Polish Music Journal
Vol. 6, No. 1, Summer 2003. ISSN 1521—6039


POLISH JEWISH MUSIC — SOURCES AND STUDIES

NOTES ABOUT THE AUTHORS



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Michael BECKERMAN

Prof. Michael Beckerman is a specialist in Czech music, 19th-century music, and national music. The author of Dvorak and His World (Princeton University Press, 1993), Janacek as Theorist (Pendragon Press, 1994), and New Worlds of Dvorak (Norton, 1999). he received his Ph.D. in 1982 from Columbia University and is a member of the musicology faculty at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Professor Beckerman serves as the President of Czech and Slovak Music Society and is a recipient of the Janacek and Dvorak Medals from the Czech government. In 1989 he received the MLA Publication Award. He was the Chair of the Program Committee for IREX in 1993 and now serves as a Council member of the American Musicological Society. His articles appeared in The Musical Quarterly, 19th-Century Music, Notes, and The New York Times. Recent research subjects include a study of the Gypsy culture in Eastern Europe and transnational-ethnic issues. He has conducted interviews with NPR, BBC, and PBS television and continues to contribute to "public musicology" in newspapers and on television.

Beckerman's Article


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Marian FUKS

Prof. dr. hab. Marian Fuks is affiliated with the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw (since 1968). Born in 1914, he studied journalism and humanities; he spent the war years as a member of the Polish Army, participating in the 1939 campaign, in the defence of Gdańsk and Gdynia. In 1967, Fuks joined the Army reserves in the rank of the colonel, having served as the editor of Przegl±d Kwatermistrzowski. His doctoral dissertation, defended at the University of Warsaw, presented the history of Polish military press (1918-1939); his next book was a study of Jewish Press in Warsaw; 1823-1939(1978). He is the author of the first monograph about Jewish music published in Poland, Muzyka Ocalona [Saved Music], which appeared in 1989. An expert in Jewish folk music, especially Chassidic musical traditions, Prof. Fuks is frequently consulted by composers who search for Jewish folk material. His second area of specialty is the music of the creator of Poland's national opera, Stanisław Moniuszko. He has published a monograph about Jewish culture in Warsaw [Zydzi w Warszawie, 1996], two volumes of essays, From the Musical Diary, and a book about the Martyrology and Strugg1e of the Polish Jews. He is also a co-author of the album Polish Jews - History and Culture and a contributor to many encyclopedias and biographic dictionaries.

Fuks's Article
Article's Abstract


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Maciej GOŁˇB

Prof. dr. hab. Maciej Goł±b studied musicology at the University of Warsaw with Prof. Józef Chomiński (music history) and Prof. Zofia Lissa (music theory and aesthetics). Since 1978 he is a faculty member of the Institute of Musicology, University of Warsaw, now serving in the rank of Professor (between 1991 and 1996 he was Deputy Director of the Institute). Prof Goł±b specializes in Polish music of the 19th and the 20th centuries, especially Chopin, Webern and 12-tone music. He is the author of five books: Dodecaphony. Studies in the Theory and Composition of the First Half of the 20th Century (Bydgoszcz 1987; this study is based on his doctoral dissertation), Chromaticism and Tonality in Chopin's Music (Kraków 1991; the monograph has also appeared in German), Transformational Changes in Chopin's Style (Krakow 1993; an edited volume of studies), Józef Koffler (Kraków: Musica Iagellonica, 1995; English version forthcoming from the Polish Music Center, 2003), and Spór o granice poznania dzieła muzycznego [Dispute about the Limits of Knowledge of the Musical Work] (Wrocław, 2002). Maciej Goł±b is a professor at the Universities of Warsaw and Wrocław. For a decade served as the General Editor of the Polish Musicological Quarterly, Muzyka.

Goł±b's Article
Article's Abstract
Koffler - Bibliography


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Józef HOFMANN

Józef Kazimierz Hofmann (born in Kraków, 20 January 1876; died in Los Angeles, 16 February 1957) was an American pianist of Polish birth, son of a Polish opera conductor Kazimierz Hofmann and a singer, Matylda. According to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians Online, Hoffman was "one of the most precocious musical prodigies in history, and equally gifted in mathematics, science and mechanics." After repeated world concert tours (with the period 1910-1935 considered his most successful), he became director of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, giving his final concerts in 1946. The essay reprinted here is not listed in his bibliographies.

