Click here to edit subtitle

revised  Secondary Characters

Artists, Writers, Musicians, Composers, Singers, Dancers, Teachers, Journalists,  Diplomats, Scholars, Lawyers, Politicos

(alphabetical by last name)[1]



JOSEPH ACHRON (1886-1943) violinist/composer; son of a cantor, fiddler, and folk architect.  At 7 he debuted, wrote his first composition, and toured Russia. From 1898 he studied with Leopold Auer at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, taking orchestration with Maximilian Steinberg. In 1911 he became associated with the Jewish Folk Art Society, composers headed by Joel Engel dedicated to fostering concert-level Jewish folk music. Achron promptly wrote the first masterpiece of the Jewish folk art genre, Hebrew Melody for violin and piano, Op. 33.  Other violin pieces for which he is best known include Hebrew Lullaby op. 35/2 and the two pairs of Stimmungen (Moods, Op. 32 and 36), all written by 1914.  Achron spent WW I in Russia, mainly playing for Russian troops. In 1918 the Soviets dissolved the ‘counter-revolutionary’ Jewish Folk Art Society. In 1920 he composed incidental music for the local Jewish Chamber Theater. In 1922 he relocated to Germany to join refugee members of the Folk Art Society and composed the popular Kindersuite (Op. 57). In 1925 he immigrated to the U.S. after a trip to the Holy Land.  His Palestine experiences were reflected in such works as Dance of Salome for wordless chorus, percussion, and piano, Op. 61 (1925).  He died in Los Angeles at 56, leaving about 100 compositions (mostly manuscript) at Tel Aviv University, where a conservatory is named for him.  See;

CHAIM ARLOSOROFF (1899–1933), Zionist leader, head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency, chief negotiator of the 1933 Transfer Agreement with the Third Reich. Arlosoroff earned an economics doctorate at the University of Berlin, became a leader of Ha-Po'el ha-Tza'ir (The Young Worker Party), and in 1919 published "Jewish People's Socialism," expressing nationalistic hope for the Jewish people in Eretz Israel and advocating guaranteed land ownership. After the 1921 Arab riots he called on the Zionist establishment to accept the reality of an Arab national movement in Eretz Israel but was heavily criticized.  In 1923 he was elected to the Zionist Action Committee and left Germany for Palestine. In 1926 he represented the yishuv at the League of Nations in Geneva. He then helped unify the two major Zionist socialist parties, Poale Zion and  Hapoel Hatzair, forming the Mapai Labor Party (1930). Through Mapai he was elected to the Zionist Executive and named Political Director of the Jewish Agency for Palestine (1933). He clashed with David Ben-Gurion and other Mapai leaders over whether Zionists should work within the Mandate to help bring about Jewish statehood, warning of adverse effects if the movement isolated itself.  Arlosoroff personally negotiated the Ha'avara Agreement (1933), seeing potential mass transfer to Palestine of German Jews and their assets as a historic opportunity to establish a Jewish nation. The capital provided was an economic boom during worldwide depression.  Over 60,000 German Jews escaped Nazi persecution through the Agreement, which transferred about $100 million to establish infrastructure and new Jewish settlements.  After returning from negotiations Arlosoroff was assassinated on a Tel Aviv beach. His funeral was the largest in the history of the British Mandate. Ben Gurion used it to try to outlaw the Revisionists, whom he accused of organizing the murder.


CLAUDIO ARRAU (1903–1991), Chilean pianist known for a repertoire spanning baroque to 20th-century composers, considered one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. At 6 he auditioned before President Pedro Montt. At 8 he was sent on a 10-year grant from the Chilean government to study in Germany. At the Stern Conservatory of Berlin he became a pupil of Martin Krause, who had studied under Liszt. At 11 he could play Liszt's Transcendental Etudes, one of the most difficult piano works. In 1935 he gave a celebrated rendition of the entire keyboard works of Johann Sebastian Bach in 12 recitals. In 1936 he gave a complete Mozart keyboard works over 5 recitals, following with complete Schubert and Weber cycles. In 1938 he gave the complete Beethoven piano works in Mexico City, repeating this in New York and London. He became one of the leading authorities on Beethoven in the 20th century.  In 1937 he married the mezzo-soprano Ruth Schneider (-1989), a German national. In 1941 the Arraus left Germany for New York.

SHOLEM ASCH (1880-1957), Yiddish novelist/playwright.  Born in Russian Poland the youngest of 10 Hasidic children, he taught himself German with Moses Mendelssohn’s translation of the Bible. In Włocławek he earned a living writing letters for illiterates, an education in human longings. In 1900 he settled in Warsaw and wrote his first Yiddish story, following with volumes of Hebrew (1902) and Yiddish stories (1903). He then  serialized his first major work, A shtetl, whose sensuous vitality placed him in the vanguard of new Yiddish writers.  In 1907 he completed his sensational play, Got fun nekome (God of Vengeance), first produced in German by Max Reinhardt in Berlin. Depicting a brothel keeper’s attempt to strike a bargain with God to keep his daughter pure, it created sensation wherever it was performed.  In 1908 he depicted the conflict between lust and spirituality in his poetic drama about the 17th-century false messiah Shabetai Tsevi. By 1913 he published five major works, including the first of a panoramic series of Jewish life in Eastern Europe. On his 40th birthday a New York committee headed by Judah Magnes published his collected works (12 volumes). Asch’s monumental trilogy Farn mabl (Before the Flood), published 1929-1931 and translated to English in 1933 as Three Cities, tells of events before and during the Russian Revolution: Peterburg (Petersburg; 1929), Varshe (Warsaw; 1930), Moskve (Moscow; 1931). His sequel Baym opgrunt (At the Abyss; 1937) moved from the 1918 Russian border to the moral collapse of Weimar Germany that facilitated the rise of Nazism.


HERMAN BERLINSKI (1910-2001), composer, organist and conductor of Jewish-themed classical music, graduated from the Leipzig Conservatory (1932) with honors in piano and theory after winning a clarinet scholarship. Hearing Berlinski rehearse Bach's Goldberg Variations on the piano, Karl Straube, Thomaskirche cantor and professor of organ at the Institut der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Landeskirche Sachsen, offered him organ lessons. In Paris he studied at the École Normale de Musique with the legendary Nadia Boulanger, supporting himself by directing, arranging, and composing incidental music for an émigré Yiddish art theater, survivors of the Vilna Troupe.  He then entered the Roman Catholic Schola Cantorum, where the Sephardi synagogue composer Leon Algazi taught a course on Jewish music. Berlinski was received “with open arms” by the French composer Daniel-Lesur and his circle including Olivier Messiaen, a mystically-religious Christian whose faith informs many of his works. Berlinski credited Messiaen with personally encouraging him to use the musical language of his traditions, the way that circle used Gregorian chant. The Library of Congress described Berlinski as “one of the most important 20th century composers of music with Jewish themes. [His] prolific output includes symphonic and chamber works, solo works for the organ, song cycles, numerous liturgical choral works and oratorios.”


“Berlinski was a prolific composer.  He wrote a generous amount of music for his own instrument, the organ, making him the direct successor of the Jewish organ tradition of the Polish Louis Lewandowski (1821-1894) and the Munich-based cantor Emanuel Kirschner (1857-1938). Chief among his organ works is a series of 11 Sinfonias (1956-78) which reveal a fondness for dark colours, contrapuntal development, and occasional dissonance restrained within a generally tonal framework.  He [also] wrote a. . . number of cantatas and oratorios, often on Jewish themes, among them Kiddush Ha-Shem (1954-60), Job (1968-72, revised 1984), Sing to the Lord a New Song (1978) and The Trumpets of Freedom (1988); the German version of Job, Hiob, was premiered at a ceremony for the rebuilding of the synagogue in Dresden in 1998.  In 1993 he was commissioned by the Union Theological Seminary of New York, to write – along with two other composers of religious music, the Catholic Robert Helmschrott of Munich and Protestant Heinz Werner Zimmermann of Frankfurt – a work in honour of the anti-Nazi priest Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and their Altar Tryptichon for Bonhoeffer has been performed on three continents.  He continued to compose into old age: in June [2001] he completed a quintet for clarinet and strings, and three days before he died he finished a setting of Psalm 130 for soprano, trumpet and chorus, which was performed in Washington on 30 September.”


CHAIM NACHMAN BIALIK (1873-1934), Jewish poet primarily in Hebrew but also in Yiddish, a pioneer of modern Hebrew poetry recognized as Israel's national poet.  After careers in Odessa and Berlin he emigrated to Tel Aviv (1924). In Palestine Bialik was a celebrated literary figure. He delivered the address at the opening (1925) of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and became head of the Hebrew Writers Union (1927-34). On his 60th birthday all the school children of Tel Aviv were brought to pay their respects to him.  While Bialik is most famous for his long poems which call for a reawakening of the Jewish people, no less effective are his passionate love poems, his personal verse or his nature poems. His children’s songs are a staple of Israeli life.  His poems have been translated to over 30 languages and set to music as popular songs -- a core part of the culture of modern Israel.


FELIX BLUMENFELD (1863-1931), Russian composer, conductor, pianist and teacher, studied composition at the St. Petersburg Conservatory under Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and piano under Fedor Stein (1881-1885). He then taught piano there from 1885-1918 while serving as conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre, premiering Rimsky-Korsakov’s operas and Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. In 1908 he conducted the Paris premiere of Modest Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov.  From 1918-1922 he directed the Music-drama school of Mykola Lysenko in Kiev, where Vladimir Horowitz was his pupil. From 1922 he taught at the Moscow Conservatory. His other famous pupils include Maria Yudina.  His compositions, showing the influence of Chopin and Tchaikovsky, include a symphony, pieces for solo piano, an Allegro de Concert for piano and orchestra, and lieder.


EPHRAIM CARLEBACH (1879–1936) came from a German rabbinic dynasty. His father Salomon (1845–1919) was a rabbi in Lübeck. Four of his brothers were important rabbis: Emanuel  (1874-1927), Joseph (1883–1942), David (1885–1913), and Hartwig Naphtali (1889–1967). Carlebach attended the Katharineum school in Lübeck, where he befriended Thomas Mann.  He founded Leipzig’s Carlebach School and became charismatic chief Rabbi of Leipzig, positions he held until emigrating to Palestine in 1936.


