Welcome to JMI's April Newsletter,
Spring is here and it’s a great time to come and hear some fantastic music.

London will be abuzz in April with the Menuhin Competition, even more so than ever in this the 100th Anniversary year of Menuhin’s birth. Be a part of the celebrations by coming down to JW3 for our
Alternative Menuhin concert, which brings to life Lord Menuhin’s love for music beyond the western classical. I’m super excited to be welcoming guitarist John Etheridge and blind gypsy violin virtuoso Tcha Limberger to the stage, along with the brilliant Celtic duo Twelfth Day and sitarist Sheema Mukherjee.

The line up and schedule for Ot Azoy, Golden Peacock and Klezfest gets more exciting by the day so don’t forget that you have until May 1st to take advantage of the early booking discount for these summer schools.  And if you’d like to attend the JMI’s fundraising Joke Lunch in June then do get in touch with the team.

I look forward to seeing lots of you at the Alternative Menuhin concert,

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Alternative Menuhin - Book Now

An all-star line-up led by JMI's Artistic Director Sophie Solomon with Tcha Limberger, John Etheridge, Dave Kelbie, Andy Crowdy, Sheema Mukherjee and others will take place on 10 April 2016 at JW3 for what is set to be a stunning concert.

Yehudi Menuhin had a life-long involvement in a wide range of musical genres. He was the most prominent classical musician of his generation to embark on cross-genre collaborations and his work with Indian musician and sitar player Ravi Shankar and jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli is legendary. The programme will be directed by British violinist, songwriter, composer and Artistic Director of JMI, Sophie Solomon. The concert will celebrate the musical diversity of the violin in a tribute to Yehudi Menuhin during the centenary year of his birthday.

Tickets for this exciting concert are now on sale at JW3 here 

We interviewed Gordon Back, Artistic Director of the Menuhin Competition and Malcolm Singer and that feature can be heard here

Presented by the Jewish Music Institute in association with the Menuhin Competition


  Concert info: 

Date: Sun 10 April 2016
Time: 8pm
Venue: JW3
Price: £25


Menuhin Centenary

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Yehudi Menuhin's birthday, the Menuhin Competition returns to London for the first time since 2004. International soloists and 44 of the world's best young violinists will star in an 11-day festival of concerts and events for all ages.

The competition is hosted by the Royal Academy of Music and presented in partnership with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Southbank Centre and the Yehudi Menuhin School and held in association with the Jewish Music Institute, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Live Music Now.

With a star-studded jury - many of them former prize winners - and a programme dedicated to Yehudi Menuhin, the Menuhin Competition London 2016 calls for entries from young violinists born after 17 April 1994.

This years competition features 44 competitors drawing on an international wealth of aspiring talent. To see the two videos previewing the competition, please see here

  Events info:

Dates: 7 to 17 April
Venues: Across London


In Memorial

To commemorate Yom Hashoah JW3 and JMI are hosting an event together at JW3. This event will feature words, prayer and music to remember those who perished in the Shoah.

The Nazi campaign against so-called ‘degenerate music’, saw works by composers such as Weill, Schoenberg and Hindemith denounced and suppressed. More than 70 years later, much of this music is still unknown. This event will feature a performance piece by Peter Braithwaite and Nigel Foster with visual projections and art from James Symonds.

There will be choral music from the Shalom Youth Choir.

Speakers will include Dr. Malcolm Miller and Rabbi Roni Tabick.

This event is endorsed by both the Slovakian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, HE Lubomir Rehak and the Czech Ambassador to the United Kingdom HE Libor Sečka.

We interviewed Peter Brathwaite and Nigel Foster about the piece and that interview can be heard here

  Event info:

Date: Wed 4 May
Time: 7pm
Venue: JW3
Price: £8


Michael Grade, Maureen Lipman and David Schneider 

For the fourth year running, the unique JMI JOKE LUNCH returns on Tuesday 7th June 2016 to beautiful Kent House in Knightsbridge. We are thrilled to be welcome back our Joint-President Lord Grade CBE and actress Maureen Lipman CBE to entertain us with their selection of hilarious jokes. Compere David Schneider,one of the funniest stars of UK stage and screen, will again serve as our Master of Ceremonies. All funds raised at this event are deeply appreciated and are essential for JMI's continuing and expanding programmes of Jewish Music and culture. A delicious lunch will be interspersed with seriously large quantities of mirth and merriment.