Hoffman on the Education of Children (1901)


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Wanda LANDOWSKA

Wanda Landowska (b. Warsaw, 5 July 1879; d. Lakeville, CT, 16 August 1959) was a Polish keyboard player and composer, leading the revival of the harpsichord and early music. Piano player since the age of four, she studied piano with Kleczynski and Michalowski in Warsaw, composition with Urban in Berlin. In 1900 she moved to Paris and dedicated herself to researching early music and its interpretation; she publicly played the harpsichord for the first time in 1903 and repeatedly toured the world with her early music recitals. See B. Gavoty and R. Hauert, Wanda Landowska (Geneva, 1957), Denise Restout, "Wanda Landowska," in Women Composers: Music Through the Ages, ed. S. Glickman and M.F. Schleifer, vi (New York, 1999), 382–8. Landowska's writing have been edited by Denise Restout and published in a collection, Landowska on Music (New York, 1965).

Landowska on Bach (1907)


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Hankus NETSKY

Dr. Hankus Netsky is an instructor of jazz, Jewish music, and contemporary improvisation at Boston's New England Conservatory, where he served ten years as chairman of Jazz Studies. He is the founder and director of the Klezmer Conservatory Band and has composed music to a number of popular films, videos, plays, and radio projects. Mr. Netsky has produced numerous Jewish music recordings, and has played a prominent role in Itzhak Perlman's In The Fiddler's House project. Netsky published an article "An Overview of Klezmer Music and its Development in the U.S." in Judaism 47, no.1/185 (winter 1998):5-12. He is working on his Ph.D in Ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University.

Netsky's Article
Article's Abstract
Bibliography


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Moritz ROSENTHAL

Moritz, Moriz or Maurycy Rosenthal was born in 1862 in Lemberg(i.e. Lvov, died in New York in 1946) and studied at the Lemberg Conservatory (with Karol Mikuli) and in Vienna. An encounter with Liszt (in 1877) transformed his life: he became the old man's last disciple for nine years, even following him into studying philosophy at Vienna University. In 1888-9, and in 1898 he toured the U.S., and in 1895 he gave concerts in London. Rosenthal settled in New York (with his wife, Hedwig Kanner) in 1938. The reviewers of his American concerts called him "an astonishing master of technique" and "the Prince of Technique" who plays "in a tremendously brilliant and telling manner . . . with immense speed and precision." At first he was admired solely for his extraordinary virtuoso technique; he is said to have played "like a thunderbolt" and certainly did not belong to the group of the "poets" of the piano. In time, Rosenthal became respected for his beautiful phrasing and great tone. He was considered one of the finest interpreters of Chopin's music. His compositions include highly difficult piano works, e.g. Papillons, as well as many transcriptions and variation cycles. He is also a co-author of an advanced piano method.

Rosenthal on Chopin's Waltz


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Roman RYTERBAND

Roman Ryterband (b. 1914, ŁódĽ, d. 1979, Palm Springs), studied piano performance at the State Academy of Music in ŁódĽ after initial studies in law. During World War II, Ryterband studied at the University of Berne, Switzerland, where he received his M.A. in musicology. In 1955, Ryterband moved to Canada with his wife Clarissa and two daughters. He was appointed Director of Music for a Canadian broadcasting company and also became a lecturer at McGill University in Montreal, while continuing his activities as a conductor of orchestral and choral music. Upon moving to Chicago in 1960, Ryterband joined the faculty of the Chicago Conservatory College, still continuing his conducting activities. He also became the chairman of the International Society for Contemporary Music. In 1967, Ryterband finally moved to Palm Springs. He received a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for the Humanities and a commission to write Tunes of America for the U.S. Bicentennial Celebration. He also served as a founder and director of the Palm Springs Festival of Music and Art. In the late 1960s, Ryterband taught at the California State University in Los Angeles and performed as an accompanist and solo performer on the piano. He continued to compose chamber music, ballet scores, symphonic and choral works as well as solo works for the organ, piano, and especially the harp. His Suite Polonaise for piano won a Kosciuszko Foundation grant. Later, the composer expanded this piece into an orchestral work and dedicated it to Pope John Paul II. Ryterband's manuscripts are preserved in the Harvard University Houghton Library. The Trois baflades hebriiiques, originally composed for the violin and piano, were arranged for the violin and harp by the composer himself, who, thus, fulfilled a request from Nikanor Zabaleta. [Anne Desler]

