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May 3 2023

Part One—New World Negotiations of Old World Jewish Identities: A 3-Session Lecture Series

May 3, 10, and 17 at 11:00 a.m. PT / 2:00 p.m. ET

Session 1 (May 3): Randall Goldberg, “The Kishineff Massacre and Domestic Musical Practice in America”

This talk explores the intersection of amateur musical performance and social activism in early twentieth-century America. The Kishineff (Chişinău) Pogrom of 1903 is one of many events memorialized in Judaism’s tragic past, and the massacre had a great influence on Jewish advocacy, even for those who had already immigrated to America. It inspired musical, literary, and dramatic works that depicted the event and helped raise money for the victims. Herman Shapiro’s 1904 Kishineff Massacre for solo piano—which borrows heavily from solo piano “battle pieces” while also foregrounding stereotypically Jewish musical gestures that emphasize the plight of the victims—served a dual function as a tool for raising Jewish consciousness and as an exercise in entertaining, domestic music. Shapiro’s Massacre may have also served as a model for later musical descriptions of the Pogrom, including an enigmatic orchestral work recorded by the International Concert Orchestra in 1924, which was produced for passive consumption.

Dr. Randall Goldberg is the Director of the School of Music at Cal State Fullerton. His research focuses on the music of Jewish immigrants in America, and he has presented on this topic at the national and regional meetings of the American Musicological Society and as a featured presenter at the Library of Congress. His work appears in Musica Judaica, Journal of Jewish Identities, and Notes. In addition to Jewish musical studies, Goldberg has co-edited volumes for CPE Bach: The Complete Works. He is also a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages and a former President of the American Musicological Society-Allegheny Chapter.

Session 2 (May 10th, 11 AM PT/2 PM ET): Daniela Smolov Levy, “The Nomad and the Actor: Ben Hador and the Cosmopolitan Yiddish Operetta”

Session 3 (May 17th, 11 AM PT/2 PM ET): Ross Melnick, “American Showman: Samuel ‘Roxy’ Rothafel, the Birth of the Entertainment Industry, and His Formative Place in American (Jewish) Cultural History”

This program is presented by the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

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