JMI - Where Jewish Music Lives

We are the Jewish Music Institute. We curate, educate and celebrate – bringing to life this rich seam in world culture. Our mission encompasses the music of the Jewish people wherever they are and wherever they have been, preserving and developing this great heritage for the benefit of present and future generations.

Artistic Director's Message

Welcome to June’s Newsletter

I’m extremely excited to share news of September JAM – the JMI’s Festival of Jewish Arts and Music – which launches this autumn. There’s an awesome line-up of events planned across London including Celebrating Menuhin at King’s Place, Jewkbox Live at the Jewish Museum featuring Sklamberg and the Shepherds, Drawing Life at Stoke Newington School and a special performance of my own band at the Jazz Café.  And of course Klezmer in the Park will be back as usual in Regent’s Park with a great afternoon’s entertainment for all the family.

There are still a few places remaining for our summer school programme including Ot Azoy, Golden Peacock and Klezfest at SOAS in August, so why not take this opportunity to join our sessions and have a truly inspiring summer.

Enjoy the sunshine


JMI are proud to announce their forthcoming Festival of Jewish Arts and Music
Celebrating Menuhin
Thursday 8 September
Kings Place

A special evening of music in Yehudi Menuhin’s centenary year featuring an all-star line up to celebrate the glorious diversity of Lord Menuhin’s extraordinary legacy. Menuhin was not just one of the finest classical violinists of all time, he was one of a kind.
Klezmer in the Park: The Big Mix
Sunday 11 September
Regents Park

Come on down for a fun-packed afternoon for all the family in one of London's most beautiful parks. As well as BBC Radio 3 DJ Max Reinhardt, Community Hub and Kids Zone, this year's live stage will feature Klezmer in collaboration with a global selection of artists from Ghana to India. Highlights include The London Winchevsky Chorus, Lorin Sklamberg and the London Klezmer Allstars and a special guest appearance from Cantor Steven Leas performing live with The Turbans.
Jewkbox Live: Celebrating the Recording History of Jewish Music
Tuesday 13 September
Jewish Museum

Learn more about the seminal Semer record lable from Lorin Sklamberg and listen to music from Sklamberg and The Shepherds as they take us on a musical journey. Explore the exhibition after hours and enjoy a tour by curator Joanne Rosenthal.  

Sophie Solomon: Stop The Parade Album Launch
Wednesday 14 September
Jazz Cafe

JMI's Artistic Director, the charismatic violin virtuoso and songwriter Sophie Solomon invites you to a special launch show for her astonishing new album "Stop the Parade", produced with her long-time collaborator Marius de Vries (Rufus Wainwright/Bjork/Bowie).
Drawing Life
Thursday 15 September
Stoke Newington School

JMI's commission "Drawing Life" brings together a soaring live score from Composer Jocelyn Pook with visuals from Artist Dragan Alexic and Director and Dramaturg Emma Bernard. Drawing Life tells the story of the Terezin concentration camp – a story of the power of creativity and the resilience of the human spirit, through the words of those held there.
Private School performance



Sunday 3 July 2016
Recital Hall

Discover the life and music of 20th century composer Peter Gellhorn in this afternoon of talks, round table discussions and live performances.

Peter Gellhorn was educated at Berlin University and at the Berlin Music Academy where he won the institution’s gold medal for his achievements. When the Nazis came to power he was obliged to leave Germany because of his Jewish descent and settled in England. During his later career he conducted for Sadler’s Wells Opera, the Carl Rosa Opera Company, Glyndebourne, the Royal Opera House, and the BBC.

The project forms part of the RCM’s wider research into recording the lives and works of the many musicians forced into exile by National Socialism who found a home in the UK and went on to play pivotal roles in shaping Britain’s post-war musical culture.

The JMI Geraldine Auerbach Lecture Dr Terence Curran
Panel Discussion members of ICSM (International Centre for Suppressed Music) chaired by Norbert Meyn

Jakob Fichert piano
Eleanor Hodgkinson piano
Alke Quartet 

Peter Gellhorn Sonata for Two Pianos
Peter Gellhorn String Quartet no 1



OT AZOY 2016
Learn Yiddish
August 7 - 12

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. We interviewed Khayele, Sonia, Lily, Barry and Yuri from the faculty. To hear the feature and to book your place please visit the link belo
Golden Peacock 2016
Sing Yiddish
August 7 - 12

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, Lorin Sklamberg and Rachel Weston 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 the link below.
Klezfest 2016
Learn Klezmer
August 15 - 19

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)
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. We interviewed Ilana, Frank, Alan, Susi and Francesca to hear about their excitement for Klezfest and their passion for Klezmer and that podcast as well a the chance to book your place can be heard by clicking the link below.