GUTIA CASSINI (1896-19??), Russian cellist, classmate of Rebecca Burstein at Leipzig Conservatory (1909-1912) and fellow winner of Chopin Prize (cello-1912), was interned with her in Plaun after the outbreak of WWI. “[The] Russian ’cellist left America in 1913, after a tour with Sembrich and a subsequent one with Frances Alda, a boy of 15. He returned this year to tour with Mary Garden, a man of more than his 23 years. He was to have come back for another tour with Mme. Alda in summer 1914. The prima donna, when war threatened Europe, cabled him to come immediately. His papers were secured; he set out in all haste for these United States, leaving Russia in time, as he thought, to escape . . .But a few hours before he arrived in Germany, war had been declared, and his papers were no better than . . . evidence that he was a spy. . . .presently he was in an internment camp. . . And for 3½ years he remained.  “I could tell you a good many fairy-stories about the agonies I endured," Mr. Casini smilingly remarks. “But I’m not going to. . . .it is everybody’s duty now to try to forget the war. I do not like internment-camps, but I do like Germany, as all musicians must. It was through the interest of Nikisch and my former professor, Klengel, that I was finally released from the camp and allowed to stay in the little town of Plauen and later in Leipzig. There I was kept under police surveillance. . . . [But] I attended a great many concerts . . . Music flourished as richly as ever in Germany during the war. In December 1919, I played [with] the Philharmonic Orchestra in Berlin, under Nikisch.”[2]


YOSEF ELIAHU CHELOUCHE (1870–1934), Tel Aviv founder, entrepreneur, businessman and industrialist, born in Jaffa and educated in Jewish schools in Beirut. Marriage at 17 ended his formal education. During the early 1890s he opened with his older brother a Jaffa building-materials store, Chelouche Frères. The name was used later for the brothers’ factory producing cement-based prefabricated building products. He built extensively in northern Jaffa and later Tel Aviv, including the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium.  After WW I he was a member of Tel Aviv’s first council and also Jaffa's city council. Fluent in Arabic, he often mediated between Jews and Arabs. Before WWI he made many efforts to convince local Arabs there was no inherent conflict between Jewish settlement and Arab aspirations. After WWI, when the national conflict between Arabs and Jews became violent, he fought to provide a different perspective on their inevitable mutual life, though his views became marginalized.


EMIL COOPER (1877-1960), Russian conductor and violinist, graduated Odessa music school as violinist and composer. To 1898 he gave violin recitals and learned conducting independently, then studied conducting with Arthur Nikisch. In 1899 he toured Russia with Leonid Sobinov and Feodor Chaliapin as operatic conductor. He premiered Rimsky-Korsakov's opera The Golden Cockerel (1909) and conducted Rimsky-Korsakov's Kashchey the Immortal at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (1917).  In 1924 he left Russia, becoming a long-time staff conductor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.



/EUGEN D’ALBERT (1864–1932), Scottish-born German pianist/composer, at 17 won a scholarship to study in Austria and soon emigrated to Germany, where he studied with Franz Liszt and began his concert career. Liszt and Brahms considered him a phenomenon.   D’Albert composed many operas and tried to abandon his piano career but was forced to return whenever a new opera failed.  While performing he focused increasingly on composing, producing 21 operas and a considerable output of piano, vocal, chamber and orchestral works. His most successful opera was Tiefland, premiered in Prague (1903). Successful orchestral works included his cello concerto (1899), a symphony, two string quartets and two piano concertos. In 1907 d'Albert became director of the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, where he exerted a wide influence on German musical education. He also was Kapellmeister to the Court of Weimar and was successively a British, German and Swiss citizen, married six times with eight children.  He died in Riga, where he had travelled for a divorce from his sixth wife.

MEIR DIZENGOFF (1861–1936), Zionist, first mayor of Tel Aviv.  In Kishinev he studied at the polytechnic school. In 1882 he volunteered in the Imperial Russian Army. After military service he remained in Odessa, became involved in the Narodnaya Volya underground, met Leon Pinsker and Ahad Ha’am, and joined the Hovevei Zion. In 1885 he was arrested for insurgency. Upon release he founded the Bessarabian branch of Hovevei Zion.  In 1889 he left to study in Paris.  There he met Edmond James de Rothschild, who sent him to Ottoman-ruled Palestine to establish a glass factory to supply bottles for Rothschild's wineries, though the factory failed due to impurities in its sand.  On return to Kishinev he met Theodor Herzl and became a follower.  In 1905 Dizengoff settled in Jaffa, established the Geulah company to buy land from Arabs, and began importing automobiles to replace the horse-carriages providing transport from Jaffa to Jerusalem and other towns. He also co-founded a boat company and served as Belgian consul. When he learned residents were organizing to build a new neighborhood, Tel Aviv, he formed a partnership with the Ahuzat Bayit company and bought land parceled to early settlers by lot. When Tel Aviv was recognized as a city Dizengoff became mayor until his death.


SAMUEL DUSHKIN (1891–1976), American violinist, composer and teacher, born in Suwałki Poland, studied at the Conservatoire de Paris, with Leopold Auer in New York, and with Fritz Kreisler. He made his European debut in 1918 and his American debut in 1924 with the New York Symphony Orchestra under Walter Damrosch. Dushkin cooperated closely with Igor Stravinsky in composition of the latter's first work for the violin, the Violin Concerto. He played the concerto's world and U.S. premieres.



MISCHA ELMAN (1891–1967), Jewish violinist famed for passionate style and beautiful tone. His grandfather was a Jewish folk musician who also played the violin. It became apparent when very young that Mischa had perfect pitch, but his father hesitated to encourage a socially-suspect profession. In Odessa, Mischa studied at the Imperial Academy of Music.  At 11 he auditioned for Leopold Auer, who promptly had him admitted to the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In 1903 Elman began to play privately for wealthy patrons.  He made a sensational Berlin debut in 1904. His 1905 London debut included the British premiere of Glazunov's Violin Concerto in A minor. In 1908 he debuted in Carnegie Hall.


JOEL (YOEL) ENGEL (1868-1927), music critic, musicologist, composer. Born in Russia, later resident in Berlin and Palestine, Engel has been called "the true founding father of the modern renaissance of Jewish music.” As composer, teacher and organizer he inspired a generation of Jewish classical musicians to rediscover their ethnic roots and create a new style of national Jewish music modelled after the national-music movements of Russia, Slovakia, and Hungary. He was an important influence on many twentieth-century composers and on folk music of Israel. His work preserving the musical tradition of the shtetl also made possible the revival of klezmer music.  In 1908 Engel and associates founded the Society for Jewish Folk Music, which published members’ works and organized concerts throughout Russia featuring violinists Jascha Heifetz  and Joseph Achron, pianist Leopold Godowsky and cellist Gregor Piatigorsky. Engel also wrote the incidental music for Ansky's play The Dybbuk, about a young bride possessed by a spirit, whose Habima Theatre production became an international hit.  In 1922 the Society sent Engel to Germany to promote the new Jewish music. He organized a publishing house and a series of concerts in Berlin and Leipzig.   In 1924 he moved to Palestine, where he taught theory at the Shulamit music school.  Concerned that children's songs were just European tunes with new words in Hebrew, or Yiddish songs from the shtetl, Engel tried to create a new indigenous style. "How can we sing the song of the Diaspora in the promised land?" he wrote. Many of his new songs were based on Yemenite melodies or motifs. 


Engel crucially recognized that traditional Jewish music was not based on the major-minor tonal system but that "Most Jewish songs are built on the ancient modes (Aeolian, Dorian, Mixolydian).“  His popular music dominated the Palestine music scene during his lifetime. Engel songs that are still sung include Numi Numi, one of Israel's most popular lullabies, and the children's song Geshem geshem mishamayim.



THEODOR FRITSCH (1852-1933), German anti-semitic publisher and journalist, influenced popular German opinion against Jews in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Fritsch created an early discussion forum, "Antisemitic Correspondence," for anti-Semites of various persuasions (1885) and founded the Leipzig publishing firm Hammer-Verlag (1902), whose flagship publication was "The Hammer: Pages for German Sense" (1902–1940). The firm issued German translations of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and "The International Jew" (collected writings of Henry Ford from The Dearborn Independent) as well as Fritsch's works. In 1912 Fritsch founded the secret Germanenorden and the Reichshammerbund (Reich Hammer League), one of the first political groups to adopt the swastika.  Members of these groups formed the Thule Society (1918), which eventually sponsored creation of the Nazi party. In 1893 Fritsch published his most famous work, The Handbook of the Jewish Question (also known as the Anti-Semite Catechism) which leveled conspiratorial charges at European Jews and called Germans not to mingle with them. The book was read by millions and in its 49th edition by 1944.  It greatly influenced Hitler and the Nazis.


VARIAN FRY (1907–1967), American journalist, helped refugees escape from France after Germany invaded it June 1940. The Emergency Rescue Committee, a private American relief organization, sent Fry to France to aid refugees in danger from the Gestapo. In Marseille Fry's network offered aid to any antifascist refugees threatened with extradition to Nazi Germany under Article 19 of the Franco-German armistice (the "Surrender on Demand" clause). He established a legal French relief organization, the American Relief Center, and worked behind it using illegal means -- black-market funds, forged documents, secret mountain passages and sea routes -- to spirit refugees to safety. Fry rescued some 2,000 persons including Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Franz Werfel, Lion Feuchtwanger and Heinrich Mann. His activities angered officials of both the U.S. State Department and Vichy France; in September 1941 he was expelled.  Shortly before Fry's death the French government awarded him the Croix de Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur, the only official recognition he received in his lifetime.

WILHELM FURTWÄNGLER (1886 –1954), German conductor and composer, considered one of the greatest symphonic and operatic conductors of the 20th century. Furtwängler was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic (1922-45, 1952-54), principal conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra (1922–26), and guest conductor of major orchestras including the Vienna Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic (1925-27).  In 1920 he was named conductor of the Berlin Staatskapelle succeeding Richard Strauss. In January 1922, following the sudden death of Arthur Nikisch, he was appointed to the Gewandhaus. Soon after he was named to the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, again succeeding Nikisch. Furtwängler made his London debut in 1924 and continued to appear there through 1938, when he conducted Wagner's Ring. He was the leading conductor to remain in Germany during the Second World War, though he was not a Nazi adherent. The ethics of this decision are still debated.


ALEXANDER GLASUNOV (1865-1936), Russian musician, composer, teacher and director of St. Petersburg Conservatory, whose works of the late Russian Romantic period reconciled nationalism and cosmopolitanism in Russian music. In 1879 he met Mily Balakirev, a founder of the Russian nationalist school known as The Five or The Mighty Handful. Balakirev recommended him to Rimsky-Korsakov, who personally taught Glazunov composition, harmony and instrumental accompaniment. Glazunov was able to cover the whole Conservatory program in just a year and a half. He also learned to play the violin, cello and woodwinds at concert levels.  At 16 he composed his first symphony, followed by other successful works. During the mid-nineties he created the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Symphonies and composed three famous ballets, Les ruses d'amour, The Seasons, and Raymonda. He revealed an extraordinary memory to complete Aleksandr Borodin’s great unfinished opera Prince Igor. Borodin had not left even a sketch of what he intended but had played his ideas to Glazunov, who restored the music from memory.


