Osvaldo Golijov : Jewish-Argentinian Composer born #OnThisDay in 1960

Osvaldo Golijov grew up in an Eastern European Jewish household in La Plata, Argentina. Born to a piano teacher mother and physician father, Golijov was raised surrounded by classical chamber music, Jewish liturgical and klezmer music, and the new tango of Astor Piazzolla. After studying piano at the local conservatory and composition with Gerardo Gandini […]

Mieczysław Weinberg’s music for violin and piano in a new recording

Although Mieczysław Weinberg spent most of his life in the Soviet Union and was somewhat “appropriated” by the local music community, he considered himself a Polish Jew. He was born in Warsaw in 1919. His family came to Poland from the territory of the present-day Moldova and settled down in the city, whose population, at […]

Aaron Avshalomov : A Jew in China

Aaron Avshalomov (11/11/1894 – 4/26/1965) was a Russian-born Jewish composer.  Born into a Mountain Jewish family, he was sent for medical studies to Zürich, but chose to leave Europe in the wake of the Russian revolution. Mountain Jews or Caucasus Jews of the eastern and northern slopes of Caucasus, mainly Azerbaijan and Dagestan. They are the descendants of […]

Myriam Alter : encompassing jazz, classical music, and various European influences

Myriam Alter is one of those musicians about whom the Internet seems to know very little. What Google manages to dig up more or less tells the same story: Alter hails from a Belgian family of Sephardic Jews. She started piano lessons at age 8 but abandoned the instrument at 15 for other preoccupations. After […]

Yehuda Yannay : composer,conductor, filmmaker and performance artist

Yehuda Yannay (Hebrew: יהודה ינאי) (b. 26 May 1937, Timișoara, Romania) is an American-Israeli composer,conductor, filmmaker and performance artist. Yannay moved from Romania to Israel in 1951, where he studied with Alexander Uriya Boskovitch, who influenced him greatly. After completing his studies at the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel-Aviv, he pursued postgraduate studies in America, […]

Paul Dessau : Agitprop? No; Abstract music? Yes.

Paul Dessau (19 December 1894 – 28 June 1979) was a German-Jewish composer and conductor.  He was born in Hamburg into a musical family. His grandfather, Moses Berend Dessau, was a cantor, his uncle, Professor Bernhard Dessau, concertmaster at the Royal Opera House, His cousin Max Winterfeld became generally known under the name Jean Gilbert as a composer […]

Alexander von Zemlinsky : combining the divergent tendencies of Brahms and Wagner.

Alexander Zemlinsky (October 14, 1871 – March 15, 1942) was one of the most powerful musical voices of his time.  A remarkably influential musician, he had connections with both the more traditional and the Second Viennese School.  Although his work was nearly forgotten after the war, he has recently been recognized as one of the […]

At last, Lukas Foss : Complete Symphonies

Released last month by the  Boston Modern Orchestra Project, this 2 disc recording collects all of the symphonies by Lukas Foss.  Even if these were not good performances – they  are – this would be a valuable recording since Foss’s symphonies have been unjustly neglected. Mr. Foss was, from the start of his composing career, considered an […]