory. He also became a member of the circle which met at Pavel Lamm’s flat; musicians he encountered there included Myaskovsky and Anatoly Aleksandrov, both of whom wrote works for him. During the second half of the 1920s he achieved significant success abroad, giving concerts in Italy, Austria and Germany, and taking part in the ...

Article

Wesley Berg

(Joel)

(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 1990–97. His compositional style has been described as post-Schoenbergian, employing a chromaticism controlled both by a limited number of pitch class sets and a sense of tonal hierarchy (Lewis, 1993). Many of his works are confessional. His fascination with the Canadian North has resulted in compositions such as Cry Wolf (1977), after a Cree Indian legend. In 1980 he began to explore themes from Jewish culture and history in works such as Morning: Peniel (1980), Zakhor: Remember (1983) and Small Worlds (1984). Several of these interests come together in Six Fantasy Pieces...

Article

Birgitta Maria Schmid

(b Hamburg, Dec 30, 1888; d Detmold, Jan 22, 1986). German pianist and composer. She studied in Berlin, first at the Hochschule für Musik (1902–5), then at the Sternsches Konservatorium (1905–8) with James Kwast (piano) and Pfitzner (composition); from 1911 she studied at the Rheinische Musikschule in Cologne with Carl Friedberg (piano) and Fritz Steinbach (composition). As a pianist she promoted contemporary music from an early age and at 18 played Reger’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Bach, one of the first to do so. As a soloist with orchestra she performed with Nikisch, Abendroth, Furtwängler and Schoenberg. From 1933, during the Third Reich, she had to curtail her concert-giving because her husband was Jewish according to Nazi laws. From 1946 to 1959 she taught the piano at the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg, and was professor there from 1957. In 1961...

Article

Richard Wang

[Benjamin] (David)

(b Chicago, May 30, 1909; d New York, June 13, 1986). American clarinettist, composer and bandleader.

Goodman received rudimentary musical training from 1919 at Chicago’s Kehelah Jacob Synagogue and, more importantly, two years of instruction from the classically trained clarinettist Franz Schoepp. He made his professional début in 1921. During his formative years he absorbed the music of the New Orleans musicians; he was particularly influenced by Leon Roppolo, the clarinettist with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings. In summer 1923 he met Bix Beiderbecke whose influence may be heard in Goodman’s on-the-beat attacks, careful choice of notes and across-the-bar phrasing on A Jazz Holiday (1928, Voc.) and Blue (1928, Bruns.) – especially on the latter, where Goodman played solos on both alto and baritone saxophone. In August 1925 Goodman left for Los Angeles to join Ben Pollack. Pollack’s band returned to Chicago in January 1926 and early in ...

Article

Thomas L. Gayda

[Will; Williams, Hugh; Milos, André]

(b Vienna, Aug 11, 1894; d New York, Dec 10, 1939). Austrian composer, pianist and conductor. Born into a Jewish family of jewellers, he studied with the operetta composer Richard Heuberger, Robert Fuchs, the musicologist Guido Adler and Franz Schreker. After he left the Vienna Music Academy in 1919, his Zwei phantastische Stücke was given its first performance by the Vienna PO. The following year he received a doctorate in music from Vienna University. While he remained initially faithful to the late-Romantic, Impressionist line, he became the first Austrian composer to introduce jazz idioms into his music. His grotesque ballet-pantomime Baby in der Bar (1928) marked him as one of the prime exponents of the Zeitgeist of the Weimar era.

In 1927 Grosz moved to Berlin and became the artistic director of the new Ultraphon record company, quickly building up its catalogue as a conductor, arranger and pianist. He formed a well-known piano duo with Wilhelm Kauffman and toured Europe as a highly-sought accompanist and conductor. When the National Socialists seized power in ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Rita Kaizinger

(b Budapest, Sept 8, 1915; d Budapest, Oct 23, 1987). Hungarian composer and pianist. She was born into a well-established Jewish family in Budapest; they owned the city’s ‘English Park’, a famous entertainment park, and her father was a well-known journalist. Hajdú graduated as a piano teacher from the Budapest Academy of Music, where she studied with Zoltán Kodály (folk music) and György Ránki (composition and instrumentation). For more than 40 years she was one of the most successful composers of light music in Budapest. Her song melodies perpetuated in an original manner the typical, operetta-like nostalgic atmosphere of the city. As a pianist she worked with leading Hungarian actors and singers, who generally congregated in the capital. Among her most famous partners were Lili Neményi, Mária Mezei, Hanna Honthy, the Latabár brothers and the opera singers Sándor (Alexander) Svéd and Mihály Székely. Hajdú’s chansons and cabaret songs achieved remarkable popularity. She was one of the founders of Hungarian Television (...

