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Music

Music: Palestine and Israel

The story of music in Israel is inextricably intertwined with the waves of immigration that broke upon its shores from 1882 on. Music in Israel is thus a giant mosaic of cultures, styles and musical traditions which in one way or another integrated into the music made in the country prior to their arrival.

Erica Morini

Four months after her death, Erica Morini was described in the journal The Strad as the “most bewitching woman violinist of this century.”

Bette Midler

Humor is an extremely effective tool with which to observe human behavior. When the comic laughs at herself as well as at the foibles of her audience, she creates a connection between people and an opportunity to examine serious subjects in a funny manner. Important and forbidden topics receive airings. Bette Midler’s knowing smile, which rarely leaves her face, reminds her audience that a humorous perspective, on any and all subjects, offers catharsis alongside illumination.

Hephzibah Menuhin

Hephzibah Menuhin, pianist and social activist, was born in San Francisco, on May 20, 1920, the second of three children. Her parents, Moshe and Marutha (Sher) Menuhin, were Russian Jews who came to the United States by way of Palestine. Neither Moshe nor Marutha was a trained musician, but all of their children—Yehudi, Hephzibah, and Yaltah—showed extraordinary musical gifts.

Fritzi Massary

Little is known of Friederike Massarik’s childhood, save that she was born on March 21, 1882 to Jewish parents in the Vienna barracks quarter of the Grand Masters and that her father was a businessman. Her parents, and especially her mother, encouraged her talent via singing lessons, with the result that their daughter, now renamed Fritzi Massary, received her first engagement in a small part at the Landestheater in Linz in 1899/1900.

Frieda Lorber

Frieda Levin Lorber was born in New York City on May 7, 1899, to Sigmund Levin, a real estate developer, and Clara (Bergman) Levin. In her early years, Frieda was extremely interested in classical music. She studied voice at the Institute of Music and Art and sang with the chorus of the Metropolitan Opera. On December 7, 1924, she married Albert Lorber. The Lorbers, who divorced in the early 1940s, had one child, Mortimer, who became a doctor.

Myra Cohn Livingston

Myra Cohn Livingston, poet, musician, critic, educator, anthologist and author, respected the true craft of writing poetry. She experimented with form, never compromising, and was noted for using a variety of techniques to express the realities and wonders of a child’s everyday world and experiences. By passing along her standards and sharing her expertise during over twenty years of teaching at the University of California at Los Angeles, she also brought numerous new talents into the field of children’s literature.

Charlotte Lipsky

Charlotte Schacht Lipsky, interior decorator, was born in Riga, Latvia, in December 1879. The eldest of five children, she was the only girl. Lipsky immigrated to the United States in 1895, accompanied by her mother, who lived with Lipsky until her death. Upon arriving in the United States, Lipsky immediately involved herself in politics, specifically in the Jewish socialist movement, becoming one of “Emma Goldman’s girls” on the Lower East Side of New York.

Estelle Liebling

A member of a very musical Jewish family, Estelle Liebling, soprano and one of the most influential teachers of singing in America, was born in New York City on April 21, 1880, to Matilde (de Perkiewicz) and Max Liebling. Her father and her uncles, George, Emil, and Solly Liebling, all studied with Franz Liszt and had significant careers as pianists and composers. She had three brothers, Otto, Leonard, and James; Leonard and James were also professional musicians. At first, Liebling was trained as a pianist but, as she stated, “Fortunately, they found I had a voice.” She studied in Berlin with Selma Nicklass-Kempner, serving also as her teacher’s accompanist during lessons with other students. She also studied in Paris with Mathilde Marchesi.

Rosina Lhévinne

Rosina Lhévinne was one the most noted pianists of the twentieth century and a highly influential teacher. She was a virtuoso performer who delayed a solo career until age seventy-six, twelve years after the death of her husband, pianist Josef Lhévinne. One of the last artists in the nineteenth-century Russian pianistic tradition, Lhévinne taught some of the most famous musicians of the twentieth century, including Van Cliburn, John Browning, Mischa Dichter, Adele Marcus, Ralph Votapek, Martin Canin, David Bar-Ilan, James Levine, and Arthur Gold.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Music." (Viewed on January 16, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/music>.

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