Welcome to November’s Newsletter

We have some fantastic events lined up this month including our annual collaboration with the UK Jewish Film Festival at the Barbican and what promises to be a fascinating panel discussion on ‘Music Beyond Good and Evil’ at JW3.  It’s not long now until our latest commission from composer Jocelyn Pook and dramaturge Emma Bernard, Drawing Life, will receive its next London performance at the Barbican Centre. Be sure to book your tickets now to avoid disappointment.

We have set the dates for our 2016 Summer Schools. Be sure to check out the details below and mark your diaries for Klezfest, Ot Azoy and Goldene Pave.

Very best

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70 Years On: Reflections on The Holocaust, Liberation and Aftermath

This event will host a discussion with Holocaust survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch and a musical performance by her grandson Simon Wallfisch to remember 70 years since the Shoah.

The discussion panel will include Clive Marks OBE, former Chairman of the Royal College of Music and former President of LJCC and Trudy Gold head of Holocaust education at JW3. Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen survivor, was the cellist of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau women's orchestra. She was also a founder of The English Chamber Orchestra.

In live interviews with Trudy Gold, alongside Clive Marks, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch discusses her life and experiences as a musician in the Holocaust, and how her cello playing ultimately saved her life. Her grandson, international opera baritone Simon Wallfisch with pianist Edward Rushton, will perform songs written and performed in the Terezin Ghetto by Viktor Ullmann and Pavel Haas.

We interviewed Simon Wallfisch and Trudy Gold to find out more about the music and the forthcoming event. Our podcast can be heard here

Event info:

Date: Tues 3rd Nov 
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: JW3, London
Price: £16




The film Screening of "The Outrageous Sophie Tucker" will bring to life the story of one of the 20th century’s most celebrated performers: Sophie Tucker. “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas” was born to Orthodox Jewish parents and, through a combination of talent, attitude, and a genius for self-promotion, became the world’s biggest female star by the late 1920s. Featuring interviews with Tony Bennett and Carol Channing, this is a loving tribute to Tucker’s astonishing career, an irrepressible trailblazer who set a world-shaking precedent for today’s female superstars. The film screening is very nearly sold out but latecomer will not be disappointed. The screening will be preceded by a free concert of some of the very best of the Joe Loss Orchestra Greatest hits. The Joe Loss Quartet will play from 3.15pm in the Barbican Foyer Benugo Cafe and will feature band leader Todd Miller.

We interviewed Joe Loss' daughter and JMI Chair of Trustees Jennifer Jankel (nee Loss) and UKJFF's CEO Michael Etherton and that feature can be heard here
Concert info: 

Date: Sun 15 Nov
Time: 3pm 
Venue: Barbican Foyer Cafe
Price: Free



JMI’s Zingt! is open to singers at all levels and is led by Rachel Weston, one of the UK’s leading Yiddish song performers. Learn traditional and new Yiddish songs and nigunim. Sing Yiddish songs in one to four parts with and without sheet music. A professional pianist will accompany you whilst you visit the melodic past of Yiddish tradition and folklore. Sing, make new friends and enjoy the music.

November 10 & 24
December 8

Culminating in a concert at JW3 on December 22 2015
£10 per session

To check if you are eligible for a concessionary fee, please e-mail
Book now at

We interviewed Rachel at the beginning of 2015 to find out about her vision for Zingt! and that podcast can be heard here

  Choir info:

Dates: Oct to Dec
Time: 6.45-8.45pm 
Venue: JW3


Companion Voices

JMI are very proud to continue with 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 and there are currently groups in Brighton and Watford.

The autumn 2015 group is now subscribed to and we are opening up request to join the Companion Voices group in 2016.

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

13 January
10 February
9 March 
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, 020 7898 4307

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

  Group info:

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


January 2016

JMI is delighted to announce "Drawing Life," will tour the UK in January 2016. After winning Arts Council funding for the second time, we have secured three performances: Nottingham Lakeside, Warwick Arts and Barbican Milton Court London for the week commencing Holocaust Memorial Day 2016. The date for a London School performance in Tower Hamlets will be announced next month.

Drawing Life is a dramatised song cycle with film and video, based on the book'I Never Saw Another Butterfly'. It features poems and drawings by Jewish children imprisoned in Terezin. Jocelyn Pook draws inspiration from the creative and hopeful spirit of the children. This multi-media work was commissioned to mark the seventieth anniversary of the liquidation of Terezin. 