Places are already filling up - secure your seat by calling our office on 020 7898 4307 or by emailing

  Lunch info: 

Date: Tue 7 Jun
Time: 12-3pm
Venue: Kent House


Companion Voices

JMI are very proud to continue our partnership with Judith Silver and her singing group for end-of-life care. Companion Voices is a group of singers who can be called to the bedside of people who are dying, to share their voices and loving presence. Monthly learning and preparation sessions are led by Judith Silver, a singer, composer, choir leader and Natural Voice Practitioners’ Network member. Currently there are groups in Brighton and Watford.

Join the Companion Voices group for 2016 here

The sessions will be held at the North London Hospice from 6pm – 8pm on:

13 April
11 May
&  8 June (celebration) 2016

Price: £75 for the term. Places are limited.
Location: North London Hospice Finchley, 47 Woodside Avenue, London N12 8TT

For information and to book, please contact Naama by email here or by telephone: 020 7898 4307

We interviewed Judith to find out more about her as a practitioner and the choir itself. That interview can be heard here

  Group info:

Dates: January to June
Time: 6pm-8pm
Venue: North London Hospice
Price: £75 for full term



JMI and JW3 are very excited to present their new singing workshops with an exciting difference!

Whether you can read music or not - Rachel Weston welcomes you to her dynamic set of six workshops. Together, melodies from around the Jewish world will be explored from ancient tunes to modern niggunim, from Yiddish to Ladino and from well-known modern composers. Join this group, form friendships, share your enthusiasm for the Jewish tradition of enjoying and making music.

Twice monthly Tuesdays on the following dates:

10th & 24th May
7th & 21 June
5 & 19 July 

Time: 6.45-8.45pm

  Zing info: 

Dates: May to July 2016 
Time: 6.45-8.45pm
Venue: JW3
Price: £12 per session 


Learn Yiddish

Discover JMI's famous full immersion courses in Yiddish Language, Song and Culture for people of all ages, levels and backgrounds, where complete beginners can learn to speak, read, write, sing and even dream in Yiddish in a week.

Ot Azoy Yiddish language classes are held at 5 levels and are directed by the head of Yiddish at UCL, Dr Khayele Beer, with a faculty of world class Yiddish tutors and experts. As well as hands-on classroom teaching, the course also features an extensive cultural programme of music, theatre, poetry and lectures from a world of Yiddish past and present.

Shura Lipovsky, the outstanding Director of The Golden Peacock (Goldene Pave), will also teach a daily session of Yiddish through song. We are very happy to welcome back Brussels' Yiddish expert Sonia Pinkusowitz, UCL's Lily Khan, SOAS's Barry Davis and for the very first time, Yuri Vedenyapin all the way from Harvard.

These courses are always sold out, attracting participants from across the world, so we recommend early booking. If you are booking before May 1st you receive £15 off the full price and if you are a returning student you receive a further £15 off making it a total of £30 off the full price. (Students/Senior receive only the early bird discount or the returning discount)

We interviewed Khayele, Sonia and Lily from the faculty. To hear the feature and to book your place please visit here

  Course info:

Date: Sun 7 - Fri 12 Aug
Venue: SOAS Vernon Sq.
Price: £250-£150


Sing Yiddish

Our annual summer song school returns this year to provide a complete immersion in Yiddish song and song culture. There will be repertoire classes, masterclasses and a Yiddish Choir for all. This year the confirmed faculty are course leader Shura Lipovsky, Berlin's Yiddish folk-bard Karsten Troyke, Rachel Weston and we are delighted to welcome back Lorin Sklamberg of Klezmatics/YIVO all the way from New York. The year we are delighted to welcome Joseph Finlay as accompanist.

Singers will also be taught Yiddish for Singers with Helen Beer and no day will be complete without joining in the Yiddish choir. There are also social events, Yiddish theatre, film, concerts and much more, so do not delay and book your place early.

