Music, Memory and Migration in the Post-Holocaust Jewish Experience

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Joseph Toltz, Sydney Conservatorium, University of Sydney

Joseph Toltz is an ethnomusicologist, working with the music and memory in Jewish Holocaust survivors. He has interviewed over 100 Holocaust survivors around the world. Joseph was the 2011 Barbara and Richard Rosenberg Fellow at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

In 2012 he presented his research at Leeds University and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, as well as giving papers at the International Terezín Music Conference (Leeds College of Music) and 'Music, Oppression and Resistance', a conference organized by the International BAKE Society for the Performing Arts and the KVNL (The Royal Society for Music History of the Netherlands). In late 2012 he presented at the Society for Ethnomusicology’s annual conference in New Orleans, as well as giving papers and seminars at Tulane University, Boston College, New York University, the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University.

Joseph is currently investigating early field recordings from Dr David Boder’s 1946 project, visiting Displaced Persons’ homes and camps in post-war Europe. He is also working on the oral history archive of the late Professor David Bloch (Tel Aviv University), and has recently come into possession of the second extant copy of the very first published Holocaust songbook (Mima’amakim, edited by Yehuda Ayzman, Bucharest, June 1945). Formerly Cantor and Director of Music and Pastoral Care at Emanuel Synagogue for 13 years, Joseph continues his work as a professional singer. Read more »

South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation

The South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation (SAHGF) was established in 2007 by the Board of Trustees of the Cape Town Holocaust Centre (established in 1999) in response to the incorporation of the study of the Holocaust into the National High School Curriculum.

The SAHGF provides the educational and philosophical direction for the three Holocaust Centres in South Africa and is dedicated to providing support for the national curriculum through the development of classroom support materials and the facilitation of national in-service teacher training, adult programmes and seminars.

In the tradition of the Cape Town Holocaust Centre, through its public programmes the SAHGF raises awareness of Holocaust History and other genocides and uses the platform of the Holocaust to focus on human rights issues in contemporary society. Through its efforts, the SAHGF aims to help address the issues of racism, antisemitism, bigotry and marginalisation which still plague post-Apartheid South Africa, and to promote social activism.

The SAHGF is registered as an educational trust and has Section 18A status in terms of the Income Tax Act of 1962. Read more »

Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research, University of Cape Town

The Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research, housed in Rachel Bloch House was established in 1980 under the terms of a gift to the University of Cape Town by the Kaplan Kushlick Foundation and is named in honour of the parents of Mendel and Robert Kaplan. An autonomous centre, with its own governing body, the centre is the only one of its kind in South Africa.

The centre seeks to stimulate and promote the whole field of Jewish studies and research at the University with a special focus on the South African Jewish community. Multi-disciplinary in scope, scholars are encouraged to participate in a range of fields including history, political science, education, sociology, comparative literature and the broad spectrum of Hebrew and Judaic studies. The centre is engaged in research and acts as a co-ordinating unit in the University. Read more »

Michael Beckerman, New York University

Michael Beckerman currently works on the music of Terezin and has particular interest in investigating the relationship between the material and psychological conditions in the camp and specifics of the musical works created there. He has also written on music and displacement, focusing on the works of Jaroslav Jezek and Erich Zeisl.

He has authored several books on Czech topics, most recently Janacek and His World (Princeton), New Worlds of Dvořák (W.W.Norton), and Martinu’s Mysterious Accident (Pendragon). His work on the “acoustic edges” of Europe has just appeared in the Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, and he has contributed in the last year to Grove Dictionary (on Dvořák), The Cambridge Companions to World Music (on Roma) and Jewish Music (on orchestral music). He is co-founder of the OREL Foundation and is currently working on a book on Gideon Klein’s final composition. Michael Beckerman is chair of the Department of Music at New York University, and also Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music and Distinguished Professor of History at Lancaster University. Read more »

Bret Werb, US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Bret Werb has worked as the music researcher and curator for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC since 1993. He has programmed the museum’s long-running chamber music series, curated the museum’s online exhibition Music of the Holocaust, and researched and produced four compact disk recordings of period topical songs: Krakow Ghetto Notebook; Rise Up And Fight!: Songs of Jewish Partisans; Hidden History: Songs of the Kovno Ghetto; and Aleksander Kulisiewicz: Ballads and Broadsides (the last featuring archival recordings of Polish songs from Sachsenhausen).

A contributor to The New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians, The Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies and other reference works, Werb has lectured widely and collaborated on film, theatre, recording, and concert projects.  He earned his MA in Ethnomusicology at UCLA with a thesis on music for the American Yiddish stage, and is currently engaged in a long-term project for the Museum to identify, collect, classify and study the large repertoire of topical songs of the Shoah period. Read more »

Linda Merrick, Royal Northern College of Music

Linda Merrick has established an international profile as a clarinet soloist, recording artist and clinician. Specialising in contemporary repertoire, she has commissioned more than 40 works for her instrument by British composers, including 10 concertos, 5 clarinet quintets, and a significant number of smaller scale chamber works and works with electronics.

