Welcome to the January Newsletter from JMI

With the arrival of 2014 comes JMI’s 30th year. In both celebration of that anniversary and in remembrance of the 70th year since the commencement of the liquidation of Terezin, we are commissioning one our most exciting works to date, “Drawing Life”. Composed by Jocelyn Pook and featuring singers  Lorin Sklamberg and Melanie Pappenheim and a talented ensemble of musicians, this will be a multimedia production inspired by the drawings and poetry of the book “I never Saw Another Butterfly”.  A special preview performance and creative panel discussion will be the opening night of Jewish Book Week at Kings Place in February. Also, we are very proud to welcome our first Joe Loss Lecturer, Dr Alexander Knapp to give the second of our lecture series, on "Chinese Jews”. Our Joke Lunch returns this March 11th to Kent House, where our Joint President Lord Michael Grade will be joined by Maureen Lipman and David Schneider, so please save the date and do contact our office for more details. The ICSM has developed a new partnership which we are excited to be part of and we are also looking forward to a calendar full of events this spring.  I am personally particularly pleased to be welcoming gypsy violin virtuoso Tcha Limberger at the Union Chapel and The Klezmatics' Lorin Sklamberg with The Shepherds live in London, Richmond and Brighton. Please mark a date in your diaries and we do hope to see you at some of these events.
All best wishes

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Drawing Life: Preview  
JMI Radio Show

Drawing Life, is a Jewish Music Institute (JMI) comission composed by Jocelyn Pook and is inspired by a collection of poems and drawings made by children imprisoned in Terezin. This event on the opening night of Jewish Book Week 2014, will be the preview performance of a powerful new classical work. It has been commissioned by JMI to mark the 70th anniversary of the commencement of the camp's liquidation by the Nazis. The song cycle with live music and video will be followed by a discussion of the work's genesis and ideas, when Pook will be joined on stage by JMI's Artistic Director Sophie Solomon, performers and a camp survivor. The commission has been supported by Arts Council England, PRS for Music Foundation and private donors. It is also the winner of the prestigious Performing Rights Society David Bedford Award for Musical Education. Lorin Sklamberg of The Klezmatics will be performing and you can hear him in interview here

  Event info

Date: Feb 22
Venue: Kings Place
Price: £22.50



Goldene Pave
Dr Alexander 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. In this lecture Dr Alex Knapp illuminates a fascinating area of ethnomusicological research with his study and findings on the Jews of China. (You Tai Ren) These ethnically Chinese Jews thrived in 12th century Kaifeng, with some scholarly research citing them as being present in Chinese society as early as the second temple period. The full lecture will take place at SOAS Vernon Square campus but if you want to hear a preview of the lecture then please listen here  
  Event info

Date: Feb 6
Venue: SOAS, Kings Cross
Price: Free


JOKE LUNCH: Save the Date!


Following last year's enormous success, the Joke Lunch returns on March 11th 2014. We are pleased to be welcoming back our Joint-President Lord Grade and Actress Maureen Lipman to entertain us all with their selection of hilarious jokes. Compere David Schneider, one of the funniest stars of UK stage and screen, will again serve as the Master of Ceremonies. Funds raised at this event contribute towards JMI's educational fund which supports students of Jewish Music and culture of all ages. This year the event returns to the beautiful Kent House in Knightsbridge, where a delicious lunch will be interspersed with seriously large quantities of mirth and merriment. To secure your place at the table, please call our office on 020 7898 4307.

  Event info

Date: Mar 11
Venue: Kent House


Tcha Limberger: Save the Date!