After the 1905 Revolution Rimsky-Korsakov was fired from the Conservatory for his liberal views and Glazunov left in support of his colleague, but later was invited back and became the Conservatory’s first elected director. His sensitivity and kindness made him a legend among students and staff.  He felt compelled to attend all examinations; one month he listened to 771 auditions and wrote a personal report about each student. He admitted students solely for their talent, never looking at social status. He often spent his own salary to help poor applicants like Dmitri Shostakovich.  After 1917 Glazunov had to balance music with  propaganda pressures. His diplomatic skills helped him remain director, and in 1918 Vladimir Lenin granted the Conservatory the status of a higher education institution. Four years later Glazunov was made People’s Artist of the Republic.  In 1928 he fled Russia. He was as popular as ever overseas and eventually settled in Paris, giving concerts in France, Portugal and Spain. He went to London to complete the first recordings of The Seasons and Carnival; became infatuated with jazz; wrote his jazz-influenced Saxophone Concerto (1934); and was invited to New York, Detroit and Chicago. He left some 200 compositions with a distinct Russian character – melodious and romantic.

ABRAHAM GOLDFADEN (1840-1908), Russian-born Jewish poet, playwright, stage director and actor in Yiddish and Hebrew, author of some 40 plays, considered the father of the modern Jewish theatre.  In 1876 (Iasi and Bucharest) he founded the world's first professional Yiddish-language theater troupe, and later was responsible for the first Hebrew-language play performed in the U.S. Jacob Sternberg called him "the Prince Charming who woke up the lethargic Jewish culture."... In Bucharest Goldfaden filled his casts from the great pool of Jewish vocal talent -- synagogue cantors. He also recruited classically trained prima donnas. Goldfaden churned out a repertoire – new songs, new plays, and translations of plays from Romanian, French, and other languages (22 plays in the first 2 years) – and continued to recruit first-rate talent; his company became a training ground for Yiddish theater. By 1880 others were writing Yiddish plays and Yiddish theater was big theater, with elaborate sets, dueling choruses, and extras to fill out crowd scenes.  When Goldfaden died (1908) an estimated 75,000 mourners turned out for his funeral procession from the People's Theater on Bowery to Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn. The New York Times, calling him "both a poet and a prophet," noted that "there was more evidence of genuine sympathy with and admiration for the man and his work than is likely to be manifested at the funeral of any poet now writing in the English language in this country."


MORDECHAI GOLINKIN (1875-1963), conductor, impresario, founder of opera in Mandate Palestine.  His struggle for Palestine opera began with an essay, “A Citadel of Art in the Holy Land.” After studies in Warsaw he advanced from assistant choir leader in Razan to conductor of the Marinskaya Opera in Petersburg. aided when a Rostov conductor went on a spree before curtain time and the managers appealed to Golinkin to fill the breach.  As a Jew he was never invited to conduct the Royal Marinskaya Opera until the 1917 revolution. Golinkin organized a Balfour Declaration benefit in Petrograd where Chaliapin rendered an unforgettable performance of Hatikva in Hebrew.  From that point Golinkin had under his baton the Petrograd Opera with 120 musicians, the greatest vocalists in the world, thousands of ballerinas and choral singers. All Palestine could offer was a dozen pupils of Hopenko’s Shulamit Conservatoire, a few experienced singers, no hall, no facilities, no tradition.   So in May 1923 he went to Palestine. By September 1923 he conducted Traviata in Tel Aviv.  Thereafter he produced and conducted Romeo and Juliet. Aida, Huguenots, Othello, Troubador, Rusalka, Rigoletto, Carmen, La Juive, Samson and Delilah, The Barber of Seville. Golinkin regarded his Palestine productions of European operas as a mere phase -- he aimed to create an original Hebrew opera that also would address artists’ social problems.  To collect funds for this venture, he toured the U.S. 1927-29.; 


JAN GORBATY (1915-1999), “a stylish, white-maned Polish pianist with a patriot's zeal for the music of Chopin who founded the New York chapter of the National Chopin Foundation.”  Born in Wolochisk Russia to a wealthy supplier of horses for the Czar's troops, at the revolution the family fled to Lvov Poland, where he gave his first public performance at 4. After graduating from the conservatory there Gorbaty became a prominent teacher and one of the leading pianists in Poland before WW II, which he survived under false identity papers. In 1945 he moved to Vienna, where he resumed his career and studied with Paul Weingarten, a pupil of Emil von Sauer who was a student of Liszt.  Gorbaty later settled in New York.

CARL-FRIEDRICH GÖRDELER (1884-1945), conservative German politician, executive, economist, civil servant, Lord Mayor of Leipzig (1928-37), opponent of the Nazi regime.  On 1 April 1933 during the Reich’s national boycott of Jewish businesses, Goerdeler appeared in full Oberbürgermeister uniform ordering the SA to cease boycott efforts. He also attempted to help Leipzig Jewish businessmen threatened with Aryanisation. In 1936, working a night shift as National Price Commissioner appointed to combat inflation, Gördeler urged sharp reductions in rearmament spending and in state control of economic institutions; Goering publicly ridiculed his free-market recommendations. By 1935 Gördeler was locked in disputes with Nazi Deputy Mayor Rudolf Haake -- he countermanded Haake’s abrogation of laws allowing Jewish doctors to continue to participate in national health insurance programs, then overruled Haake’s orders to pull down the Mendelssohn statue at the Gewandhaus.  In 1936 before leaving on an official trip to Finland, he met with Hitler and Goebbels and received assurances nothing would happen to the statue, which was promptly demolished on Haake's orders. Goerdeler declined to accept reelection as mayor and resigned 31 March 1937.  When he was asked to head the finance department at Krupp AG, Hitler ordered Krupp to withdraw the offer. Instead Goerdeler became director of overseas sales at Robert Bosch.  After his resignation Goerdeler became involved in anti-Nazi plots and is thought to have been a British double agent. Had the 1944 20 July plot to assassinate Hitler succeeded, Goerdeler would have been Chancellor of the new government. He was imprisoned after the plot’s collapse and executed by the Gestapo 2 February 1945.

MIKHAIL GNESSIN (1863-1957), Russian Jewish composer and teacher whose The Maccabeans and The Youth of Abraham earned him the nickname “the Jewish Glinka." Gnessin's three sisters graduated with distinction from the Moscow Conservatory and founded the Gnessin State Musical College (1895)(now the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music), an elite Moscow music school.  In 1901 Gnessin entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory where he studied under Rimsky-Korsakov,  Glazunov and Anatoly Lyadov.  In 1905 he was expelled for taking part in a student strike during the Revolution of 1905 but was later reinstated.  In 1908 his Vrubel won the Glinka Prize and he helped found the Society for Jewish Folk Music.  After the 1917 Revolution Gnessin initially fared well -- traditional Jewish art flourished and a Jewish nationalist school of music was encouraged by the Soviet government. He produced several works during this period, including Songs from the Old Country (1919); The Maccabees (1921); The Youth of Abraham (1922); Song of Songs (1922); The Jewish Orchestra at the Ball of the Town Bailiff (1926); Red-Headed Motele (1926-1929); Ten Jewish Songs (1927).  In the 1930s he was forced to abandon "progressive tendencies" and music with "an overtly Jewish theme."  He remained nominal head of the Gnessin Institute until his death, but in the 1940s Gnessin's sister Elena was compelled by the Communist Party to dismiss him from teaching.

NAHUM GOLDMANN (1895-1982), Zionist leader, chief architect of pact pledging West Germany to pay reparations to Israel and individual Jews for Nazi acts. He founded the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and was president of the World Jewish Congress, which he helped organize (1936). Born in Lithuania and raised in Germany, Goldmann first visited Palestine 1913. He became an ardent Zionist and had to flee Germany (1934). He played a major role convincing the U.S. Government to back formation of a Jewish state by lobbying for partition. ''If things had not gone that way,'' he told Le Monde, ''I doubt whether the U.N. would have finally voted” yes. His involvement with Jewish issues continued throughout his life; just before he died he called on Israel to lift its siege of Beirut and recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization - a position subsequently repudiated by the WJC.

SAMMY GRONEMANN (1875-1952), lawyer, Zionist activist and satirical writer, was legal advisor to the Zionist Organization and president of the Zionist Congress Court before serving on the Eastern Front during WW I.  He grew up in Danzig and Hanover the son of an Orthodox rabbi, studied Talmud in Halberstadt, and became a lawyer in Hanover. In 1906 he moved to Berlin and opened a law office with the Zionist Alfred Klee. Gronemann participated in Zionist Congresses and was an editor of the satirical Zionist journal Der Schlemiel. He was also legal representative of the Schutzverband deutscher Schriftsteller and published satirical books.  Tohuwabohu (1920) is Gronemann’s first novel. His  second novel, Hawdoloh und Zapfenstreich (1924) was based on his Eastern Front experience. He was barred from practicing law in Berlin after 1933 and moved to Paris before emigrating to Tel Aviv (1936). His memoirs (Erinnerungen) were published in Germany (2002) and followed by a volume (2004) about his time in Berlin. - 1


ARTHUR HANTKE (1874–1955), Zionist leader and founding member (1893) of the Juedische Humanitaetsgesellschaft, a society of Jewish students in Berlin that eventually adopted a Jewish national outlook. Hantke joined the Zionist Organization in 1897. In 1905 he became a member of the Zionist General Council of the World Zionist Organization and was named director of the Zionist Federation in Germany. From 1910 to 1920 he was the Federation’s president. At the Tenth Zionist Congress in Basle (1911) he was elected to the Zionist Executive, where he was responsible for financial and organizational affairs.

