Welcome to this month’s JMI newsletter.

I hope you’re enjoying the amazing weather. If you’re intending to come to our Yiddish summer school, Ot Azoy, or the song school Golden Peacock, then do book as soon as possible as places are fast selling out. This is a real highlight of the summer and a chance to study with some of the finest teachers of Yiddish language and song. If you are unable to attend the summer school but would like a taste of the magic, then we are opening up the Goldene Pave faculty concert on Sunday 10th August to the general public.

Another highlight of the summer is of course Klezmer in the Park which will very soon be upon us. I’m pleased to be able to tell you that as well as leading a UK Klezmer Allstars band at Klezmer in the Park, Alan Bern will also be conducting a klezmer masterclass at SOAS, so do be sure to secure your place for that as this is a wonderful opportunity to experience one of the most inspiring pedagogues on the klezmer scene.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

All best wishes

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Drawing Life: Fundraiser
July 2nd saw a stunning, sold out performance of our latest multi-media commission "Drawing Life" at JW3. A capacity audience of 180 guests enjoyed a reception before the performance and dinner afterwards. Drawing Life was received with unanimous praise and was the perfect vehicle to mark JMI's 30th anniversary.We are looking forward to Drawing Life's future performances next year and rolling out an educational; program for children of secondary school age. We would like to thank the creative team, the performers, the production team, the caterers (Zeitlin & co), JW3 and the hugely generous audience for making the evening such a success. If you would like to see some pictures of the reception and dinner then please click here, click on any of the photos an scroll through the album. If you would like to find out more about Drawing Life then please visit here





JMI board appointment: Alex Knapp
The Board of Trustees of JMI are delighted to announce the appointment of a new Trustee - Dr Alexander Knapp.Dr Knapp was the first to hold the post of Joe Loss Lecturer at City University (1992-1999) and at SOAS (1999-2006). A recognised academic composer and pianist, he has lectured for over 40 years on the subject of Jewish Music. Having received a doctorate from Cambridge University's, Selwyn College, he was also a visiting scholar at Wolfson College, Cambridge. He has published widely on the life and music of Ernest Bloch and also in the field of Jewish music in China. Alongside this work, Dr Knapp has lectured on a large range of subjects relating to Jewish music, heritage and composition both around the world and since his retirement he has also occasionally taught some of the modules of the Jewish Music Courses at SOAS. We are honoured to re-welcome Dr Knapp to the heart of JMI.

JMI Board appointment: Benjamin Gray

The Board of Trustees of JMI are delighted to announce the appointment of a new Trustee – Mr. Benjamin Gray. Benjamin is a barrister by profession in a practice specialising in Employment, Commercial, Regulatory and Insolvency law. He has been involved in music in various forms since he was 17 and started participating in musical theatre, followed by his involvement in music at King’s College London, where he was awarded a 1st Class Honours Degree. He became drawn to Jewish music when he began to get more involved in Judaism after law school.  He is primarily interested in the creativity of Jewish liturgical music and Nusach (the musical modality of Jewish prayer), and is currently studying in Jerusalem for the summer.

In his late 20s, Benjamin will help JMI open the door to a much younger audience and new participants, and he believes in the importance of its mission to preserve, nurture and promote Jewish music in all varieties of Jewish musical traditions. As a footnote, I am delighted to meet Benjamin’s family – he is a grandson of the impresario Louis Benjamin z’l who worked with the father and uncles of Lord Grade, our Joint President, and my own late father Joe Loss.
We all welcome Benjamin with great pleasure to the Board of JMI.

Chair - JMI



Learn Yiddish!
We now have only five remaining places for our Yiddish Language summer school, so please do not delay if you intend to come. Discover JMI's famous full immersion courses in Yiddish Language, Song and Culture for people of all  ages, levels and backgrounds, where even complete beginners learn to speak, read, write, sing and even dream in Yiddish in a week. Ot Azoy Yiddish language classes are held at 4 levels, led by world renowned Yiddish Lecturer Helen Beer and her distinguished team of fellow Yiddishists, Sonia Pinkusowitz-Dratwa, Annick Prime-Margules, Lily Kahn and Barry Davis. Shura Lipovsky, Director of The Golden Peacock (Goldene Pave), will also teach a daily session of Yiddish through song. This year we are pleased to welcome to the faculty Annick Prime-Margules of The Medem Yiddish Institute in Paris. We also have an interview podcast with course director Dr Helen Beer and UK celebrity Yiddishist David Schneider which you can listen to here

  Booking info:

Date: Sun 10 - Fri 15 Aug
Venue: SOAS, Vernon Sq.
Price: £145-245


Sing Yiddish!