We interviewed Shura Lipovsky, Karsten Troyke and Lorin Sklamberg from the faculty about their love of the music, the songs and the culture. To hear that feature and to book your place, please visit here

  Course info:

Date: Sun 7 - Fri 12 Aug
Venue: SOAS Vernon Sq.
Price: £250-£150


Learn Klezmer

We are delighted that after a very successful relaunch last August, our world famous Klezmer summer school returns for 2016. Join our music school and learn klezmer this summer at KlezFest 2016. Here is a peek into what you can expect:

• Hands-on tutoring from world leading experts.
• Traditional klezmer; history, melodies, ornamentation, dance and accompaniment
• Play music in ensembles and delve into improvisational techniques
• Interpret scores, jam and perform to the public.

Faculty confirmed so far::

Ilana Cravitz (Violin - UK)
Alan Bern (Accordion - USA/DE)
Frank London (Trumpet - USA)
Merlin Shepherd (Clarinet - UK)
Susi Evans (Clarinet - UK)
Guy Schalom (Percussion - UK)
Francesca Ter-berg (Cello - UK)

More faculty to be announced very soon, please keep yourself updated by checking the JMI website.

Minimum instrumental proficiency: Grade 5 or equivalent. No klezmer experience necessary. All are welcome. For more information and to book please visit our website here

  Course info:

Date: Mon 15 - Fri 19 Aug
Venue: SOAS, Vernon Sq.
Price: £250-£150-£120
Early bird prices available


"Students: Play Klezmer!"

The SOAS Klezmer Band offers a chance for students to come and play Klezmer together at SOAS. If you are a student at SOAS and know other students who would like to play Klezmer, please join the SOAS Klezmer Band. The band is a student-led society, with help, advice and support from both the SOAS music department and JMI. Last year's band was engaged, enthusiastic and successful. They performed in and around the UK and many of their members performed at the JMI Klezfest summer school.

There are now workshops booked with:

Phil Alexander (Moishes Beigel) 18th April
Josh Middleton (Don Kipper) 25th April.

They are open to anyone at SOAS/JMI related

If you would like to find out more information about the band and how to join, then please visit the facebook page here


Song of Dina

Author Diane Samuels (Kindertransport), Composer Maurice Chernick (of music group Shir) and producer Lily Staff invite you to join them at JW3 to the launch of their campaign to mount a full concert and live recording of their new work Song of Dina, a modern oratorio with spoken word for instrumentalists, choir, actors and soloists .

  Event info:

Date: Wed 6 April
Time: 7.45pm
Venue: JW3 
Price: FREE


Pesach Cantata

For Soloists, Chorus and Chamber Ensemble
Music by Julian Dawes
Libretto by Rabbi Roderick Young

A new Cantata in which the story of Pesach is told by a Grandfather to his Grandchild, and includes three other characters, Miriam, Aaron and Rabban Gamliel.

Cantor Jason Green – Grandfather
Z’ev Green – Grandchild
Martha Jones – Miriam
Mark Nathan – Aaron
Julien Van Mellaerts – Rabban Gamliel
The New London Singers
The New London Chamber Ensemble
Conducted by Vivienne Bellos

Light refreshments will be served following the performance.

We hear from Composer Julian Dawes about this work and that feature can be heard here

  Concert Info:

Date: Sunday 10th April
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: New London Synagogue, Abbey Road, NW8 0YA
Price: £15/10


The Zemel Choir &  Polyphonies Hébraïques de Strasbourg

Heavenly voices of two choirs blend in perfect harmony as they join
together once more in a concert of sacred and secular music by European
and American Jewish composers.

Sunday 10 April 2016, 7.30pm
£15 students £10
More details here


Sarah Fox and James Burton

Fresh from her Carnegie Hall debut, the internationally renowned soprano Sarah Fox is joined by James Burton to perform The Cole Porter Songbook – their specially devised programme which presents the greatest songs written by Cole Porter, including In the Still of the Night, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Anything Goes and Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye, as well as other Cole Porter gems.

  Event info:

Date: Sun 17 April 
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Central Synagogue
Price: £20 


Thursday 7 April 2016 – Opening Concert
Philharmonia Orchestra

Royal Festival Hall, 19:30
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX

Friday 8 April 2016 – NYO: Blaze of Youth
National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain

Royal Festival Hall, 19:30

8 – 11 April 2016 – First Competition Rounds at the RAM
8 April: Junior 1st Round, part 1
9 April: Junior 1st Round, part 2
10 April: Senior 1st Round, part 1
11 April: Senior 1st Round, part 2

Royal Academy of Music, Duke’s Hall, 10:00 – 17:00 every day
Marylebone Road NW1 5HT