Following the preview at Kings Place for Jewish Book Week, we staged a gala performance of Drawing Life at JW3 to mark JMI's thirtieth anniversary in 2014. All information about Drawing Life, future performances and the story that inspired it can be found on our webpage here

  Tour info:  

Dates and locations:
Lakeside Nottingham 27th,
Warwick Arts 28th,
Barbican 30th Jan


Debate and Concert 

Silenced Voices: Alexandre Tansman, Viktor Ullmann, Arnold Schoenberg, Franz Schreker

Exploring the music and lives of three composers whose music was suppressed, this event will examine the impact and the legacy of the Nazi persecution of Jewish composers. The concert will be introduced with a debate between philosophers Robert Eaglestone and Andrew Bowie and musicologist Erik Levi. They will examine the impact of the Nazi programme of banning music and art as 'degenerate' or 'Entarte'. The debate will ask and discuss the question; "What does this loss and reconstruction mean for music and freedom of expression, aesthetically, historically and philosophically?"

The concert will follow the debate with performances of four pieces of music dedicated to the music of Silenced Voices (Les Voix Etouffees). Composers such as Franz Schreker (1878-1934), Alexandre Tansman (1897-1986), Viktor Ullmann (1898-1944) and Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) have all fallen victims to state terror and persecution and their music has never been heard before.
Concert programme:
Franz Schreker Der Wind
Alexandre Tansman Musique à Six
Viktor Ullmann Liederbuch des Hafis, Op. 30
Arnold Schoenberg Ode To Napoleon Buonaparte, Op. 43

Assaf Levitin baritone 
Ensemble Voix Etouffées
Amaury du Closel conductor

JMI Partners with the ICSM (International Centre for Suppressed Music) and more information and interview features can be found here

  Event info:

Date: Mon 16 Nov
Time: 7pm
Venue: Kings Place, York Way, N1, London
Price: £9.50-12.50


Daniel Hope and Sebastian Knauer

One of the world's most celebrated violinists, Daniel Hope, brings a fabulous "America and the Jews" concert to Central Synagogue's International Concerts Series. Playing incredible masterpieces ranging from Leonard Bernstein's plangent Sonata for violin and Piano to Aaron Copland's effervescent Hoedown, from Miklos Rosza's gorgeous love theme from Ben Hur to John WIlliams's Schindler's List - by way of three of George Gershwin's most popular songs ("Summertime", "It AIn't Necessarily So" and "I Got Rhythm"), and pieces by Dvorak and Ravel. This promises to be an unforgettable concert.

Concert at Central Synagogue, 36-40 Hallam Street, London W1W 6NW. Book via: 020 7580 1355

We interviewed Central Synagogue's Chazen and Musical director and that feature can be heard here

  Concert Info:

Date: Sun 1 Nov
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Central Synagogue, London, W1W 6NW
Price: £20 


Across the Straits

Enchanting and ornate, Ismail Fencioglu is a rare talent whose soaring vocals and fleet-fingered oud playing conjure images of the Bosphorus at sunset and transport the listener to a different time and place. Together with Shtreiml, led by Jason Rosenblatt, one of the world’s premier harmonica players, the ensemble performs compelling original music rooted in the Jewish and Ottoman traditions, but brimming with hard rock sensibilities and dexterous improvisational know-how. Featuring Jason Rosenblatt (harmonica, piano, vocals), Ismail Fencioglu (oud, vocals), Rachel Lemisch (trombone), Thierry Arsenault (drums) and Joel Kerr (bass).

  Concert info: 

Date: Wed 18 Nov 
Time: 8pm
Venue: JW3, London
Price: £20


The new academic year 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.

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


Vivi Lachs and Sarha Moore are delighted to announce the establishment of the ‘Great Yiddish Parade’: a Yiddish marching musical creation consisting of two parts.

1. The London Winchevsky Chorus
2. The London Yiddish Marching Band

The Parade will bring Yiddish into live events - cultural, social, political - where singing Yiddish songs is a form of cultural inclusion, crowd participation, social protest and political demonstration. Not always at the same time! The parade will be both flexible and inclusive. Come when and as you can. You do not have to be Jewish, political, a Yiddish speaker, a musician or a singer. Just join and enjoy.