Our annual summer song school returns this year with the addition of new faculty, courses and syllabus. Once again the course will provide complete immersion in Yiddish song and song culture. Each day will start with a repertoire class and is followed by teaching classes on roots, modality and traditions. The change comes during the afternoon when following repertoire classes will also be attended by Ot Azoy students, there will be a master class with our esteemed international faculty of acclaimed Yiddish singers, Shura Lipovsky, Polina Shepherd and 2014 Songlines Awards Nominee Karsten Troyke. Singers will also be taught Yiddish for Singers with Helen Beer and no day will be complete without joining in Polina's Yiddish Choir. There are also social events, Yiddish theatre, film, concerts and much more, so do not delay and book your place. Listen to some of this years faculty talk about what's in store for the course this summer, here

  Booking info 

Date: Sun 10-Fri 15 Aug
Venue: SOAS, Vernon Sq.
Price: £145-245




Shura Lipovsky, Karsten Troyke, Polina and Merlin Shepherd
We are pleased to showcase to the public the collective talents of our esteemed song school faculty. We are inviting the public to sample the Golden Peacock summer school experience with an opening concert including special guest musicians. There will be recitals of classic and modern Yiddish repertoire as well as instrumental and this will be a unique opportunity to meet the faculty and to experience first hand the quality of Yiddish song that is taught every year at The Golden Peacock. Featuring the vocal and instrumental talents of Shura Lipovsky, Polina Shepherd and Karsten Troyke with the added benefit of world class Klezmer Clarinet from Merlin Shepherd. More details on the concert and tickets can be bought here

  Booking Info:

Date: Sun 10 Aug 
Time: 215-4pm
Venue: SOAS Vernon Sq.
Price: £8/10


"Rebels, strikers and anti-fascists of the Jewish East End".

A two hour walk led by David Rosenberg, author of "Battle for the East End", looking at the people and movements who fought for better lives in the East End from the 1880s to the 1930s. Find out about the great shnayders strike, the Arbayter Fraynd newspaper, and the Princelet Street riot; visit the place where Emma Goldman and Eleanor Marx spoke and where the East End's first Yiddish theatre stood; and learn about how the East End united against Mosley's fascists.
The walk ends on Brick Lane (convenient for Aldgate East or Liverpool St tube). Optional Brick Lane curry after the walk.

Please reserve your place by calling the office on 0207 898 4307 or emailing titling your email “East End Walk”


  Booking info:

Date: Sun 10 Aug
Time: 430pm
Venue: Meet: Vernon Sq.
Price: £4/6


JMI is proud to present an afternoon of Yiddish theatre and film.  Our annual Yiddish summer school is a treasure trove of Yiddish culture in the heart of London and this year we have decided to open up parts of it to the public.
We are very honoured to have Rafael Goldwaser: with 3 Passports and 5 languages to his name, Rafael was born in Argentina, lived in Israel and is now living in France. Yiddish is his “mame-loshn”. In Israel he was an actor in all the “official” theatres but his love and tendency was always towards experimental theatre, radio, television and cinema.
In 1992 he founded in Strasbourg, “Der LufTeater” which is dedicated to the support of yiddish literature and language. He travels all over the world with his theatrical creations and most recently was invited to play Lucky in the yiddish version of “Waiting for Godot” in the Enniskillen festival.
A Feast of Yiddish Theatre:
Sholem Aleichem “Monologue”
Aron Lutski, “Jazz”
and a monologue from Samuel Becket’s “Waiting for Godot”.
(all in Yiddish)
The performance will be followed by Yiddish cinema with a screening of a Yiddish film on theatrical themes. This will be preceded by an introduction from our Ot Azoy faculty and celebrated Yiddishist Barry Davis.

The event is free to all students of Ot Azoy and Golden Peacock Summer Schools
Tickets to the general public are priced at
£9 Full price
£4.50 Concessions
Book now online or call the office on 020 7898 4307

  Booking info:

Date: Tue 12 Aug
Time: 430-7pm
Venue: VG10, Vernon Sq.
Price: £4.5/9


Save the date: 7th September

The line up is confirmed and preparations are well under way for Klezmer in the Park 2014.