Article

Eliyahu Schleifer

[Heinrich]

(b Königsberg [now Kaliningrad, Russia], March 2, 1909; d Tel-Aviv, Dec 13, 1990). Israeli composer, conductor and string player . He studied the viola and composition with Hindemith at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik (1927–30). From 1930 to 1933 he played in the Grosses Orchester des Südwestdeutschen Rundfunks. With the rise of the Nazis, he left Germany and, after a year's sojourn in Istanbul, emigrated to Palestine. In 1934 he settled in Jerusalem where he joined the Palestine Music Conservatory (1934–47) and the Jerusalem String Quartet (1934–9), both of which were founded two years earlier by the violinist Emil Hauser of the Budapest String Quartet. He was appointed to the Jerusalem New Conservatory and Academy of Music in 1947 (assistant director, 1949–54; director, 1954–8). He later moved to Tel-Aviv, where he played the viola in the Israel PO until 1974. During 1974–5...

Article

Uri Toeplitz

(b Odessa, Nov 17, 1903; d Tel-Aviv, Oct 14, 1972). Israeli composer and violinist. The son of the Jewish actress Esther Rachel Kaminska, he grew up in Warsaw. After working as a violinist he studied composition in Berlin with Friedrich Koch (1922) and in Vienna with Gál. On his return to Warsaw he was made leader of the Polish RO and he founded the Warsaw String Quartet, which won the Marshal Pilsudski Competition in 1934. In 1937 Kaminski was invited by Bronislav Huberman to become one of the leaders of the Palestine Orchestra (later the Israel PO), then in its second year. He settled in Tel-Aviv and stayed with the orchestra until his retirement in 1969. His creative work was influenced by a range of sources from Gregorian chant to the music of Richard Strauss, and including the oriental elements of Israeli folk music.

The best of Kaminski’s work is found in the progressive Triptych for piano and two concertante pieces: the witty Trumpet Concertino and the Violin Concerto, a more powerful and dramatic work although its last movement is lighter, with a Jewish theme and Sephardi dance rhythms. Kaminski played the solo part at the work’s première in ...

Article

Beate Schröder-Nauenburg

(b Přerov, Moravia, Dec 6, 1919; d Fürstengrube, nr Katowice, Poland, end of Jan 1945). Moravian composer and pianist. His musical talent was promoted from an early age by the director of the Přerov municipal music school. When he was 12 he moved to Prague to study the piano with Ruzena Kurzova and in 1938 he became the star pupil of Vilém Kurz at the Prague, Conservatory. He enrolled at Karl University, Prague, to study musicology in 1939, also taking lessons in composition for a short time with Alois Hába at the Prague Conservatory. In 1940, however, because of his Jewish origins, he was expelled and denied permission to travel to London, where he had been granted a scholarship to the RAM. Until his deportation to Theresienstadt on 4 December 1941, he worked under the pseudonym Karel Vránek in small, avant-garde theatres in Prague.

During his first few months in Theresienstadt, Klein became an energetic agitator for artistic activities. After the foundation of the Freizeitgestaltung, a ‘recreation organization’ established for propaganda purposes, he arranged many concerts for which he composed, conducted and performed. He repeatedly encouraged his fellow prisoners, who included Pavel Haas, Hans Krása, Sigmund Schul and Viktor Ullmann, to continue composing. On ...

Article

William Y. Elias

[Ödön]

(b Budapest, Oct 1, 1907; d Tel-Aviv, July 6, 1977). Israeli composer, string player and teacher of Hungarian origin. Born to an assimilated Jewish upper middle class family, he was a child prodigy and studied the violin with Ormandy. Hubay heard him play the violin at the age of eight and took him as a pupil at the Budapest Academy of Music, where he also studied composition with Kodály. After graduating from the academy in 1924, he was leader of the Lucerne Stadtsorchester (1924–6) and the Budapest Konzertorchester (1926–7). In 1927 he moved to Germany, working as a soloist, and in 1933 he became first violinist of the Jewish Cultural Centre. At the end of that year he returned to Hungary, moving then to Baku to teach the violin and composition at the conservatory (1935) and returning to Budapest as leader of the Konzertorchester (...

Article

William Y. Elias

(b Prague, Sept 24, 1910; d Haifa, Dec 20, 1968). Israeli harpsichordist, pianist, composer and educationist of Czech birth . He made his public début as a pianist at the age of 12. He studied first at the Prague Academy of Music and later at Prague University (1929–31). In 1936, at the invitation of Bronisław Huberman, he settled in Israel. After gaining a distinction in the 1939 Geneva International Competition he became sought after as a performer; following an engagement at the 1947 Prague Festival he made lengthy annual tours abroad, appearing under, among other conductors, Klemperer, Paray, Dorati, Celibidache, Solti, Fricsay and Bertini. In 1939 Pelleg was among the founders of the Institute for Jewish Music Research, and in 1949 he became director of the music department of the Ministry of Education and Culture in the new state of Israel. In 1951 he moved to Haifa, where he was among the founders of the Haifa SO and its music director until his death; he was also music director of the Municipal Theatre from its establishment in ...