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 and currently there are groups in Brighton and Watford.

After a full term of sessions this season will see a special celebration on 8 June at North London Hospice.

To find out more information about this event and to register your interest for the next term please click the button/link below.


Rediscovering Jewish music and theatre
1 - 23 June
Leeds, UK

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.
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, childrens' performances, and more besides.

We interviewed Dr Stephen Muir about the Performing the Jewish Archive project and the Out Of The Shadows festival and that feature can be heard here

For more information on the whole programme and details of how to book
please click on the button/link below.


Gemma Rosefield and Benjamin Wolf
Sunday 5 June
Belsize Square

Old friends Ben and Gemma (remember Gemma premièred Ben’s Cello Concerto) on piano and cello for masterclass and recital will feature Bloch, Janáček, Popper and Mendelssohn.
Tickets and Applications
Gil Shaham
Thursday 9 June
Royal Festival Hall

Israeli violinist Gil Shaham whose illustrious career started at age 10 making his debut with the Jerusalem Symphony and the Israeli Philharmonic, suitably returns to London to play the Royal Festival Hall with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Tickets and information
Westminster Chai
Sunday 12 June
Westminster Synagogue

A day of workshops, courses and sessions with a chance to learn Cockney-Yiddish songs from the London shtetl of Whitechapel. Glean some gems of cultural history and learn some Yiddish along the way with singer Vivi Lachs.
Tickets and Information
Throughout June
from Sunday 5 

UK Klezmer and Balkan masters, She'koyokh are instantly recognisable as the leaders in their genre. A regular feature on festival stages from WOMAD to Sziget and venues such as Southbank to Barbican.
Tickets and Information
Michael Alpert
Thursday 9 June

Michael tells the story of the Jewish people in song, music and spoken word. A sojourn through the immigrant journey and the universal search for home, he will be joined by Edinburgh based klezmer musician, fiddle player Gica Loening.
Tickets and Information
Tcha Limberger
Kalotaszeg Trio, UK Tour

Tcha Limberger returns to the UK after his last JMI appearance to showcase the folk music played by Translyvanian Gypsies with a universally respected cultural heritage. Tcha recently performed at JMI's Alternative Menuhin.
Tickets and Information
Bubble Schmeisis
7 - 11 June
Camden People's

Nick Cassenbaum's hugely popular show returns to the Camden Peoples Theatre after a sell out run in December 2015. With music from Don Kipper's duo Dan Gouly and Josh Middleton   
Tickets and Programme
Haim – In The Light of a Violin
11 to 21 June
Coronet Theatre

A musical show that retraces the true story of Haïm Lipsky – a Polish Jew born in 1922 into a poor working-class family, who became a passionate violinist, surviving the hell of the death camps thanks to music.
Tickets and Information
Leyton Midsummer Festival
Thursday 19 June

Celebrate Midsummer Eve with a feast of musical performances from Yiddish Twist Orchestra and Don Kipper and many more. Delicious food and drink and a variety of family friendly activities, arts and entertainment for all ages.

Tickets and Information


The Turbans
Balter Festival Wales  | Friday 3 June
Fire in the Mountain Festival, Wales | Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 June
Info here

Klezmer Jam
The Harrison, London | Sunday 5 June
Info here

Norwich Synagogue | Sunday 5 June
Winchfield Festival, Hampshire | Tuesday 21 June
Info here

Recital of works by Josef Tal
Royal College Music, Prince Consort Rd, London | Wednesday 8th June
Info here

London Klezmer Quartet 
Benslow, Herts | Monday 13 - Wednesday 15 June
Southport, Merseyside | Thursday 6 June
Lancaster and Lancashire | Friday 17 - Saturday 18 June
Info here

Dom Kipper
Jam in a Jar, London | Wednesday 15 June 
Info here

Vivi Lachs & Klezmer Klub
Spitalfields, Sandy's Row Synagogue | Sunday 19 June
Info here

Ensemble Émigré
Austrian Cultural Forum London | Sunday 19 June
Info here

Shai Maestro
Ronnie Scotts, London | Wednesday 22 - Thursday 23 June
Info here

The Apples
Jazz Cafe, Camden | Thursday 23 June
Info here

Maya Jazz - Daphna Sadeh and Jyotsna Srikanth
St. Ethelburgas Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, London | Saturday 25th June
Info here