MOSHE HOPENKO (1890-1949), violinist, teacher and music educator, was early administrator of 'Shulamit,' the first music conservatory in Palestine, founded in Tel Aviv 1910.   His first wife, occultist Maria de Naglowska (1883–1936) was disowned by her parents for marrying Hopenko, who later left her to go to Palestine. There he married Lena Krishevsky-Hopenko, a pianist the Arabs called 'Daughter of the gods.' ;

BRONISŁAW HUBERMAN (1882–1947), Jewish Polish violinist known for  individualistic interpretations and tone color, expressiveness, and flexibility.  He also founded the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (then the Palestine Philharmonic) and thus provided refuge from the Third Reich for nearly 1,000 European Jewish musicians.  The Gibson ex-Huberman Stradivarius violin which bears his name was stolen and recovered twice during the period in which he owned the instrument.;ław_Huberman



ARI IBN-ZAHAV (1899-1971), pen name of Leybl Goldshteyn (Goldstein), born in Grajewo Poland to a merchant family, went to Germany after WWI, attended high school in Magdeburg, and began university in Leipzig.  In 1922 he cut short his studies and settled in Jerusalem.  He served as secretary to Hebrew University 1924-1926 and made several trips abroad for it, spending several years in the U.S. (1940s).  With Judah Magnes he also founded the Hebrew University Press.  While still in Grajewo he began to write Hebrew poems and edit and publish a journal Hanoar (Youth).  He later participated in the German-Jewish periodical Jüdischer Almanach (Jewish almanac) and Jüdische Rundschau (Jewish review).  In Palestine he became a Hebrew novelist, poet and dramatist.  He also wrote about the war and the Holocaust; the war in the Land of Israel; a number of works for youth; and a revisionist novel, Shailok, hayehudi mevenetsyah (Shylock, the Jew from Venice) which was  produced for the stage.  He immortalized the Jews of Grajewo in his folkloristic trilogy Eleh mas’e hazapatim (The pitch workers) (Tel Aviv), which appeared in Yiddish as Di pekh-yidn (Warsaw, 1939) and was  published serially in Haynt (Today) in Warsaw. Di pekh-yidn also appeared in Polish and Hungarian. ;; 


(1908–1991) rose from abject poverty to become a concert star.  Born in a tent in Tasmania, she spent most of her childhood in Western Australia, where her Irish immigrant father was a miner. The family lived near a saloon where she began experimenting at the keyboard. She was encouraged by local convent nuns, who recommended her to a convent in Perth.  She never forgot her father's embarrassment when he was forced to admit he could not read or write when enrolling her.  When Percy Grainger was invited to the convent he pronounced her "the most transcendentally gifted child" he ever met. The touring German pianist Wilhelm Backhaus insisted she be sent to Leipzig; the miners passed the hat to help pay her fare. Years later, she recalled the musical education she received in Leipzig, where her tutors included "the emperor" of pianists, Artur Schnabel.  From Leipzig she went to London. She was 20 and not only an exceptionally gifted musician but a beautiful red-haired young woman. Throughout her career she was admired almost as much for her beauty as her performances.   She made a recording in London at her own expense and sent copies to leading conductors. Offers with top orchestras followed.  In 1936 she made her first tour of Australia, during which her proud father asked her to play Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms.  She knew dozens of concertos but had to admit she did not know the score. "Then all your schooling's been wasted!" he furiously complained.  She quickly learned the piece to please him.



IDA KAMINSKA (1899-1980), Polish-Jewish actress, director and impresario; Best Actress Oscar nominee (1967) for The Shop on Main Street.  Born in Odessa, she was the daughter of Yiddish stage actress Ester Rachel Kamińska and actor, director and stage producer Avram Izhak Kamiński.  Kamińska began her stage career at 5.  She was acting in tragedies and comedies and directing plays by 18.  In 1918 she married the Yiddish actor Zygmunt Turkow (1896-1970) of her parents' troupe.  Following a three-year tour in the Soviet Union, the couple established the Warsaw Jewish Art Theater (1922). She later organized her own Warsaw company, the Drama Theater of Ida Kamińska (1932), which she directed to 1939. In July 1936 she married the Yiddish actor Meir Melman.  In 1939 she fled with him to Lwów (Lviv, Ukraine), which was under safe Soviet occupation. There she directed a Yiddish theater funded by Soviet authorities.  In 1944 they acted in Moscow.  After the war, Kamińska and Melman returned to Warsaw to reestablish the Jewish theater, which reopened in 1946. In 1949 the Polish government funded the Jewish State Theater of Poland with Kamińska as artistic director, a post she held until 1968.


MINDRU KATZ (1925–1978), Romanian pianist, graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in Bucharest (1947), when he debuted with the Bucharest Philharmonic.  He ultimately visited 40 countries and played under conductors such as Sir John Barbirolli, Sir Adrian Boult, Antal Doráti, Lorin Maazel and Alfred Wallenstein.  Katz emigrated to Israel (1959) and joined the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv, where he became professor of piano (1972).  He was a jury member at the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition (Tel Aviv, 1974) together with Rubinstein, Arturo Michelangeli, and Eugene Istomin.  Katz was renowned for his recorded interpretations of J.S. Bach, Beethoven, the concertos of Khachaturian and Prokofiev, and the violin sonatas of Brahms and Franck.  He also recorded Chopin, Debussy, Enescu, Fauré, Haydn, Liszt, Mozart, Ravel, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. His playing was often compared with that of Vladimir Horowitz.   He died on stage in Istanbul performing Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Tempest. 


KONSTANTIN KOROVIN (1861–1939), Russian Impressionist painter and set designer.  In 1875 Korovin entered the Moscow School of Painting, where he studied with Vasily Perov and Alexei Savrasov and became lifelong friends with Valentin Serov and Isaac Levitan. In the early 20th century he focused on the theater, moving to the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg where he produced a mood decor conveying the general emotions of the performance and designed sets for Stanislavsky's dramatic productions as well as Mariinsky's operas and ballets. His designs for such Mariinsky productions as Faust (1899), The Little Humpbacked Horse (1901) and Sadko (1906) were famed for their expressiveness.  During WW I Korovin worked as a camouflage consultant for the Russian armies and was often at the front. After the October Revolution he continued theater work, designing for Richard Wagner's Die Walküre and Siegfried as well as The Nutcracker (1918–1920). In 1923 he moved to Paris on advice of Education Commissar Anatoly Lunacharsky to cure his heart condition and help his handicapped son. A large Paris exhibit of his works was planned, but the works were stolen and he was left penniless. For years he produced numerous Russian Winters and Paris Boulevards to make ends meet.  In the Thirties he produced designs for many major theatres of Europe, America, Asia and Australia, the most famous being his scenery for the Turin Opera House's production of Rimsky-Korsakov's The Golden Cockerel.  His son Alexey (b.1897) was a notable Russian-French painter whose feet were amputated in childhood and eventually committed suicide (1950).  


MATHILDA-MARIE FELIKSOVNA KSCHESSINSKAYA (“KSCHINSSKA”) (1872 – 1971), Polish-Russian ballerina and mistress of the future Tsar Nicholas II, eventually attained the top rank prima ballerina assoluta.  In 1896 she was named Prima ballerina of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres; legendary maestro Petipa objected, though she possessed extraordinary gifts as a dancer.  Petipa considered the Italian Pierina Legnani superior. Although she was able to command top billing in theatre programs, her efforts to obtain more new roles were thwarted by Petipa, who respected Kschessinska as a dancer but apparently despised her as a person, referring to her in his diaries as “that nasty little swine."

Kschessinska was involved with Nicholas II from 1890, when he was a grand duke and she was 17. The relationship continued for 3 years until Nicholas married. Scandals around her name persisted as she engaged in sexual relationships with two Romanov Grand Dukes.  Kschessinska could be ruthless with rivals. One famous miscalculation occurred  in 1906 when Kschessinska's coveted role of Lise in the Petipa/Ivanov production of La Fille Mal Gardée was given to Olga Preobrajenska. This production used live chickens on stage; before Preobrajenska's variation in the first act Pas de ruban Kschessinskaya opened the chicken coops and the fowls went flying. Preobrajenska continued her variation and received a storm of applause. 

Through her aristocratic connections Kschessinska amassed much valuable property. Vladimir Lenin addressed the revolutionary crowd from the balcony of her elegant Petrograd house when he returned from Finland in 1917. 


SHMARYA LEVIN (1867-1935), Zionist politician, Crown Rabbi [administrative head of Jewish community] in Grodno and Ekaterinoslav, CADETs [Constitutional Democrats Party] co-founder, First Duma member, writer; activist in the Russian Empire, then Germany, the U.S. and Mandate Palestine.  He was a director of the Keren Hayesod, the financial wing of the World Zionist Organization founded in London in 1920, based there until 1926, then in Jerusalem. Levin left Russia for Germany after dissolution of the First Duma (1906), then emigrated to America. From 1908 he began advocating for creation of the Haifa Technion. In Tel Aviv he and Bialik co-founded the Hebrew publishing house Dwir. His memoirs, Childhood in Exile (1929) and Youth in Revolt (1939) remain classics.;


ARTHUR VINCENT LOURIÉ (1892-1966), Russian composer, played an important role in early organization of Soviet music after the 1917 Revolution but later went into exile. His music reflects his close connections with contemporary writers and artists and with Stravinsky.  An admirer of van Gogh, from whom he derived the 'Vincent,' Lourié was partly self-taught but studied piano with Barinova and composition with Glazunov at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory.  He became friendly with the Futurist poets, particularly Anna Akhmatova, whose poetry he was among the first to set. He also knew Vladimir Mayakovsky and Alexander Blok. His early piano pieces from 1908 borrow from late works of Scriabin but evolve new kinds of discourse, arriving in 1914 at an early form of dodecaphony (the Synthèses) and in 1915 at the Formes en l'air dedicated to Picasso -- a Cubist conception using notation in which different systems are placed spatially on the page in independent blocks with blanks instead of bars' rest. After the 1917 Revolution Lourié served under Lunacharsky as head of the music division of the Commissariat of Popular Enlightenment (Narkompros). He became disenchanted and in 1921 went on an official visit to Berlin, where he befriended Busoni and failed to return. His works were then proscribed in the USSR. In 1922 he settled in Paris. From 1924-31 he was one of Stravinsky’s most important champions.  When the Germans occupied Paris (1941) he fled to the U.S. and settled in Princeton, aided by Serge Koussevitzky.é


MAGDA LUPESCU (1896?-1977), Romanian adventureess, as mistress of King Carol II of Romania had wide effects on Romanian public affairs during the 1930s. Her father was Jewish prior to conversion and her mother Roman Catholic. She was married to an army officer when (early 1920s) she began her liaison with Prince Carol, Romanian heir-apparent. When Carol refused to end the relationship he was forced to renounce succession and go into exile (1925). He later agreed to end the affair and became reconciled with his former wife, Princess Helen of Greece, in order to reclaim his crown.  In 1930, shortly after his return as king, he installed Lupescu in Bucharest.  She soon came to wield an influence considered stronger than any minister’s.  The National Peasant Party leader Iuliu Maniu railed against the “sinister Jewish influence at the palace” that was “responsible for almost every evil in this country.” Her Jewish origins marked her for vilification by the Iron Guard.  She fled the country with Carol after his abdication in September 1940. When they married in 1947 she became Princess Elena.