There will be 6 workshops - once every 2 months.

They will 'perform' at marches, parties, community and cultural events. Summer gigs already confirmed, keep your eyes on the JMI website for forthcoming details.

Workshop fee £10 - £20 sliding scale. Soft drinks included. Bring veggie snacks to share.

The first sessions got off to a great start. They were well attended and generated fine music, good ideas and lots of excitement.

The next sessions will be

Chorus – 13 December 3-6pm
Band – 20 December 3-6pm

Venue on application by email:
Chorus: Band:


She’Koyokh at the Winter Festival 2015
Monooka vocals/puppetry
Indra Buraczewska vocals

This will be a winter voyage from the Baltics to the Black Sea, through mesmerising winter songs, traditional Eastern European melodies and a dose of foot-stomping festive klezmer music.

Instrumental group She’Koyokh’s distinctive and vivacious sound weaves together a variety of Balkan folk and klezmer influences. Lead vocalist Cigdem Aslan is joined for this performance by Romanian singer and puppeteer Monooka and vocalist Indra Buraczewska for a magical journey through eastern European winter folk traditions in the haunting atmosphere of Shoreditch Church.

“one of London’s musical treasures” 
Evening Standard

  Date: Thu 10 Dec 
Time: 7pm
Venue: Shoreditch Church, London
Price: £15, £10, £5 



The celebrated Alyth Choral Society will performing Haydn's Creation on Sunday 13 December at 7pm at North Western Reform Synagogue, London. The concert will also feature both the Alyth Chamber Orchestra and soloists and will be conducted by Robin Osterley. This concert is dedicated to the memory of the Alyth Choral Society's accompanist Malcolm Cottle who played with them from 1992 to 2011, and who sadly passed away in December last year.

Tickets are available from the society's website and all the information can be found here.

We previously interviewed the Alyth Choral Society's composer in residence Julian Dawes and that interview can be heard here

  Concert info: 

Date: Sun 13 Dec
Time: 7pm
Venue: NW Reform Synagogue, NW11 7EN
Price: £15


Alternative Menuhin

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.

  Concert info: 

Date: 10 April 2016 
Venue: JW3, Finchley Road, London


Register your interest now

August at JMI is all about Yiddish and Klezmer with our three summer schools; Ot Azoy (Yiddish), Golden Peacock (Yiddish Song) and Klezfest (Klezmer).

Ot Azoy our Yiddish Language course is 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, it also features an extensive cultural programme of music, theatre, poetry and lectures from a world of Yiddish past and present.

Golden Peacock our Yiddish Song School is directed by celebrated Yiddish singer, composer and educator Shura Lipovsky. Shura leads an international faculty of some of the world's greatest living singers and performers to enable an even more international school of students to achieve their very best. Students travel from all over the world to come and learn repertoire, history and origins, receive masterclass tuition and perform to the public.

Klezfest, JMI's longest running music school made a welcome return in August 2015 with a record number of students taught by world's leading experts of this rich and vibrant musical tradition. The course includes; classroom teaching, ensemble work, hands-on tutoring and lectures on different areas of study. The evening programme features jam sessions, performances and new album releases. With daily teaching held at SOAS in central London and evening events happening all over London, Klezfest is both a school and a festival.

We would also like to tell you about: KLEZNORTH 

We are proud to support KlezNorth, the north of England's premier Klezmer course which is run by a dedicated and talented team of Klezmoriim, song and dance leaders. KlezNorth 2015 was a resounding success with the very talented Deborah Strauss as Musical Director. KlezNorth 2016's dates are Friday 11th to Sunday 13th March. This is a calendar highlight for the Klezmer devotees. Attendees of KlezNorth 2016 receive a discount for JMI's summer schools giving you a strong incentive to attend both KlezNorth and JMI summer schools. More details on KlezNorth can be found at their website here


Ot Azoy: Sun 7th to Fri 12th August

Golden Peacock: Sun 7th to Fri 12th August

Klezfest: Mon 15th to Fri 19th August

Venue: SOAS, London 


London Symphony Orchestra / James Gaffigan with Nicola Benedetti (Pictured) 

This concert will feature all-American musical connections with more than a touch of jazz, under the baton of one of the most exciting young American conductors working today. Stravinsky’s first major work after emigrating to the United States in 1939 is shot through with striking syncopations, not unlike Bernstein’s much more overtly jazzy opener for big band written just a few years later. A different side of Bernstein is found in the Hebrew setting of the Chichester Psalms, but the highlight of the evening is the first performance of a new violin concerto from one of the greatest jazz minds of the modern era, Wynton Marsalis, whose Swing Symphony the LSO premiered in 2012.