09 April 2016 – Talk: Is There Life After a Competition?
Royal Academy of Music, David Josefowitz Hall, 18:30
Marylebone Road NW1 5HT

9 April 2016 – Homage to Menuhin – Recital for violin and piano
Duke’s Hall, Royal Academy of Music, 19:30
Marylebone Road, NW1 5HT

10 April 2016 – The Alternative Menuhin
JW3 – Jewish Community Centre, 20:00
341-351 Finchley Road, NW3 6ET

Monday 11 April 2016 – Talk: Lin Yao Ji – bringing Chinese talent to the world stage
David Josefowitz Hall, Royal Academy of Music, 18:30
Marleybone Road, London, SE1 8XX

11 April 2016 – The Lark Insurance Junior Prizewinners’ Concert
Royal Academy of Music, Duke’s Hall, 19:30
Marylebone Road NW1 5HT

12 April 2016 – Junior Semi-Finals
Royal Academy of Music, Duke’s Hall, 10:00 – 17:00
Marylebone Road NW1 5HT

12 April 2016 – Concert at The Yehudi Menuhin School
The Yehudi Menuhin School – The Menuhin Hall, 20:00
Millfield Lodge, Cobham Road
Stoke D’Abernon, Cobham KT11 3QQ

13 April 2016 – Senior section Semi-Finals
Royal Academy of Music, Duke’s Hall, 10:00 – 17:00
Marylebone Road NW1 5HT

13 April 2016 – Tribute to Enescu – A recital for violin and piano
Duke’s Hall, Royal Academy of Music, 19:00
Marylebone Road, NW1 5HT

14 – 15 April 2016 – Open Masterclasses with the Jury
Royal Academy of Music
Marylebone Road NW1 5HT

14 April 2016 – Temple Church Concert –
Ning Feng, Kerson Leong, Sainsbury Royal Academy Soloists and the choristers of the Temple Church Choir

Temple Church, 19:30
Temple, London EC4Y 7BB

15 April 2016 Talk: Yehudi Menuhin – The Extraordinary Life of the Master Musician
Royal Academy of Music, David Josefowitz Hall, 18:00
Marylebone Road NW1 5HT
Free tickets from the Academy’s Box Office, telephone 020 7873 7300

15 April 2016 Rising Stars – The Junior Finals
Royal Academy of Music, Duke’s Hall, 19:30
Marylebone Road NW1 5HT

16 April 2016 – The Composer is Dead: A Family Concert, narrated by Nicholas Parsons
Royal Festival Hall, 12:00
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX

16 April 2016 Rising Stars – The Senior Finals RAM Symphony Orchestra
Royal Festival Hall, 19:30
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX

17 April 2016 – Gala Concert
Royal Festival Hall, 19:30
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX

16 – 17 April 2016 – Menuhin Competition Gala Weekend
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX

4 January – 30 November 2016
Royal Academy of Music
Menuhin 100 events and exhibition


Baladi Blues Ensemble
Saturday 2nd April

Sunday 3rd April

Saturday 9th April

Saturday 30th April 
Chalk Farm, London
Details here

Sat 9th April
Worth Matravers

Friday 15th April

Sunday 24th April

Friday 29th April
Details here

Dunajska Kapelye
Friday 15th April
Details here

Manchester Klezmer Jam
Monday 18th April
Details here

Don Kipper
Tuesday 12th April 
Woodburner, London
Details here

Saturday 16th April
Jamboree, London
Details here

Wednesday 27th April
Cable Cafe, London
Details here

London Klezmer Quartet
Wednesday 20th April
Rotherhithe, London
More details here

Wednesday 27th April
Lakeside, Nottingham
Details here

Friday 15th April
The Harrison, London

Saturday 16th April
Paper Dress, London

Saturday 30th April
Jamboree, London
Details here



Hafla Sephardi

JW3's first ever Sephardi Festival: a celebration of film, food, history, music and more.

