The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Irma Commanday

Irma Commanday attended New College, Columbia University. During World War II she was Louis Untermeyer’s assistant at the Council for Books in War Time, selecting forty books a month to reprint in paperback form for members of the Armed Services. She was administrative director at Indian Hill, a summer workshop in the arts in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, established by Mordecai and Irma Commanday Bauman in 1952 and donated to Brooklyn College in 1976. In 1978 Commanday joined dancer Marjorie Guthrie as her associate at the Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease and as coordinator of the Woody Guthrie Archive. With her husband Mordecai, Irma Commanday produced The Stations of Bach, a biography of Johann Sebastian Bach, for PBS, first shown nationally on Public Television Stations in May 1990, and on Bach anniversaries since.

Articles by this author

Ruth Laredo

Ruth Meckler Laredo was a phenomenal pianist, known for her renditions of Rachmaninoff’s piano works, her performances of Scriabin’s sonatas, her work as a teacher, and for pioneering the “Concerts with Commentary” event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Starting her performance career at age eleven, Laredo was honored as Musician of the Month by High Fidelity/Musical America and was nominated three times for a Grammy Award. 

Marjorie Guthrie

First a dancer, then a teacher, Marjorie Guthrie founded the Woody Guthrie Children’s Fund and Archive in 1956 to preserve her husband’s works for future audiences. By the end of her life, she was a national activist for Huntington’s Disease and other genetic and neurological diseases.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Irma Commanday." (Viewed on September 24, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/author/commanday-irma>.

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