Conversations: a year in words and music
After a year of writing weekly essays about music and American Jewish experience, the author offers some highlights.
The Beth El Choir: singing against lost time
Over the course of a year of participation in a cantorial choir the author has sought insight into a historical form of prayer leading, a nearly lost art of improvised Jewish vocal music
Bas Sheve: Joshua Horowitz elevates an interwar Yiddish classic
Composer and klezmer musician Joshua Horowitz brings new life to a forgotten Yiddish opera.
Secret Chord Concerts: a new music series launches in June
A new concert series from the Milken Center will offer a promising glimpse into the musical life of contemporary Jewish America
20th Century Events in Salonica Retold in American Sephardic Song
Sephardic Americans sing about Jewish participation in the countercoup (1909) following the Young Turk Revolution (1908) and lament the disaster following the Greek Revolution that spelled the beginning of the end of the Jewish community in Greece.
The Kwartin Project: A happy surprise ending
When the descendants of a legendary cantor heard of a research project celebrating their revered ancestor, a surprising treasure was revealed.
Italian Opera for the Yiddish-Speaking Masses, Part 5: Why Promote Italian Opera Via Mame-loshn?
What are the implications of promoting Italian opera among a largely uneducated working-class population, the questions of assimilation and acculturation raised by these endeavors, the parallel English-language opera scene, and the complicated yet symbiotic relationship between the high and popular cultural spheres.
Cantorial Pedagogy in the Wild: Judith Berkson’s online khazones class
In an independent cantorial training studio, composer and cantor Judith Berkson invokes histories of sacred music.
Anthony Russell: Echoes of Sidor Belarsky
A contemporary revivalist of Yiddish song draws on the legacy of the 20th century Yiddish “voice of the people”