HENRI MARTEAU (1874-1934), French violinist, teacher and composer.  His French father was a well-known amateur violinist in Reims. His mother, a Berliner, was a pianist who had studied under Clara Schumann.  Marteau was remarkable for his individuality and his development. His debuted when 10 at a concert given by the Vienna Philharmonic Society conducted by Hans Richter. A tour through Switzerland and Germany followed. A year later Charles Gounod selected him to play the obbligato of Vision de Jeanne d'Arc, composed for the Joan of Arc Centenary Celebration at Reims, where he also performed before an audience of 2500 Léonard's Violin Concerto No. 5. Marteau made his professional debut in London in 1888. In 1892 he received first prize at the Conservatoire de Paris and Jules Massenet wrote a violin concerto for him. Further tours followed, including to America (1893, 1898) and Russia (1897-1899).  On Joseph Joachim’s death Marteau was called to the Hochschule of Berlin to be head of the violin department. During WW I he was expelled from Germany and moved to Sweden, where the Hofer Symphoniker sponsors the International Violin Competition Henri Marteau every three years.


LEWIS MILESTONE (Leib Milstein) (1895–1980), Russian-American motion picture director known for Two Arabian Knights (1927) and All Quiet on the Western Front (1930); both received Academy Awards for Best Director. He also directed The Front Page (1931–nomination), The General Died at Dawn (1936), Of Mice and Men (1939), Ocean's 11 (1960), and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962).   Milestone was born in Kishinev Bessarabia (now Chişinău Moldova), to a Jewish family.  He came to the U.S. just before WW I.



SIGMUND NEUMANN (1904-1962), Leipzig historian and political scientist at the University of Leipzig, then the German Academy for Politics in Berlin. After 1933 the Academy was nationalized and he was dismissed. He became a Rockefeller Fellow at the London School of Economics and (1934) Wesleyan University. In 1942 he wrote the groundbreaking work "Permanent Revolution: The Total State in a World War." Other important works were "Die Parteien in der Weimar Republik" (The Parties in the Weimar Republic) and "The Future in Perspective."  From 1944 he served the OSS as an advisor for Central Europe and was Visiting Lecturer at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration.  In 1949 he helped reconstruct the Free University of Berlin and the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich.

ARTHUR NIKISCH (1855–1922), Hungarian conductor, performed internationally in Boston, London and Berlin and was considered an outstanding interpreter of Bruckner, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Liszt. Brahms praised Nikisch's performance of his Fourth Symphony as "impossible to hear it any better."  Nikisch began violin studies at the Vienna Conservatory in 1866. Though he was engaged as a violinist at the Vienna Philharmonic and played in the Bayreuth Festival orchestra’s 1876 inaugural season, he achieved most of his fame as a conductor. In 1878 he moved to Leipzig and became second conductor of the Leipzig Opera; by 1879 he was principal conductor He gave the premiere of Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 in 1884; later became conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; and from 1893-95 was director of the Royal Opera in Budapest. In 1895 he succeeded Carl Reinecke as director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, became principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, and held both positions until his death.  Nikisch also served as director of the Leipzig Conservatory from 1902.  In April 1912 he took the London Symphony Orchestra to the United States, a first for a European orchestra. 

As a founder of modern conducting, Nikisch’s legacy is deep analysis of the score, a simple beat, and a charisma that let him bring out the orchestra’s full sonority. ...George Szell called Nikisch "an orchestral wizard."  After seeing a film of Nikisch, Herbert von Karajan described how impressed he was by Nikisch's use of his eyes instead of hand motions.



DANIEL OREN (1955--), Israeli conductor, born in Israel to a Muslim father and a Jewish mother. When he was 13 years old, Oren was chosen by Leonard Bernstein to perform the boy solo part in Chichester Psalms. In 1975 he won first prize in the first Herbert von Karajan Conducting Competition.  Oren has conducted opera productions all over Europe and the United States. Since 2007, he is the artistic director of the Teatro Verdi opera company in Salerno, Italy. Oren conducts at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan in New York, the Arena in Verona, the Vienna Staatsoper, the Bastille in Paris and the opera houses of RomeTriesteGenoaFlorenceParmaTurinVeniceBuenos AiresSan FranciscoTokyoHustonWashington . . . He also leads many symphonic concerts with orchestras such as the Santa Cecilia in Rome and the orchestras of Florence, KolnStuttgartFrankfurt and the Berlin Philharmonic. His repertoire includes Verdi operas such as AidaSimon BoccanegraLa TraviataRigoletto and Nabucco; and Puccini operas such as Madama ButterflyTosca and Turandot; as well as Andrea Chenier (Giordano), Norma (Bellini), La Juive (Halevy) and Carmen (Bizet).  At the Israeli Opera he conducted Nabucco (Verdi), La Bohème, Tosca (Puccini) and La Juive (Halevy). (accessed 3-9-16).



ODON PARTOS (1907-1977), Hungarian-Israeli violist and composer.  In 1936 Bronisław Huberman founded the Palestine Orchestra (now Israel Philharmonic Orchestra), recruiting Jewish musicians cast out of Europe.  This included Partos, who emigrated from the USSR.  From 1938–56 Partos was principal violist of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and performed numerous solos abroad.  In 1946 he co-founded the Samuel Rubin Israel Academy of Music (now Buchmann-Mehta School of Music) in Tel Aviv. In 1951 Partos was appointed director of the Academy, a position he held until his death.  Partos is regarded as among the most important Israeli composers.  He was awarded the Israel Prize in 1954, the first such honoree in music.Ödön_Pártos  

PERETZ PASCAL (1871-1947), Zionist, agronomist, estate manager and personality.  Peretz received a scholarship from Baron de Rothchild to study horticulture in France. On return he became agronomist and overseer of Bat Shlomo, established 1888 on land purchased by the Baron. “Peretz was a sunny man, full of energy. As sometimes happens, this golden man married a difficult woman.” Marie Rokach was the daughter of a notable early proto-Zionist, Elazar Rokach, who made several journeys to Romania in the 1880s from his home in Palestine to gather Romanian Jews to the Promised Land. Elazar's widow disapproved of the handsome blond blue-eyed Peretz -- no matter. Peretz and his mother Sophie absconded with Marie and hurried to Haifa for a wedding.  Peretz soon was in charge of plantations in Rosh Pina and Yesod Hamaala. As manager responsible for development of agriculture in upper Galilee, he developed friendships with Arabs and fostered respect between Arabs and Jews. In 1896 he was sent to Spain to learn raisin manufacturing. In 1897 he resigned from Rothschild and settled in Petach Tikvah, a citrus-growing center. In 1905 he, his brother-in-law, and his wife's uncle Shimon Rokach established the largest orange grove in Palestine, the 150 acre Bakharia, 20 times the average local grove. “Those were wondrous days. Petah Tikvah was a cross between a shtetl and a hacienda. Blanche, my grandmother, told me about waiting for new Debussy Victrola records from Paris to arrive on the stagecoach. She also remembered deadly snakes and devastating locusts.”  “From Transylvania to Pennsylvania [The Journeys of the Pascals,1880-2009] ;

MAX VON PAUER (1866 -1945) German pianist and teacher, son of British-German pianist Ernst Pauer. He studied in London to 1885 with his father at the Royal Academy of Music together with Eugen d'Albert. From 1887-97 he taught at the Conservatory of Cologne and from 1897-1924 at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Stuttgart. In 1908 he was appointed Director of the latter, which he redesigned to a modern music college.  From 1924-1932 he headed the State Conservatory of Music in Leipzig. He was a pianist of world renown, of great importance to the faithfulness of works in arrangements.



BERNHARD PAUMGARTNER (1887-1971), conductor, composer, musicologist.  For more than a half century Paumgartner left his imprint on the culture of Salzburg.. After his law degree (1911) and study with Bruno Walter, Paumgartner worked as solo repetiteur at the Vienna State Opera, directed the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchester (1914-1917) and taught sight-reading at the Vienna Academy of Music. In 1917 he moved to Salzburg as director of the Mozarteum.  With Max Reinhardt he was co-founder of the Salzburg Festival and its administrator from 1920. He introduced Mozart’s early operas to the public in the court of the Residence, was in charge of stage and music, initiated the Mozart serenades and matinées, and made his legendary Mozart interpretations world-famed as director of the Mozarteum’s Camerata Academica, an ensemble he founded.  He also worked as professor, writer, composer, editor, translator and arranger, and set the stage for initiatives including the Renaissance of the Hellbrunn Stone Theater, the Hellbrunn Festival, the Musica aurea concerts and the Fine-Arts High-School.


JOSEPH N. PEW, JR. (1886-1963), American industrialist and influential Republican.  When his father died (1912) Pew became vice president of Sun Oil at 26 and his brother J. Howard Pew became president at 30.  The Pew brothers were instrumental in expansion of Sun Oil. Known for their commitment to employees, they never laid off a worker during the Great Depression and developed one of the first employee stock-sharing plans. They founded Sun Shipbuilding (1916), the largest private shipyard and biggest producer of oil tankers in America by WWar II. Pew was behind the effort to develop gasoline without tetraethyl lead, creating Blue Sunoco. He also developed a gyroscopic instrument with high-speed camera and timing device that prevented drilling oil wells. Pew opposed President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. By spending millions of dollars he earned a reputation as Pennsylvania's political boss, controlling state and national elections. He funded the  Republican National Committee in an effort to keep Roosevelt from office. Although largely unsuccessful on the national scene, Pew's work in his home state was responsible for a number of elections.  He appeared on the cover of Time Magazine 6 May 1940 as "Republican Pew."  In 1948, the Pew siblings founded The Pew Charitable Trusts to serve the public interest.,_Jr.

GREGOR PIATIGORSKY (1903-1976), born in Ekaterinoslav, was taught violin and piano by his father. Hearing the cello, he determined to become a cellist and won a scholarship to the Moscow Conservatory while earning money for his family playing in cafés.  He was 13 when the Russian Revolution began and he started playing in the Lenin Quartet. At 15 he was principal cellist for the Bolshoi Theater. Soviet authorities would not allow him to travel abroad to further his studies, so he smuggled himself and his cello into Poland on a cattle train with a group of artists. He studied briefly in Berlin and Leipzig with Hugo Becker and Julius Klengel, playing in another Russian café to earn food money. Among the café patrons were Emanuel Feuermann and Wilhelm Furtwängler. Furtwängler hired him as principal cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic.  From 1941-49 he was head of the cello department at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and also taught at Tanglewood, Boston University, and the University of Southern California, where he remained until his death. Piatigorsky participated in a chamber group with Arthur Rubinstein (piano), William Primrose (viola) and Jascha Heifetz (violin), sometimes called the "Million Dollar Trio."  Ivan Galamian described Piatigorsky as the greatest string player of all time.  Composers who wrote pieces for him include Sergei Prokofiev, Paul Hindemith and Igor Stravinsky. 