Linda’s catalogue of over 20 solo CD recordings includes new concertos for clarinet and concert band by Gary Carpenter, Nigel Clarke, Martin Ellerby, Kit Turnbull and Guy Woolfenden (Polyphonic), Philip Sparke (Anglo Records) and Stephen McNeff (Campion), plus concertos for clarinet and orchestra by John Mcleod (Chandos), Edwin Roxburgh (NMC) and Philip Spratley (Toccata). Her chamber music output includes premiere recordings of four new clarinet quintets with the Navarra Quartet (Naxos), a new clarinet quintet by John McCabe with the Kreutzer Quartet (Guild), Wilfred Joseph’s Clarinet Quintet (Metier), Robert Crawford’s Clarinet Quintet (Metier) and chamber works by Malcolm Arnold and John Ireland (Maestro), and by Martin Ellerby (ClassicPrint).

Linda has broadcast as a solo artist for BBC Radio 3, Radio France, DRS1, Switzerland, CKWR in Canada and Arte TV in South Korea, and performed as a concerto soloist across America, Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, the UAE, and throughout the UK. She is a founder member of the contemporary ensemble ‘Sounds Positive’, with whom she has premiered over 70 works by British composers, and released 3 CDs.

Combining her performing career with work in music education, Linda is regularly invited to give masterclasses at conservatoires across the world. She currently holds the position of Principal and Professor at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK, and is the UK representative for Howarth Clarinets. Read more »

Lisa Peschel, University of York

Dr. Lisa Peschel is a lecturer in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of York. She has been researching theatrical performance in the Terezín/Theresienstadt ghetto since 1998 and is particularly interested in performance as a way that societies cope with crisis. Her articles on survivor testimony and scripts written in the ghetto have appeared in forums such as Theatre Survey, Theatre Topics and Holocaust and Genocide Studies as well as Czech, German and Israeli journals. She has been invited to lecture and conduct student workshops on Terezín/Theresienstadt theatre at institutions in the US and Europe including Oxford University, Queens College Belfast, University College London and Dartmouth College.

Her anthology Performing Captivity, Performing Escape: Cabarets and Plays from the Terezin/Theresienstadt Ghetto is forthcoming in 2013 and she is currently preparing a monograph on Czech, German and Zionist performance in the ghetto.  Awards include a Fulbright grant (2004-05), a Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellowship at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (2009), and an Alan M. Stroock Fellowship for Advanced Research in Judaica at the Center for Jewish Studies, Harvard University (2010-11).  She completed a PhD in theatre historiography at the University of Minnesota in 2009 and an MFA in playwriting at the University of Texas in 2001. Read more »

David Fligg, Leeds College of Music

Dr. David Fligg is Principal Lecturer in Classical Musicianship at Leeds College of Music, and Visiting Professor at the University of Chester.

His current research is centred around the music and musicians in the Terezin (Theresienstadt) concentration camp in general, and the composer and pianist Gideon Klein in particular. He is currently writing a biography on Klein, and continues to evaluate source materials on him housed at the Jewish Museum Prague, the Terezin Memorial, the Auschwitz-Birkenau archive, and Klein's birth place Přerov in Moravia. David presented his initial findings on Klein at the 2011 American Musicological Society's annual conference in San Francisco. David was the instigator and organiser of the Leeds International Terezin Music Conference in 2012. For the autumn 2012 season, he was an adviser for English Touring Opera’s production of The Emperor of Atlantis, Viktor Ullmann's opera composed whilst imprisoned in Terezin.

David will present his paper 'Positioning Gideon Klein' at the Royal Musical Association's annual conference in September 2013. He will be giving a lecture 'On the Family Trail of Gideon Klein' at the International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, organised by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, in Boston, USA, in August 2013. David's book A Concise Guide to Orchestral Music is published by Mel Bay (2010).

David Fligg gained his undergraduate and doctorate degrees at the University of Leeds, and his Master's degree at London University's Royal Holloway College. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. David lives in Leeds, where he is an active member of the city's Jewish community. Read more »

Steve Muir, University of Leeds – Project Leader

Stephen Muir’s research focusses in two areas:

  • Ethnomusicology, particularly Jewish liturgical musical phenomena in the UK and South Africa;
  • The music of Russia and Eastern Europe, with a particular emphasis on opera.

His PhD thesis (The Operas of Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov from 1897 to 1904, Birmingham, 2000) resulted in articles and chapters in Russian and English collections, and presentations at Russian conferences. His interest in opera also extends to critical editing, and he is currently occupied with preparing an edition of Antonín Dvořák’s opera Tvrdé palice for Editio-Bärenreiter Prague. He is also interested in vocal performing practices, particularly of the nineteenth century. Alongside this, he has participated in a number of research-led operatic premieres at Bretton Hall and the University of Leeds.

Future research plans include books on Rimsky-Korsakov, Michel-Dmitri Calvocoressi, and Jewish music in South Africa. He is currently project leader for the WUN-funded project Music, Memory and Migration in the Post-Holocaust Jewish Experience, and is the recipient of a British Academy Small Grant to undertake archival and ethnographic research in Cape Town. Read more »

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