Article

Motti Regev

(b Kiriat Haim, Dec 25, 1950). Israeli singer, composer, guitarist and bouzouki player. During the 1970s he played in various rock bands which performed mainly at weddings. One of these bands became known as Benzeen in the early 1980s, when Poliker established what was to become a fruitful and long-lasting creative partnership with the lyricist and critic Yaakov Gilad. Benzeen became highly successful with its hard rock sound, but disbanded in 1984 after the release of its second album. In 1985 Poliker made two albums of rock-oriented interpretations of Greek songs, with Hebrew lyrics by Gilad; these recordings widened Poliker’s popularity beyond the young audiences of rock and marked his shift towards a sound based on Mediterranean and Middle Eastern elements. In 1988 he recorded Ashes and Dust, in which he and Gilad explored their experiences of growing up in Israel in the 1960s as sons of survivors of the Holocaust, and this album is widely considered Poliker’s masterpiece. His later albums, two of which are purely instrumental, include virtuoso performances on guitar and ...

Article

Edward Greenfield

[Priwin, Andreas Ludwig ]

( b Berlin, April 6, 1929). American conductor, pianist and composer of German birth . Son of a prosperous lawyer who was also a talented amateur musician, he showed exceptional musical talent from his earliest years. Playing piano duets with his father, he quickly developed phenomenal sight-reading ability, and at the age of six entered the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, studying the piano with Rudolf Breithaupt. In 1938 his family (of Russian-Jewish origin) left Germany for Paris, where he studied briefly at the Conservatoire. Emigrating to the USA the following year, the family settled in Los Angeles, where in 1943 he became an American citizen. While still at school he quickly learnt to use his talents as a pianist, playing accompaniments to silent films in a cult movie house and later becoming an orchestrator at the MGM film studios. This led to commissions to write film music of his own, which – following the practice of the studios – he had to conduct himself. This, in turn, fostered an ambition to conduct more widely, and he was soon conducting local performances of the classical repertory with players from the studio orchestras. Meanwhile he was developing a talent for playing jazz, and while still at school was performing in clubs, soon afterwards making his first recordings. At the same time he took composition lessons, with Joseph Achron, Ernst Toch and Castelnuovo-Tedesco among his teachers, and was invited by the violinist Josef Szigeti to play in private performances of chamber music. Previn was called up for army service in ...

Article

William Y. Elias

revised by Irina Boga

(b Iaşi, April 17, 1929; d Jerusalem, 9 May, 2009). Romanian-born Israeli conductor, composer, and violinist. He studied the violin (with Garabet Avakian) and conducting (with Constantin Silvestri) at the Bucharest Academy of Music (1945–7). In 1957 Rodan pursued advanced studies in conducting and chamber music at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary. He made his début with the Romanian RSO in 1953. In 1961 he moved to Israel and conducted the Israel PO, becoming chief conductor and music adviser to the Israel Broadcasting SO (1963–72). As a conductor he preferred post-Romantic and less extreme contemporary music. In 1965 he founded the Jerusalem Chamber Orchestra and, as its permanent conductor until 1969, toured with it to Europe, East Asia, Australia, South Africa, and the USA. Rodan appeared as a guest with various European orchestras and frequently conducted at the Israel and Arthur Rubinstein festivals, with such soloists as Rubinstein himself, Barenboim, Rampal, Perlman, and du Pré. In ...

Article

Michal Ben-Zur

[Kar’el]

(b Heidelberg, Nov 13, 1897; d Jerusalem, Jan 15, 1974). Israeli composer, conductor, singer and keyboard player of German birth. He studied the organ with Philipp Wofrum and composition with Richard Strauss. From 1920 to 1926 he held the position of conductor at the Hamburg Neues Stadt-Theater, and from 1931 to 1932 was baritone and stage director at the Deutsche Musikbühne. He emigrated to Palestine in 1933, where he was appointed programme director of the newly founded Palestine Broadcasting Service (PBS, later Kol Israel [‘The Voice of Israel’]), a position he held until his retirement in 1962; he founded the PBS Orchestra (later the Kol Israel Orchestra) in 1938.

Many of Salomon’s early works were destroyed. His music from 1933 is tonal with modal inflections, combining European traditions with folk influences to create a light, accessible style. The Sepharadic Suite (1961) incorporates Spanish melodies; popular material is also used in the Second Symphony ‘Leilot be’Cna’an (‘Nights of Canaan’, ...

Article

Anthony Philip Pattin

(b Detroit, Jan 24, 1947). American composer and pianist, active in Israel. He studied at Converse College (Spartanburg, South Carolina), Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Arizona (DMA 1970). His principal teachers include Ozan Marsh and Rudolf Serkin (piano), and Robert Muczynski (composition). Although he has composed for virtually all media, he has shown a special affinity for solo piano works and chamber music with piano. His brilliant piano writing often requires enormous technical facility on the part of the performer; textures are invariably contrapuntal, regardless of tempo, and rhythms are vital and varied with frequent changes of metre. His works often evoke a frenzied state through climaxes, rapid harmonic motion and breakneck speed. He has remarked that his ‘is not the kind of music to relax to, but the kind that makes people sweat; not only performer, but audience'. His interest in folk music stems largely from his desire to explore his own Jewish roots....