SERGEI RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943), Russian pianist and composer considered one of the finest pianists of his day and as a composer one of the last great representatives of Russian Romanticism in classical music.  Early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and other Russian composers gave way to a personal style notable for its song-like melodicism, expressiveness and rich orchestral colors. The piano features prominently in Rachmaninoff's compositions, and through his skills as a performer he expanded the instrument’s expressive possibilities.  Rachmaninoff was famed for a clean and virtuosic technique marked by precision, rhythmic drive, notable use of staccato and ability to maintain clarity when playing complex works.  He had extremely large hands with which he could easily maneuver through the most complex chords. His left hand technique was unusually powerful. His playing was marked by definition—where other pianists' playing sounded blurry from overuse of the pedal or deficiencies in finger technique, Rachmaninoff's textures were always crystal clear. Only Josef Hofmann and Josef Lhevinne shared this kind of clarity. All three men had Anton Rubinstein as a model. 


SIMON RAWIDOWICZ (1896–1957), Jewish scholar, philosopher, Hebraist, and ideologue. Born in Grajewo, Rawidowicz became attracted to the Haskalah and Modern Hebrew literature. After the outbreak of WW I he moved with his family to Bialystok, where he became active in Hebrew cultural life. In 1919 he left for Berlin, where he obtained a Ph.D. in philosophy (1926) for his dissertation on Ludwig Feuerbach, expanded to Ludwig Feuerbachs Philosophie: Ursprung and Schicksal ("Feuerbach's Philosophy: Sources and Influence," 1931; 1964). He also made his mark as Judaica scholar with Kitvei Ranak ("The Writings of Nahman Krochmal," 1924; 1961) and volume 7 of the Moses Mendelssohn Jubilee Edition (1930; 1971). Rawidowicz argued that as long as the Diaspora existed, it had to develop an ideology of creative survival enabling it to enter into equal partnership with the Jewish community of the Land of Israel.;

MORDECHAI RECHTMAN (1926-), Israeli reed player, conductor and pedagogue, was principal bassoonist of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (1946-91) and since has won renown as arranger, conductor and educator. His 200+ small and large-scale arrangements are performed world and have been recorded and published in over a dozen editions by orchestras, ensembles, chamber groups, artists and soloists such as Zubin Mehta and Itzhak Perlman. He has performed and collaborated with music icons including Sir John Barbirolli, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Charles Münch, Josef Krips, Leopold Stokowski, Georg Solti, Yehudi Menuhin, Gregor Piatigorsky, Artur Rubenstein, David Oistrakh, Igor Stravinsky, Eugene Ormandy, James Levine, Leonard Bernstein, Jascha Heifetz, Mitislav Rostropovich, Isaac Stern, Yo-Yo Ma, Claudio Abbado, Kurt Mazur, Vladimir Ashkenazi, and Lorin Maazel.;


MAX REGER (1873-1916), German pianist, organist, composer, teacher; professor; director of the Leipzig Conservatory after Carl Reineke.  During his first Munich season (1901) Reger appeared in 10 concerts as organist, chamber pianist and accompanist. He continued to compose without interruption. From 1907 he worked in Leipzig, where he was music director of the university until 1908 and professor of composition at the conservatory until his death. In 1911 he moved to Meiningen as Hofkapellmeister at the court of Georg II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen.  In 1915 he moved to Jena, commuting to teach in Leipzig. He died 1916 on one of these trips, age 43.  Reger produced an enormous output over 25 years. Many of his works are fugues or variations, including probably his best known orchestral work, the Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart based on the opening theme of Mozart's Piano Sonata in A major, K. 331. He also wrote much organ music, the most famous being his Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and Fantasy and Fugue on Bach.  Reger became friends with the famous German organist Karl Straube, who premiered many of his works.

CARL REINECKE (1824–1913), German pianist, composer, conductor, and teacher.  He taught counterpoint and piano at the Cologne Conservatory (1851–54) and was music director at Bremen (1854–59), then Breslau University (1859–60).  He was conductor of Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchestra (1860–95) and teacher of piano and composition at the Leipzig Conservatory from 1860 while he continued his concert tours. He became the Conservatory’s director in 1897.  He was one of the most influential musicians of his time, counting among his students Edvard Grieg, Hugo Riemann, Arthur Sullivan and Felix Weingartner.   He wrote for orchestra (symphonies, overtures, concertos), piano, and voice as well as chamber music and for the stage.


NADIA REISENBERG (1904–1983), Lithuanian-American pianist and teacher. Born in Vilnius, Reisenberg studied under Leonid Nikolayev at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. During the October Revolution she and her family returned to Vilnius then traveled to Warsaw and Germany, settling in New York (1922).  Reisenberg gave concerts in the 1920s, particularly with her sister Clara Rockmore, but in 1930 went back to study with Josef Hofmann.  She was especially praised for her Mozart piano concertos, played (with Alfred Wallenstein conducting) for WOR and broadcast 1939-40. These concerts "made radio history."  Later Reisenberg taught at the Juilliard School and was a juror for the Leventritt Competition.  Since 2002 the biannual Nadia Reisenberg Recital Award competition sponsored by The Nadia Reisenberg and Clara Rockmore Foundation has been held at Mannes College in New York.


NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908), Russian composer, member of The Five. A master of orchestration, his best-known orchestral compositions—Capriccio Espagnol, the Russian Easter Festival Overture, and the symphonic suite Scheherazade—are staples of the classical music repertoire along with suites and excerpts from his 15 operas. Scheherazade is an example of his frequent use of fairy tale and folk subjects.  He believed with fellow composer Mily Balakirev and critic Vladimir Stasov in a nationalistic style of classical music which employed Russian folk song and lore with exotic harmonic, melodic and rhythmic elements in a practice known as musical orientalism. He came to appreciate Western musical techniques after he became professor of musical composition, harmony and orchestration at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory (1871) and undertook a rigorous three-year program of self-education to incorporate them. His composition and orchestration were further enriched by exposure to the works of Richard Wagner. For much of his life Rimsky-Korsakov combined composition and teaching with a career in the Russian military as an officer in the Imperial Russian Navy then as civilian Inspector of Naval Bands, which expanded his knowledge of woodwind and brass playing. He passed this knowledge to his students personally and posthumously through a textbook on orchestration completed by his son-in-law, Maximilian Steinberg.  Rimsky-Korsakov is considered "the main architect" of the Russian style of composition. He also became a liberal icon to generations of Russian musicians for his defiance of Tsarist restrictions during the 1905 Revolution. His influence on younger composers was especially important, as he was a bridge between  Glinka and professionally-trained composers who became the Russian norm by the end of the 19th century. While his style was based on Glinka, Balakirev, Hector Berlioz, and Franz Liszt, he "transmitted this style directly to two generations of Russian composers" and influenced non-Russians including Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Paul Dukas and Ottorino Respighi.


GENIA ROBINOR (1901-1996), pianist and teacher, was born in Odessa and graduated from its Imperial Conservatory and (after immigrating to the U.S.) Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute.  She appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy among others, and taught at the Settlement Music School (Philadephia) and Third Street Music School (NY).  Her pupils included Andre Watts.


ISRAEL ROKACH (1886–1959), Israeli politician, mayor of Tel Aviv (1936-53). Knesset member. Born in Neve Tzedek, then part of Jaffa, he moved to the U.K (1920). for 2 years as an electrical engineer. In the 1936 municipal elections he represented the right-wing parties but lost to Moshe Chelouche of the workers' parties. Nevertheless the British High Commissioner forced Rokach's appointment. Despite public uproar Rokach went on to serve as mayor of Tel Aviv until 1953. The 1936-39 Arab revolt, World War II and the 1948 Arab-Israeli War all occurred during his tenure, including Operation Hametz, the capture of Jaffa from Arab control. During this period Tel Aviv was bombed from the air multiple times, first by the Italian Air Force (1940). After independence Rokach served as head of the Maccabi World Union. He was a member of the first through third Knesset, where he was deputy speaker.  In the fourth and fifth governments (1952-1955) he was Interior Minister of Israel. In 2008 Israel honored him on a postage stamp.


SOLOMON ROSOWSKY (1878-1962), composer and musicologist. Born in Riga, son of noted cantor Baruch Leib Rosowsky, after receiving a law degree he studied under Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov and Liadov. He was a cofounder of the Society for Jewish Folk Music in Petrograd (1908), where he also was music director of the Yiddish Art Theater.  In 1920 he founded the first Jewish Conservatory of Music at Riga.  He immigrated to Palestine (1925), taught music there, and researched biblical cantillation. He attempted with Y. L. Ne'eman to analyze the "essence" of the East Ashkenazi (Poland-Lithuania) musical style. This resulted in the voluminous The Cantillation of the Bible (The Five Books of Moses) (New York, 1957).  Rosowsky composed songs, chamber and orchestral music and music for the Hebrew theater. He was a pioneer in his quest for a modern Hebrew style based on traditional and Oriental elements. His later years were spent in New York, where he taught at the Cantors' Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary.


REUVEN RUBIN (1893-1974), Romanian-born Israeli painter, Israel's first ambassador to Romania.  Born 8th of 13 children to a poor Romanian Jewish Hasidic family, in 1912 he left for Ottoman Palestine to study at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.  He soon moved to Paris and its École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. At WWI he was returned to Romania. In 1921 he traveled to the U.S. where he and fellow artist Arthur Kolnik met Alfred Stieglitz, who organized their first American show. In 1923 Rubin emigrated to Mandate Palestine. He met his wife (1928) on a passenger ship; she was a Bronx girl who  won a trip to Palestine in a Young Judea competition. Rubin’s Cezannesque landscapes from the 1920s were defined by both a modern and a naive style, portraying the landscape and inhabitants of Israel in a sensitive fashion. His landscape paintings in particular featured a spiritual, translucent light. From the 1930s Rubin also designed backdrops for Habima, Ohel  and other theaters. His paintings are increasingly sought; at a 2007Sotheby's auction his work accounted for 6 of the 10 top lots.