A rare London appearance of the mighty Tcha Limberger and his group of Budapest musicians. Csardas, Verbunk and Laments from the Budapest ‘Magyar Nota’ Gypsy orchestra tradition of the 19th and early 20th centuries with the beautiful voice and playing of blind violinist Tcha Limberger and his incredible band! His Orchestra, in true Hungarian Gypsy Band style, are full of bursts of soaring intensity and smoldering pathos, that deliver a passion and technical virtuosity that is astounding. This event is sponsored by both the Hungarian Cultural Centre and JMI.
  Event info

Date: Mar 28
Venue: Union Chapel
Price: £15-18

ICSM News: Royal Holloway

JMI partners with the International Centre for Suppressed Music to re-examine the work of composers whose careers were affected by totalitarian regimes. The works of the ICSM is to restore, publish, perform and record these works. The ICSM's Director Michael Haas has announced a new partnership for the centre; "The ICSM are delighted to announce that it has established a partnership with Royal Holloway, University of London where it will work alongside RHUL's Music Department (Professor Erik Levi) and the Centre for Holocaust Studies (Professor Robert Eaglestone) in pursuing academic ventures with the objective of intensifying the profile of musical repertory of all areas that has been proscribed on both racial and political grounds". JMI is very excited about this new academic partnership and looks forward to a successful 2014 for the centre.



Angel in the Forest

Composer Julian Marshall together with The Alyth Centre for Jewish Music present a very special event to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. "The Angel in the Forest" is a dramatic song cycle featuring music by composer Julian Marshall and text by Gertrud Kolmar (translated into English by Philip Kuhn and Ruth Von Zimmerman). The performance will feature tenor James Gilchrist, cellist Sophie Harris together with The School House 6 Ensemble and will be conducted by Ian Belton of the Brodsky Quartet. The afternoon of the concert will see the Alyth Centre hosting a number of workshops led by Julian Marshall and Philip Kuhn. The evening will also contain a recital by cellist Sophie Harris of her own works.

  Event info

Date: Jan 26
Venue: North Western Reform Synagogue, Alyth Gardens, NW11 7EN

Price: £20-50


Boys Town Jerusalem Choral Festival

Boys Town Jerusalem is a residential school situated within Bayit Vegan. It encompasses grades 7-12 and a two year College of Applied Engineering. Graduates receive a full academic high school diploma, qualifying them to enter any college-level institution. Boys Town Jerusalem serves Jews from all backgrounds and is independent of all American or Israeli political and sectarian affiliations. This January will see the British Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem hold their 7th Primary School Choral Festival, which takes place at Artsdepot in North Finchley where ten Jewish primary schools will be taking part in this years festival. All schools will sing a range of Jewish and Israeli liturgical, cantorial and popular songs. Although the first date on the 19th January is sold out, the second date on the 26th January still has a limited amount of tickets available. 
  Event info

Date: Jan 26
Venue: Artsdepot, 5 Nether St. London, N12 0GA

Price: £10-14

Forthcoming for February

Lorin Sklamberg and The Shepherds

Lorin Sklamberg of The Klezmatics will join Merlin and Polina Shepherd for three concerts in London, Richmond and Brighton

Information and Tickets for the various dates can be found below.
Wednesday 12th February: Brighton: Please visit here
Thursday 13th February: Richmond, Richmond Synagogue.
Saturday 15th February: London, Jamboree, Cable Street.
Please visit here

Zingt! The People's Yiddish Chorus
JMI is continuing its partnership with JW3 to bring you Zingt! The People's Yiddish Chorus, led by the very popular choirmaster Polina Shepherd.
(NB: Please note new times)

Dates: 18th February, 4th and 18th March, 8th April
Times: 7pm -8.30pm
Price: £10 per session
Book now

Alyth Music Fair 

The Alyth Jewish Music Fair returns for 2014, giving you the opportunity to c
hoose from 30 Jewish music sessions throughout the day with a chance to perform, participate, listen and learn from some of Britain's finest Jewish musicians.
Date: 23rd February
Times: 10am to 6pm
Register: Contact Viv Bellos on, or phone 020 8457 8795

JMI Radio  
Our monthly radio show continues with Gil Karpas, who plays music and interviews from the world of Jewish music. January's show has a focus on the Joe Loss Lecture Series with a preview from Dr Alexander Knapp of his forthcoming lecture on Chinese Jews. In the first instalment of our podcast series on Drawing Life, Lorin Sklamberg joins us in interview to talk about his inspirations for this exciting new commission.The whole show and its component podcasts can be heard here