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Music

Yara Bernette

World-renowned pianist Yara Bernette reached the pinnacle of her career in 1972 when she was chosen from 130 candidates to head the piano program at the Hamburg Music and Performing Arts School.

Odetta Holmes, Singing for the Voiceless

Through her blues music, Holmes inspired people all over America to take a stand for black equality. She performed at numerous rallies, advocating for civil rights for all; in fact, her music is often called the “soundtrack of the Civil Rights movement.” 

Beate Sirota Gordon

Through diplomacy and ingenuity, twenty-two-year-old Beate Sirota Gordon wrote unprecedented rights for women into Japan’s post-war constitution.

Astrith Baltsan

Astrith Baltsan has used her strengths as a musician, director, and scholar to find unconventional and engaging ways to introduce classical music to new audiences.

Chaya Arbel

Raised as a kibbutznik and taught that music was frivolous, Chaya Arbel only began pursuing a musical career in her forties, but went on to become one of Israel’s great modern composers.

Chava Alberstein

In her fifty-years as one of Israel’s most celebrated singer/songwriters, Chava Alberstein has run the gamut from recording pop hits to reviving Yiddish classics.

Hanne Blank

Both as a historian and as a fiction writer, Hanne Blank has questioned how we relate to our bodies and our sexuality, from gender norms to fat-shaming.

Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler

Praised for “Playing like a man,” Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler exploded notions about women pianists with the precision, power, and expressiveness of her performances.

Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor’s bold, experimental style in directing plays and films has led to two Tonys (including the first Best Director Tony won by a woman) and an Emmy.

Helen Tamiris

Acclaimed choreographer and director Helen Tamiris used dance to comment on the social issues of her day, including racism, poverty, and war.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Music." (Viewed on March 28, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/music>.

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