Come on down for a fun-packed afternoon for all the family in one of London’s most beautiful parks with special guest presenter BBC Radio 3 DJ Max Reinhardt.
The line up for this year is: JFS Klezmer Band & Children’s Klezmer Dance Parade, Shir, Tantz, ‘Drawing Life’ An extract from JMI’s new commission, Alan Bern’s UK Klezmer Allstars, The Turbans, She’ Koyokh and this year's activities for this year's KIDS ZONE are JMI’s Klezmer Krafting, Face Painting from JMI, JW3’s Family Fun, Spiro Ark’s Hoopla with Hebrew and the ever popular Balloon Band.
This is a FREE EVENT, with support from the Jewish News Group

  Event info:

Date: Sun 7 Aug
Time: 1215-6pm
Venue: Regents Park
Price: FREE


Learn Klezmer

We are very proud to welcome Alan Bern as the next international master musician to teach in our masterclass series.
Master accordionist Alan Bern is the musical director of Brave Old World and since the early 1980s has been one of the leading lights in the teaching and revival of Yiddish music in the United States, Canada and Europe. He has played with the Klezmer Conservatory Band, Andy Statman, the Klezmatics, Kapelye, Theodore Bikel amongst many others and is currently part of a duo with accordionist Guy Klucevsek, a trio with trumpeter Paul Brody and guitarist Michael Rodach, a quartet “Brave Old World”, with Michael Alpert, Kurt Bjorling and Stuart Brotman and a septet with Aaron Alexander, Paul Brody, Alex Kontorovich, Cesar Lerner, Martin Lillich, and Marcelo Moguilevsky.
Since the 1990's he has been consultant and/or faculty member at many international festivals and workshops of Yiddish music and he is currently the Program Director of Yiddish Summer Weimar. His contributions to Yiddish music have been cited in essential books on the revival of Jewish music, such as American Klezmer by Mark Slobin, The Essential Klezmer by Seth Rogovoy, and Virtually Jewish by Ruth Ellen Gruber.
Minimum instrumental proficiency Grade 5 or equivalent.
Free: SOAS Students Only.
£10: Concessions
£11: Full Price

  Booking info:

Date: Mon 8 Sep
Time: 630-830pm
Venue: SOAS, Russell Sq.
Price: £10/11 (+booking fee)


News from the ICSM and the paperback release of "Forbidden Music"

Michael Haas writes:

The move to RHUL
"The relocation from SOAS to Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL) has been a slower than expected process. At RHUL, the ICSM is now part of the Holocaust Research umbrella that allows us to apply for grants and projects that would have been outside the perimeters of SOAS’s musicological fields. As we have just arrived, it’s still early days as to what exactly will be our next projects. Prof. Stephen Downes, head of RHUL’s music department wants to kick off the association with a one-day seminar with emphasis on research. We intend to have this in preparation by the autumn of this year."

Broadcast and Publishing
"That music banned by the III Reich is now coming out of the shadows of 20th century music was borne out by the focus on both Hans Gál and Mieczyslaw Weinberger as Radio 3’s ‘Composer of the Week’. Martin Anderson, owner of Toccata Press and Toccata Classics has also been tireless in providing a platform. Both publishing house and label have released books and recordings that focus on this period of 20th century music history, with publication of Hans Gál’s Internment Camp memoirs, and Ernst Krenek’s pre-emigration memoirs to be published shortly. CDs released by Toccata have been Richard Stöhr’s chamber music, Weinberg’s  21st  symphony (his last) and Polish Tunes and Paul Ben-Haim’s Quartet no. 1 and Quintet. Publication of my book: "Forbidden Music – the Jewish Composers banned by the Nazis" has just been released as paperback by Yale University Press. The Forbidden Music website now offers ‘virtual’ exhibitions on a number of composers including Hans Gál, Egon Wellesz, Erich Zeisl, Ernst Toch, Franz Schreker and Hanns Eisler."

"The Music College in Leeds has been host to a conference as part of the wider "Music, Memory and Migration in the Post-Holocaust Jewish Experience" project, funded by the Worldwide Universities Network. The conference, held July 6 – 8, 2014 was headed Continuities and Ruptures: Artistic Responses to Jewish Migration, Internment and Exile in the Long 20th Century. Keynote speakers were Lydia Goehr from Columbia University and Alan Rosen from the International Holocaust School."

"The ICSM keeps itself out of the limelight – its influence and presence, however, is felt in all of the peripheral activities taking place today that only ten years ago would have been unthinkable."

To hear Michael Haas in interview please click here 





Jewish Musical Odyssey 
The Adrianne Greenbaum trio/quartet: Scotshne AND Fleytmusic

Scottish Tour, 14th to 21st September 2014

A concert of baroque gypsy music, classical Hebrew songs alongside traditional Scot folk tunes with a hefty amount of foot-stomping klezmer adds up to supreme traditional entertainment, however you slice it! Presenting two ensembles in: "Scotchne" and "FleytMuzik", led by klezmer and classical flutist Adrianne Greenbaum, with Michael Alpert (fiddle, vocals, and percussion), Lev Atlas, (Violin/Viola), and David McGuinness (keyboards)   - will trace the musical influences of the Eastern European Jewish community as they travelled west from Slovakia to Scotland and everywhere in between.