Programme & Performers:
Bernstein Prelude, Fugue and Riffs*
Wynton Marsalis Concerto in D (world premiere)**
Stravinsky Symphony in Three Movements
Bernstein Chichester Psalms***

6 November 2015 / 19:30
Main Hall
More details here

The Turbans 

These Klezmer In The Park perennial favourites have developed a reputation for their exciting take on Balkan folk, Jewish klezmer and Middle Eastern folk musics. They play with respect for the ancient traditions of these musical styles yet bring to the repertoire their own compositions. This group of talented musicians give audiences a vibrant and authentic live show and are not to be missed.

Friday 13th November
Bossaphonik, The Cellar, Oxford
More details here


20% Limited Discount for JMI members 

JMI are parterning with Intermusica and Southbank Centre to offer JMI subscribers, friends and donors a limited 20% discount for the International Chamber Music Series listed below

Friday 6 November 2015
Acclaimed playing partners return
St John's Smith Square
More details here

Sunday 22 November 2015
St John's Smith Square
More details here

Sunday 7 February 2016
Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin) & Anu Komsi (soprano)
Royal Festival Hall
More details here

Thursday 11 February 2016
St John's Smith Square
More details here

Thursday 28 April 2016
St John's Smith Square
More details here

Tuesday 24 May 2016
performed by the Colin Currie Group with Synergy Vocals
Royal Festival Hall
More details here

Please register your interest by emailing JMI's event manager Gil Karpas here

  Series info:  

Date: Nov '15 to May '16 
Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre and St. John's Square
Price: 20% discount


Klezmer Jam
Sun 1 Nov
The Harrison, Kings Cross
More details here

Afiara Quartet with James Campbell 
Sun 1 Nov
Kings Place, Kings Cross
More details here

Nash Ensemble
Sun 1 Nov
Wigmore Hall, London
More details here

Entartete Muzik  
Tue 3 Nov
Cadogan Hall, London
More details here

Jewish Legends
Presented by World Jewish Relief
Sat 14 Nov 

Arts Depot, London
More details here

BBC Symphony Orchestra
Wed 18 Nov
Barbican Main Hall
More details here

Branca Parlic
Philip Glass and Michael Nyman
Fri 20 Nov
More details here

Cedric Tiberghien
Tue 24 Nov
Wigmore Hall
More details here

Box, Bing and Rhapsody in Blue
Sun 22 Nov
Cadogan Hall
More details here

London Philharmonic Orchestra 
Wed 25 Nov 

Royal Festival Hall
More details here

Band Events

Don Kipper 
Thu 12 Nov
Jackdaw, Clapton, London
More details here

Wed 18 Nov
Jamboree, Cable St, Limehouse, London
More details here

London Klezmer Quartet 
Sat 21 Nov
Egerton Music Club, Kent.

Sun 22 Nov 
Ardley, Oxon

Wed 25 Nov
Royal College of Music

Thu 26 Nov
Vortex, London

Fri 27 to Sun 29 Nov
Halsway Manor, Somerset

More details here

Wed 4 Nov
Jamboree, Cable St, Limehouse, London

Fri 27 Nov
The Glue Factory, Glasgow

Sat 28 Nov
Studio 24, Edinburgh
More details here


Music: Beyond Good and Evil

This months podcast features interviews with internationally acclaimed concert cellist and opera baritone Simon Wallfisch and JW3's Head of Holocaust Education Trudy Gold.

Simon tells us of his love of the music of Viktor Ullman and Pavel Haas and his mission to perform, record and showcase the works of these suppressed composers. Trudy Gold, who will chair the event at JW3 on Tuesday 3rd November that Simon will perform at, speaks of her love of this music and the resonance it has to audiences now as it did then. If you would like to hear that feature you can do so by listening here.

If you would like to listen to any of our other podcasts then please visit the JMI Radio page and scroll through and listen to our extensive catalogue of features here