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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 ...

Article

Edith Gerson-Kiwi

revised by Bret Werb

[Yuly Dmitrevich]

(b Berdyansk, Crimea, 4/April 16, 1868; d Tel-Aviv, Feb 11, 1927). Russian composer, critic, lexicographer and folklorist. He studied law at Kharkov University but soon turned to music, studying theory and composition with Taneyev and Ippolitov-Ivanov at the Moscow Conservatory (1893–7). From 1897 to 1919 he worked as a music critic for the newspaper Russkiye vedomosti. In 1901 his translation of Riemann’s Lexikon into Russian with newly written sections on Russian music was published in Moscow. Although an early opera, Esther, was performed in 1894, his work as a critic overshadowed that as a composer. Under the influence of the Russian nationalist music critic Vladimir Stasov, however, he turned his attention to Jewish folklore, collecting, arranging, performing and publishing the songs of eastern European Jews. In 1909 his first album of ten Jewish folksongs appeared in Moscow; a second volume followed later in the same year. Engel continued to promote his new interest with public lectures and a series of articles in ...

Article

[Samuel Moses]

(b Halle, May 15, 1795; d Berlin, May 17, 1866). German music theorist, critic and pedagogue. One of the most influential theorists of the 19th century, Marx named and codified sonata form. As a critic he awakened and cultivated early appreciation for the symphonies of Beethoven; as a pedagogue he worked to make music an integral part of the education of the individual and of the development of the German nation.

Marx was the son of a Jewish doctor in Halle. He entered the university there in 1812, studying law, and together with Carl Loewe also studied composition with Türk. He practised law in Naumberg from 1815 to 1821, and in 1819 converted to Protestantism, changing his forenames from Samuel Moses to Friedrich Heinrich Adolf Bernhard. In 1821 he moved to Berlin, where he increasingly gave himself over to music and studied for a short period with C.F. Zelter. The music publisher A.M. Schlesinger made him editor of the ...

Article

M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet

(b Berlin, June 13, 1887; d New York, April 22, 1967). American musicologist, conductor and critic, of German birth . He studied musicology with Friedlaender at the University of Berlin and law at the University of Heidelberg, where he received the doctorate in 1911. From 1913 to 1921 he worked as an operetta conductor in Osnabrück, Essen, Strasbourg, Bremen and elsewhere; later (1921–3) he was music director of the Berlin Kammeroper. In the 1920s and 30s he was a critic for the Lokalanzeiger and other newspapers (including a few Jewish ones) and a writer of programme notes for the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. He taught music theory and history at the Stern Conservatory and conducted several madrigal choirs. The Nazis identified him as an important Jewish music critic, but on account of his non-Jewish wife Anni he was spared the concentration camps. He did, however, have to endure forced labour as a porter in the Jüdische Bibliothek des Sicherheitshauptamtes. After the war he was able to resume teaching and was even invited to form an orchestra by the mayor of Schöneberg, but he was abruptly arrested by a Soviet patrol for obscure reasons. After his release he emigrated to the USA in ...

Article

(b 1542; d Mantua, 1612). Italian Jewish physician and writer on Hebrew antiquities. He discussed music, at great length, in his final work Shil ṭei ha-gibborim (‘Shields of Heroes’; Mantua, 1612), in which he glorified the ancient Temple, its architecture, its liturgy and its music. Ten of the 90 chapters are devoted to music. Portaleone conceived the music of the Levites after Italian Renaissance practices and humanist music theory: thus the discussion turns on polyphony, lute tablatures, contemporary instruments (in analogy to ancient ones, which are described in considerable detail), modes, the doctrine of ethos, simple and compound intervals and the differentiation between consonance and dissonance. He maintained that music in the Temple was a learned art, acquired after a rigorous course of training; it was notated, thus meant to be preserved; its performance was based on written sources. Portaleone acknowledged Judah Moscato as his teacher, although he noted that they conceived music differently: whereas Moscato spoke, generally, of number, harmony and ‘science’, treating music for its cosmological and spiritual connotations, his pupil was concerned with ...