For more information on this tour please see here for more information please see our website here





Klezmer course with the London Klezmer Quartet in Derbyshire, 29-31 August.

A special course in the picturesque Peak District village of Youlgrave for those who want to delve into traditional klezmer style. Tutored by members of the London Klezmer Quartet, the weekend will include sessions, workshops, tuition, a concert and much more! Numbers will be capped at 30. Earlybird tickets for the weekend are available until 1 August @ £40. To download the brochure, book concert tickets, and register for the course, visit here

  Booking info:

Date: 29-31 Aug 
Venue: Youlgreave, Derbyshire
Price: £40 Early Bird


Minimal Klezmer
1st August: The Mill, London. Details here 

Jamboree Day Festival
2nd August: The Jamboree, Cable St. London. Details here

Klezmer Jam 
3rd August: The Harrison, Kings Cross, London. Details here

8th August: Bossaphonik, The Cellar, Oxford. Details here

Jewish British Songwriters Concert
10th August: 7pm. Free. New London Hall, New London Synagogue. Location 

Yiddish Twist Orchestra with Sam Lee
12th August: Snape Malting Concert Hall, Aldburgh. Details here

London Klezmer Quartet Album Launch *Preview*
20th August: Vortex Jazz Club, Gillett St. London Details here

Don Kipper
21st-24th August: Shambala Festival. Details here

25th August: The Italianate Greenhouse, King George VI Park, Ramsgate. Details here

Mahler at BBC Proms
29th August: Royal Albert Hall, London. Details here


Idan Raichel at JW3
9th September: 2 performances 7pm & 9pm. Standing concert limited seating to be pre-booked) Details here

Inon Barnatan at Central Synagogue
10th September: To book tickets please call 020 7580 1355 or email Details here

Daphna Sadeh at Pizza Express Jazz Club
21st September: Pizza Express, Dean Street, London, Sunday Matinee performance. For more information pleas see here

She'Koyokh on the Mersey
24th September: Walton Hall, Warrington. 730pm. For more details see here


JMI radio for August celebrates the paperback release of the ICSM director's book, "Forbidden Music". We invite Michael Haas to the studio to tell us more about the work that has been going on at the ICSM in the recent months and also progress of the book, now in its second edition. We also play a selection of music from suppressed composers within the feature as well as music from around the world of Jewish Music. All the shows and their constituent podcasts and special features can be found at our website here    .


Maurice Meyer z'l 

It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the passing of Maurice Meyer, who many would have known in recent years as a regular musician in the Erev Shabbat Service at West London Synagogue. 

We would like to join in remembering his life and contribution to the community with this dedication and obituary given to us from his son Daniel.  

"Maurice Meyer was born 24th December 1925 in Rangoon, Burma to an Iraqi-Jewish father who owned an ice factory. The family moved to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1937, where Maurice took up violin at the age of 15. He avoided recruitment by the Irgun and Hagganah, as he always had his eye on studying in Britain, but helped out on some of the operations. For example, when Jews arrived from Cyprus on the ship “Exodus” British would not let them land. Maurice was part of the team that helped smuggle them ashore and aided their dispersal and secretion.

His dream of studying in Britain was realised in 1951 when he played in a master-class given by Max Rostal and was invited to study with him at Guildhall school in London where he stayed for 3 years. While in London, he met his beloved wife Hanna and they married in 1960. Following studies he freelanced in theatre bands and orchestras before becoming a regular extra for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Once the couple were blessed with the arrival of a child, Maurice turned to teaching both privately and for several London Boroughs and Saturday Morning Institutions. He also played in the Roof restaurant of the Royal Garden Hotel for 13 years. There he played in a band strolling amongst the tables.
It was after the death of his wife in 1999 that his interest turned to klezmer music which he then spent many years both studying and then performing.
In August 2013 he took part in the filming of a wedding scene in the current BBC drama "An Honourable Woman", which was broadcast on 24th July. (See iPlayer here )

He passed away on June 23rd 2014 and leaves a son Daniel (also a violinist) and two grandsons."

What he has also left is a lasting impression and memory on all those that played with him in all the bands over the year's especially those who in recent years who shared the joy of his company at the Erev Shabbat Service at West London Synagogue.

Maurice Meyer zikhrono livrakha.