Yaniv D'or and Ensemble Naya
Wigmore Hall, London | Sunday 26 June
Info here

Zemlinsky and Horovitz
Wigmore Hall, London | Monday 27 June
Info here

Rembetiko Festival: Cigdem Aslan
The Vortex, London | Tuesday 28 June
Info here

Daniel Cainer: 21st Century Jew
JW3, London | Wednesday 29 June
Info here


Peter Gellhorn was educated at Berlin University and at the Berlin Music Academy where he won the institution’s gold medal for his achievements. When the Nazis came to power he was obliged to leave Germany because of his Jewish descent and settled in England. Ahead of a celebration of his work as a conductor and composer, we interview the RCM's Dr Terrance Curran to find out more about the legacy, the event and the musician that was Peter Gellhorn
Listen here
“Out of the Shadows: Rediscovering Jewish Music and Theatre” is taking place in June 2016 and is part of an international programme of research. There will be 17 performances over 23 days, from cabaret to chamber music, straight drama, melodrama, solo song, oratorio, children’s performances, and more besides. We interviewed Dr Stephen Muir about the Performing the Jewish Archive project and the Out Of The Shadows festival.
Listen here


7-10 July 2016
Wantage, Oxfordshire      

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
Judith Silver: A World of Jewish Song in a Week
11-15 July
Mon-Fri 6-8pm
£90 (concs £70) 

This course offers an opportunity to explore a rich array of songs in Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino - some also include English lyrics. The material will focus partly on Judith’s own compositions (including some from her songbook, 'Jewish Songs for Harmony Singing') as well as priceless gems from both folk and liturgical sources. Harmonies and opportunities to improvise will abound and everyone is welcome, regardless of experience. 

An emphasis on joy, companionship, connection and inspiration runs throughout Judith’s work. Whether performing or teaching, composing or leading music in services, she always brings her own deep experience of the power and potential in singing and her passion to share these with others.

To view the whole SOAS Courses prospectus, please click here to book for this course, click the button/link below
Barry Humphries' Weimar Cabaret
with Meow Meow and the Australian Chamber Orchestra
Friday 29 July  - Wednesday 3 August
Cadogan Hall

Barry Humphries curates, presents and performs the degenerate music of Berlin’s Weimar Republic (1920s-30s) including jazz, cabaret, tango and Broadway-musical style pieces. The hedonistic partying and social revolution of this era is re-awakened in this full-throttle concert featuring international cabaret sensation Meow Meow.

Hear songs by Kurt Weill including The Threepenny Opera’s Pirate Jenny, see Barry Humphries and Meow Meow sing the duet Mousie and dance a tango, and join Barry as he rediscovers the lost music of Krenek, Schulhoff, Toch, Brand, Grosz and more.

Tickets and Programme


Dr Phil Alexander

We are delighted to announce that Phil Alexander has been awarded his PhD in Music at SOAS. From 2012 to 2016, he was the Mildred Loss Fellow in Jewish Music, and he was also funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. His doctoral thesis, "Sounding Jewish in Berlin," analyzes the klezmer scene in Berlin. He wrote his thesis while recording with his band, Moishe's Bagel, presenting his work at international conferences such as SEM (Society for Ethnomusicology, 2014 and 2015), and teaching classes at SOAS in klezmer, gender and music, and music and culture. Mazel tov to Dr Phil, his family, and the entire JMI family that supported his research.
Amazing Grace
Sunday 8th May 2016 marked a landmark event in London that honoured the rich heritage of different cultures and the spirit of solidarity. At the historic Union Chapel in Islington, a unique multi-faith concert, ‘Amazing Grace’, celebrated 50 years of Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai and commemorated interfaith harmony through a beautiful candle-lighting Unity Ceremony, where Faith representatives stood in solidarity side by side, followed by a glorious display of performances and spiritually uplifting music. Judaism was represented by JMI thanks to Yoav Oved (pictured) and Maya Levy.
London Jewish Male Choir
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. Today they perform a diverse repertoire of Jewish music including yiddish, musical theatre, cantorial, folk music and contemporary music. With 2016 being their 90th anniversary they are reaching out and are keen to welcome new members.Contact musical director Joseph Finlay for more details or via their website

Friends of JMI

Become a Friend of JMI’s flourishing programme of concerts, events and workshops , which is made possible by the support and generosity of friends, patrons and sponsors. We invite you to become a friend of JMI to play your part in securing our future. No matter how big or small, every donation helps.

Click here to Become a Friend


JMI’s mission is to educate, entertain and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds through a diverse and exciting programme of concerts, workshops, lectures and summer schools, attractive to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences alike.

Your donation can help us achieve this.
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