ARTHUR RUBINSTEIN (1887–1982), Polish-American pianist, played in public for eight decades.  Many regard him as the greatest Chopin interpreter of his time.  Rubinstein was born in Łódź and at 2 demonstrated perfect pitch.  In 1894 he debuted with pieces by Mozart, Schubert and Mendelssohn. At 10 he moved to Berlin and at 13 gave his first performance with the Berlin Philharmonic. As a student of Karl Heinrich Barth Rubinstein inherited a renowned lineage -- Barth was a pupil of Liszt, who had been taught by Czerny, who was a pupil of Beethoven.  Rubinstein debuted at Carnegie Hall in 1906 and toured the U.S., Austria, Italy, and Russia. But by 1908, destitute and desperate, he attempted to hang himself. Subsequently he said he felt "reborn" with an unconditional love of life.  During WW I he gave London recitals; he was disgusted by Germany's conduct and never played there after 1914. .In 1916-17 he toured Spain and South America, where he was wildly acclaimed.  He toured the U.S. again in 1937, becoming centered there during WW II when he lived in Brentwood, California.  Rubinstein provided the piano soundtrack for several films including Song of Love with Katharine Hepburn, and appeared as himself in Carnegie Hall and Of Men and Music.  Although best known as recitalist and concerto soloist, Rubinstein was also an outstanding chamber musician, partnering with such luminaries as Henryk Szeryng, Jascha Heifetz, Pablo Casals, Gregor Piatigorsky and the Guarneri Quartet. In 1964 at the height of the Cold War he gave a legendary concert in Moscow with a pure Chopin program. In 1969 Arthur Rubinstein – The Love of Life won the Academy Award for Best Documentary.  Rubinstein once stated: "It is said that when I was young I divided my time impartially among wine, women and song. I deny this categorically. Ninety percent of my interests were women."


ELIAHU (“LONIA”) RUDIAKOV (1910?-1968), Israeli pianist and teacher, was born in Kiev, where he was informally adopted by Chaim and Manya Bialik.  He emigrated with his mother to Tel Aviv around 1925; studied with Rebecca Burstein-Arber there and at the Leipzig Conservatory (1928-31); and had an international concert career before becoming one of the foremost piano teachers in Palestine.  He died of allergic reaction to a vaccination while preparing for an American concert tour.  His pupils included Menachem Pressler and his own son Michael Rudiakov (1934-2000), cellist and founder of the Manchester (N.H.) Music Festival.  His grandson Ariel Rudiakov, a violist, continues to manage the Festival.


ARTHUR RUPPIN (1876–1943), sociologist and Zionist thinker, was a founder of Tel Aviv.  He directed Berlin's Bureau for Jewish Statistics and Demography from 1902-1907; joined the faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, founding its sociology department (1926); and published the influential sociology work The Jews in the Modern World (1934).  As head of the Zionist Organization’s Jaffa Office from 1908, Ruppin became chief Zionist land agent. He helped secure a loan for development of Ahuzat Bayit (later Tel Aviv) and acquired land in the Carmel, Afula, the Jezreel Valley, and Jerusalem. He was instrumental in shaping Jewish settlement in Palestine, changing its paradigm from plantation owners and poor laborers to the collective/cooperative kibbutzim and moshavim that became the backbone of the state-in-the-making.  He also headed the Jewish Agency between 1933-35 and helped settle the large numbers of Jewish immigrants from Germany during that period.



PNINA SALZMAN (1922-2006), Israeli classical pianist and piano pedagogue.  Salzman gave her first recital at the age of eight. The French pianist and teacher Alfred Cortot heard her play in 1932 while she was a student at Shulamit Conservatory and invited her to Paris to study. She graduated at the Ecole Normale de Musique then became a pupil of Magda Tagliaferro at the Conservatoire de Paris, where she was to win the Premier Prix de Piano in 1938, aged 16.  Through the violinist Bronislaw Huberman she first developed a lifelong association with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, which Huberman had founded.  In 1963 she became the first Israeli to be invited to play in the USSR and in 1994 the first Israeli pianist invited to play in China. Besides performing as a soloist, she was a member of the Israel Piano Quartet. She was a Professor and the head of the piano department at Tel Aviv University and served on the jury of many piano competitions, including the Arthur RubinsteinVladimir Horowitz and Marguerite Long competitions.  In 2006, Salzman was awarded the Israel Prize for music.; (both accessed 3-9-16).


HJALMAR HORACE GREELEY SCHACT (1877 –1970), German economist, banker, liberal politician, and co-founder (1918) of the German Democratic Party,  served as Currency Commissioner and President of the Reichsbank in the Weimar Republic, where he was instrumental in halting hyper-inflation. A fierce critic of his country's post-World War I reparation obligations, he later supported Adolf Hitler and served as President of the Reichsbank (1933-1939) and Minister of Economics (1934-1937). Schacht played a key role implementing Hitler’s early economic policies but opposed German re-armament.  He also opposed what he called "unlawful activities" against Germany's Jewish minority.  In 1935 he publicly denounced Julius Streicher and Streicher's Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer.  During the 1935–36 economic crisis Schacht and Price Commissioner Dr. Carl Friedrich Goerdeler led the "free-market" government faction that unsuccessfully urged Hitler to reduce military spending, turn from autarkic and protectionist policies, and reduce state control in the economy.   As a result he was forced out of the government (December 1937).  He became a fringe member of the German Resistance to Hitler and was imprisoned by the Nazis after the 20 July 1944 plot. He later was tried at Nuremberg and acquitted.  In 1953 he founded a private bank in Düsseldorf. He also advised developing countries on economic development.


ARTUR SCHNABEL (1882–1951), Austrian pianist, composer and teacher, was known for intellectual seriousness and avoiding pure technical bravura. His playing displayed marked vitality, profundity and spirituality, particularly in Beethoven and Schubert. His performances have been hailed as models of interpretative penetration; Harold C. Schonberg called him ‘the man who invented Beethoven.’  Schnabel began piano at 4, at 6 began studies under Hans Schmitt of the Vienna Conservatorium, and at 9 was accepted as a pupil by the redoubtable Theodor Leschetizky. He studied music theory and composition under Eusebius Mandyczewski, an assistant to Johannes Brahms, and was often in the great composer's presence. He debuted in Berlin (1898) at the Bechstein-Saal. After WW I he toured widely, visiting the U.S, Russia and England. He gained initial fame through concerts under  conductor Arthur Nikisch as well as playing in chamber music and accompanying his future wife, the contralto Therese Behr, in Lieder. He played with the most distinguished conductors of the day, including Wilhelm Furtwängler, Bruno Walter, Otto Klemperer, George Szell, Willem Mengelberg, and Sir Adrian Boult. His mother Ernestine Taube remained in Vienna after the Anschluss and at 83 was deported to Theresienstadt, where she died 2 months later. Schnabel never returned to Germany or Austria.


SALMAN SCHOCKEN (1877-1959), German-Jewish publisher, business magnate, arts patron and book collector, was the son of a Jewish shopkeeper in Posen.  In 1901 he moved to Zwickau Saxony, to help manage a department store owned by his brother Simon. They established stores throughout Germany that were known for quality and low prices.  Schocken commissioned noted German-Jewish architect Erich Mendelsohn to build branches of Kaufhaus Schocken in Chemnitz and Stuttgart. In 1910 Schocken married Zerline (Lilli) Ehrmann, a 20-year-old German Jewish woman from Frankfurt. In 1915, Schocken co-founded Zionist journal Der Jude with Martin Buber. After Simon's death (1929) Salman Schocken became sole owner of the firm and established the Schocken Institute for Research on Hebrew Poetry (Berlin). In 1931 he founded the publisher Schocken Verlag, which reprinted the Buber-Rosenzweig translation of the Bible.  He successfully moved the publishing house and his large Jewish/German library to Tel Aviv (1935), acquired the newspaper Ha’aretz, and established Schocken offices in New York, where he settled in 1945.   His son Gershom Schocken became head of the paper and of Schocken Books Israel, which currently are headed by his grandson Amos (Ha’aretz) and grand-daughter Racheli Schocken Edelman (Schocken Books).


SOL SCHOENBACH (1915-1999), American bassoonist and teacher, was staff bassoonist for the CBS orchestra 1932-37 and principal bassoonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra 1937-57.   After retiring from the Philadelphia Orchestra Schoenbach was director of the Settlement Music School (1957-81) and president of the International Double Reed Society (1981-84).  Schools where he taught include the Curtis Institute of Music, the Berkshire Music Center and the New England Conservatory of Music.

GERSHOM (GERHARD) SCHOLEM (1897–1982), German-born Israeli philosopher and historian, regarded as founder of the modern academic study of Kabbalah.  He was the first Professor of Jewish Mysticism at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His friends included Walter Benjamin and Leo Strauss. Martin Buber once remarked, “all of us have students, schools, but only Gershom Scholem has created a whole academic discipline.” Scholem was part of a select group of Weimar-period German-Jewish intellectuals who rejected their parents' assimilationist liberal lives in favor of Zionism. He immigrated to Palestine 1923 and quickly became a central figure in the German-Jewish immigrant community that dominated Mandate Palestine’s intellectual landscape from the 1920's to WW II.  He published over 40 volumes and close to 700 articles but is perhaps best known for his collection of lectures, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941) and his biography Sabbatai Zevi, the Mystical Messiah (1973).  His collected speeches and essays, On Kabbalah and its Symbolism (1965), helped spread knowledge of Jewish mysticism among non-Jews. ;

ALEXANDER SCRIABIN (1872-1915), Russian composer and pianist. Scriabin, who was influenced by Chopin, composed early works characterised by tonal language. Later, independent of Arnold Schoenberg he developed a substantially atonal and much more dissonant musical system which fit his personal mysticism.  Scriabin was influenced by synesthesia and associated colors with the various harmonic tones of his atonal scale; his color-coded circle of fifths was also influenced by theosophy. He is considered by some to be the main Russian Symbolist composer and was one of the most innovative and controversial early modern composers. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia said that "No composer has had more scorn heaped on him or greater love bestowed." Leo Tolstoy described Scriabin's music as "a sincere expression of genius."  Scriabin had a major impact on the music world over time, influencing composers such as Igor Stravinsky and Sergei Prokofiev. According to his biographer, "No one was more famous during their lifetime, and few were more quickly ignored after death." His musical aesthetics have been reevaluated, and his 10 published piano sonatas -- which arguably provided the most consistent contribution to the genre since Beethoven's set -- have been increasingly championed.