Ryterband on Contemporary Music


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Martin SCHÜSSLER

Dr. Martin Schüssler researched Rathaus's music since 1992, completing his doctoral dissertation in 1997 at the Freie Universitat Berlin. This pioneering work drew upon hitherto unknow sources in Europe and the U.S. including the composers' private papers. Dr. Schüssler published several articles on Rathaus and helped to "rediscover" the composer's music by editing his works for publication and performance. His book, Karol Rathaus appeared in the series "Perspektiven der Opernforschung" as no. 6 (Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Lang, 2000).

Schüssler's Article
Article's Abstract


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Aleksander TANSMAN

Aleksander Tansman (b. LódĽ, 1897, d. Paris, 1986) was a composer, conductor, and pianist. He studied at the LódĽ Conservatory (with Piotr Rytel) and took courses in law and philosophy at Warsaw University. In 1919 he settled in Paris where he met the leading artists of his time, including Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinsky, and others. As a pianist he toured Europe, Canada and the Middle East with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Serge Koussevitzky. His music was performed by the most famous soloists and ensembles of his time; his champions included conductors Stokowski and Toscanini. Tansman survived the war in the U.S.; after returning to France in 1946 he contiunued to compose and to write about music, including a book on Stravinsky. The composer repeatedly expressed the conviction that his music is rooted in Polish culture, and he included Polish dances, rhythms, and topics in many pieces (e.g. cycles of Mazurkas, the Polish Rhapsody, works inspired by and dedicated to Chopin). The composer also cherished his Jewish heritage, expressing it in many works written throughout his career, e.g. the Hebrew Rhapsody (1938), oratorio Isaiah The Prophet (1950), Apostrophe to Sion (1978), and other pieces. Tansman's music belongs to the realm of neoclassicism, enriched by a plurality of influences and models, including jazz, folk dances, and the music of the Far East. The author of a Javanese Dance, he also composed a Blues, an Oberek, and the virtuosic Mazurka and Toccata. During the post-war years he displayed no interest in avant-garde experimentation and remained faithful to his unique brand of the neoclassical style. Tansman' s extensive list of works contains compositions for the stage (operas, ballets), pieces for orchestra, chamber music, and songs in several languages. [MT]

Tansman's Letters to Kaczynski
Tansman on Laks


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Bret WERB

Bret Werb has served as musicologist at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. since 1992. He has produced three CDs for the museum: Krakow Ghetto Notebook; Rise Up and Fight!: Songs of Jewish Partisans; Hidden History: Songs of the Kovno Ghetto, and is currently working on a website showcasing the museum’s music collection. A contributor to the recent edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians, he has lectured widely on the topic of Holocaust related music and curated a 2002 exhibition "Music of the Holocaust" at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Werb earned his M.A. in ethnomusicology at UCLA with a thesis on the Yiddish stage composer Joseph Rumshinsky. He is currently a doctoral candidate at that institution. Bret Werb has been a member of Music of Remembrance’s Advisory Board since spring 2003. An article of his will appear in Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry , vol. 16, "Jewish Popular Culture and Its Afterlife" edited by Michael C. Steinlauf and Antony Polonsky (2003).

Werb's Article
Article's Abstract


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Abstracts
PMJ - Current Issue
PMJ - Archives
PMJ - Editorial Board


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Copyright 2003 by the Polish Music Journal.
Editor: Maja Trochimczyk. Assistant Editor: Linda Schubert.
Editorial Assistance: Krysta Close.
Design: Maja Trochimczyk & Marcin Depinski.
Comments and inquiries by e-mail: polmusic@email.usc.edu