The Happy Hamsa
Sunday 1 May 3pm

Crafternoon: Happy Hamsas
Sunday 1 May, 2pm

Sephardi Wine Routes
Sunday 1 May, 4.30pm & Monday 2 May, 2pm

UK Jewish Film: The Midnight Orchestra
Sunday 1 May 6pm, 8.15pm, Monday 2 May 12noon & 6.45pm

Baladi Blues, Los Desterrados and She'Koyokh
Sunday 1 May, 8pm

Sephardi Classics from Around the World
Monday 2 May, 2.30pm

Sephardi London
Monday 2 May, 4pm

Delicious Dishes; Tasty Tales
Monday 2 May, 7pm

  Festival info:  

Date: May 1 & 2 
Venue: JW3 London



Echoes from the Mantuan ghetto, provided by music from the Hashirim Asher Li’Shlomo, a collection of psalm settings in Hebrew by Salomone Rossi, an Italian-Jewish contemporary of Monteverdi. Performed by a prize-winning young ensemble founded in Galilee, the concert also explores Rossi’s secular madrigals and trio sonatas.

Part of London Festival Of Baroque Music 

  Event info:

Date: Mon 16th May
Time: 7.30pm 
Venue: St John's Smith Square
Price: £15-30


Philippe Sands’ A Song of Good and Evil offers new insights into the conflict and connections between three men at the heart of the Nuremberg trial who shared a passion for music. The renowned German actress Katja Riemann, who acts as a co-narrator, celebrates her London debut at this event.

16 & 18 May
Kings Place
More information here


Rediscovering Jewish Music and Theatre

Out of the Shadows in Leeds and York features cabaret, chamber music and songs from the Terezín Ghetto, choral music by émigré composers, a powerful oratorio of Jewish suffering and redemption. The programme is presented by such illustrious artists as The Nash Ensemble of London, the New Budapest Orpheum Society (Chicago), and cello–piano duo Noreen and Phillip Silver (Maine, USA). They also present an exhibition of drawings by children in the Terezín ghetto, and several premieres: a recently-discovered harp piece by Gideon Klein, works by 12-year-old prodigy Josima Feldschuh, and newly-composed opera scenes based on Jewish archival materials, all prefaced by the first ever performance in York’s Clifford’s Tower.

“Out of the Shadows: Rediscovering Jewish Music and Theatre”,is taking place in June 2016, with pre-festival events at Clifford’s Tower in April.
There will be 17 performances over 23 days, as well as the Clifford’s Tower performances, from cabaret to chamber music, straight drama, melodrama, solo song, oratorio, children’s performances, and more besides.
1st-23rd June
York and Leeds
More details here


Leading the congregation

EAJL'S T’filla Leaders European Retreat is for people who are hungry to learn, people who lead or who want to lead prayer, people who sing in tune & use their natural voice, people who have fluency in reading Siddur Hebrew and people who have a love of community.  4th UK Retreat for a very special learning experience for all prayer leaders.

For 2016, the retreat will be led by four inspirational teachers from all over the world - Joey Weisenberg from the USA, Rabbi Dr. James Jacobson-Maisels from Israel, Chazan Jalda Rebling from Germany and Chazan Jaclyn Chernett from UK.

We interviewed Jaclyn and Joey. That featured can be heard here

Retreat info: 

Date: 7 - 10 July
Venue: Charney Manor, Wantage, Oxon




This month JMI's radio series continues with a special feature for you to enjoy.

Ahead of Yom Hashoah we interview Peter Brathwaite and Nigel Foster about their performance and production of "Degenerate Musik". A critical song-based performance based on the infamous Degenerate Music (Entartete Musik) exhibition of 1938, intended by the Nazis to alert the German public to ‘inferior and ultimately dangerous’ forms of music, particularly jazz and Jewish music. The feature can be heard here.

All our other radio shows, podcasts and features since 2012 can be found archived for your listening pleasure at our radio page here

Seeking New Members 

Founded in 1926 in London's East End, the London Jewish Male Choir has, for 90 years, sung at the most prestigious venues and toured across the world, perfoming with some of the greatest cantors such as David Kusevitsky, Naftali Herstik, Pinchas Faigenblum and Moshe Korn. Today they perform a diverse repertoire of Jewish music including yiddish, musical theatre, cantorial, folk music and contemporary music. Recent international tours have included Strasbourg and Berlin, where they sang at the Louis Lewandowski Choral Festival. With 2016 being their 90th anniversary they are reaching out and are keen to welcome new members.

You will find a friendly and welcoming group who perform several concerts a year and who seek to have fun whilst striving for the highest musical standards. They rehearse on Thursday evenings in North London. Contact musical director Joseph Finlay for more details or via their website