MARCELLA SEMBRICH (1858–1935), stage name of Polish coloratura Prakseda Marcelina Kochańska. Sembrich had an important international career, chiefly at the New York Metropolitan Opera and Royal Opera House (Covent Garden, London). She entered the Vienna Conservatory 1875, studying violin with Joseph Hellmesberger, Sr., piano with Julius Epstein, and voice with Viktor Rokitansky.  She made her operatic debut at Athens as Elvira in Bellini's I Puritani 3 June 1877. There she also sang Dinorah, Lucia di Lammermoor, Robert le Diable and La Sonnambula -- a testament to her training and intelligence that a 19-year-old soprano could learn so many roles in a foreign language so quickly.  In 1880 she created a sensation in her Covent Garden debut at as Lucia. She also became a favorite in the characters of Zerlina, Don Giovanni; Susanna, The Marriage of Figaro; Konstanze, The Abduction from the Seraglio; and Lady Harriet/Martha, Martha.  In 1883 she went to the U.S. to sing in the new Metropolitan Opera company, where she debuted as Lucia. She was also the Met's first Elvira in I Puritani, Violetta in La Traviata, Amina in La Sonnambula, Gilda in Rigoletto, Marguerite in Les Huguenots and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and a tremendous favorite at the Italian Opera in St. Petersburg (1890-97).  Sembrich sang more than 450 Met performances in 11 seasons.  During WW I she was president of the New York American-Polish Relief Committee, raising money, food and clothes for her countrymen. The Kosciuszko Foundation in New York holds the annual Marcella Sembrich Voice Competition.;

ZALMAN SHAZAR (1889-1974), poet, historian, politician and 3rd President (1963-73) of the State of Israel, was born Shneor Zalman Rubashov in Belarus to a family of hassidic rabbis. In 1905 Shazar joined the Poalei Tsion and helped organize Jewish self-defense groups in Belarus and Ukraine. At the 13th Zionist Congress (1923) he was elected to the Zionist executive. A year later he immigrated to Palestine, devoting his energy to the labor movement and Zionist Organization. He was a member of the executive committee of the Histadrut labor union, a member of the editorial board of the newspaper Davar, and the paper's Editor in Chief (1944-49).  He also represented the Zionist Movement in public relations tours in Europe and the U.S.  Shazar helped write the Israeli Declaration of Independence and after establishment of the state was elected as a member of the 1st through 3rd Knessets.  He was also appointed Minister of Education and Culture in the first Israeli cabinet. After resigning he joined the board of the Jewish Agency and served it in various capacities.  He is buried among the nation's great on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.


VLADIMIR SOFRONITSKY (1901-1961), Russian pianist born in St Petersburg, initially trained in Warsaw. From 1916-21 he studied under Leonid Nikolayev in the Petrograd Conservatory, where Dmitri Shostakovich, Maria Yudina, and Elena Scriabina, eldest daughter of the deceased Alexander Scriabin, were his classmates. He met Scriabina 1917 and married her in 1920. He taught at the Leningrad Conservatory (1936-42), then at the Moscow Conservatory until his death. He gave his first solo concert in 1919 and his only foreign tour in France between 1928-1929. The only other time he performed outside the Soviet Union was at 1945 Potsdam Conference, when he was suddenly sent by Stalin to play for the allied leaders.. Sofronitsky recorded a large number of Scriabin works and compositions by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Liszt, Lyadov, Rachmaninoff, Medtner, and Prokofiev.  He also had great affinity for Frédéric Chopin. He once told an interviewer: "A love for Chopin has followed me through the course of my entire life."


MAXIMILLIAN STEINBERG (1883–1946), composer, was born to a Lithuanian Jewish family in Vilnius, where his father was a leading Hebraist. In 1901 he studied biology at Saint Petersburg University but also started studying at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He entered Anatoly Lyadov's harmony class, moving on to Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's harmony class and Alexander Glazunov's counterpoint class, where his classmates included Igor Stravinsky. His talent in composition was encouraged by his mentor Rimsky-Korsakov. He graduated from the Conservatory 1908; married Rimsky-Korsakov's daughter; and when Rimsky-Korsakov died edited and completed Rimsky-Korsakov's monumental treatise, Principles of Orchestration. Steinberg became a lecturer, then Professor of Composition and Orchestration at the Conservatory (1915), a post his father-in-law had held. He had numerous other Conservatory posts before retiring 1946.   He played an important role in Soviet music life as a teacher of composers such as Dmitri Shostakovich.  He was initially considered a great hope of Russian music and was occasionally more highly estimated than his student colleague Stravinsky. He rejected Stravinsky's and other modern styles, usually preferring the style of his teachers and showing the influence of the nationalistic Mighty Handful. His composing technique features firm control and brilliant orchestration.

RONALD HENRY AMHERST STORRS, KCMG, CBE (1881–1955), official in the British Foreign and Colonial Office,  served as Oriental Secretary in Cairo, Military Governor of Jerusalem, Governor of Cyprus, and Governor of Northern RhodesiaT. E. Lawrence commented in The Seven Pillars of Wisdom: "The first of all of us was Ronald Storrs, Oriental Secretary of the Residency, the most brilliant Englishman in the Near East, and subtly efficient despite his diversion of energy in love of music and letters, of sculpture, painting, of whatever was beautiful in the world's fruit. Storrs was always first, and the great man among us." In 1917 Storrs became "the first military governor of Jerusalem since Pontius Pilate" for which he was given the army rank of colonel. In 1921 he became Civil Governor of Jerusalem and Judea. In these positions he attempted to support Zionism while protecting the rights of  Arab inhabitants and earned both sides’ hostility.

LEO STRAUSS (1899–1973), conservative German-American political philosopher and classicist, was born in Germany to Jewish parents and later emigrated to the U.S., spending most of his career as political science professor at the University of Chicago where he taught several generations of students and published 15 books. Originally trained in the neo-Kantian tradition with Ernst Cassirer and immersed in the work of phenomenologists Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, Strauss joined a Jewish fraternity and worked for the German Zionist movement, which introduced him to German-Jewish intellectuals such as Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin. Strauss also was engaged with Franz Rosenzweig, Gershom Scholem and the Arabist Paul Kraus.  He later focused on Plato and Aristotle, tracing their interpretation through medieval Islamic and Jewish philosophy and encouraging their application to contemporary political theory. For Strauss, politics and philosophy were necessarily intertwined. He regarded the trial of Socrates as the moment when political philosophy came into existence, noting Socrates' argument that philosophers could not study nature without considering their own human nature, which is that of "a political animal."  Strauss wrote that Friedrich Nietzsche was the first philosopher to properly understand Historicism, noting that Nietzsche believed "our own principles, including the belief in progress, will become as unconvincing and alien as all earlier principles had shown themselves to be" and "the only way out seems to be that one voluntarily choose life-giving delusion instead of deadly truth -- that one fabricate a myth.” ;


ISAAK SUWALSKY (1863–1913), Talmudic scholar and Zionist rationalist, writer, printer, publisher and journalist.  Born in Kolno Poland, he earned a Rabbinic degree from the famed Voloshin Yeshiva (Warsaw) at 19, started a Hebrew literary periodical, and began contributing articles to the Hebrew press reflecting his Orthodox religious principles and how to reconcile them with modern life.  In 1895 he emigrated to London, where he single-handedly established the Hebrew weekly ha- Yehudi (1897-1913) of which he was publisher, editor, compositor, and staff writer.  He also dealt in Hebrew books and organized charitable institutions in London’s East End.  He was President, National Zionist League and attended the sixth Zionist conference at Basle (1903) as part of the Anglo-Jewish delegation.  His publications include 'Keneset ha-Gedolah' (1890-1891) and ‘The Jewish Way of Life according to the Talmud’ (1895).   He “died sick and poor, but famous.”    


KAROL (CARL) SZYMANOWSKI (1882–1937), Polish pianist and writer, was the most celebrated Polish composer of the early 20th century.  His early works show the influence of the late Romantic German school and early works of Alexander Scriabin. Later he developed an impressionistic and partly atonal style represented by such works as the Third Symphony and Violin Concerto No. 1. His third period was influenced by the folk music of the Polish Górale region.  He was awarded highest national honors including the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and other distinctions Polish and foreign.  Of his musical and literary works created or first imagined during 1917-21, one critic has written: "we have a body of work representing a dazzling personal synthesis of cultural references, crossing the boundaries of nation, race and gender to form an affirmative belief in an international society of the future based on the artistic freedom granted by Eros." Szymanowski settled in Warsaw 1919 after the Bolshevik Revolution. In 1926 he became Director of the Warsaw Conservatory. In 1928 he was diagnosed with acute tuberculosis.. He died at a sanatorium in Lausanne. ;



SAMUEL UNTERMYER (1858-1940), New York corporate attorney, investor, philanthropist and social activist, was the first lawyer in America to earn a million-dollar fee on a single case but later pursued matters involving public welfare. He was one of the most prominent American Jews of his day: a leading Zionist, President of the Keren Hayesod (United Israel Appeal), and national leader of a movement in the early 1930s for a worldwide boycott of Germany.  Instrumental in establishing the Federal Reserve System, regulation of stock exchanges and other legal reforms, he was an influential Democrat and ally of Woodrow Wilson.


His wife Minnie Untermyer (d. 1924) was prominent in New York cultural circles, one of a small group of women that transformed the New York Philharmonic in 1909 and brought Gustav Mahler to conduct it. She was also President of the Poetry Society of America and a patron of New York artists who supported women's suffrage and offered her husband's legal skills and financial support to suffrage groups.


TANYA (ZUNSER) URY (1908-1990?), Russian-German pianist and teacher, came from Dresden on scholarship to the Leipzig Conservatory (1926-29), where she was a contemporary of Anna Burstein and Halina Neuman. After marrying into the Ury family (c. 1930) she was an organizer and performer at the Leipzig Kulturbund  (1935-38) before fleeing with her family to Switzerland and ultimately California (1938-42), where she became a master teacher and orchestral and chamber-music performer with the San Francisco Symphony and other entities.  The Tania Ury Memorial Award was established in 1988 as part of the annual Virginia Waring International Performance Competition in San Francisco.;,-BWV-1053-%E2%94%82.aspx


MENACHEM USSISHKIN (1863–1941), Russian-born Zionist leader and head of the Jewish National Fund, graduated as an engineer from Moscow Technological Institute, was among the founders of the BILU movement and the Moscow branch of the Hovevei Zion, and joined the Bnei Moshe society founded by Ahad Ha’Am. He was Secretary of the First Zionist Congress and one of the Jewish delegates to the Paris peace conference after World War I. In 1919 he made aliyah to Palestine, and in 1920 was appointed head of the Zionist Commission there. In Our Program he advocated group settlement based on labour Zionism. Under his influence the Zionist movement actively supported establishment of agricultural settlements, educational and cultural institutions, and a Jewish polytechnic school, later the Technion.  In 1923 he was elected President of the Jewish National Fund, which he headed until his death. Ussishkin was instrumental in major land acquisitions in the Hefer, Jezreel and Beit She'an valleys.  He is buried in Nicanor's Cave at the botanical gardens of the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus.



ISABELLE VENGEROVA (1877-1956) Russian-American pianist and teacher. Born in Minsk, she studied at the Vienna Conservatory with Josef Dachs and privately with Theodor Leschetizky, then in Saint Petersburg with Anna Esipova. From 1906-20 she taught at the Imperial Conservatory St Petersburg, then toured the USSR and Western Europe from 1920-23 before settling in the U.S. In 1924 she helped found Curtis Institute and in 1933 joined the faculty of the Mannes College, teaching at both institutions until her death in New York.  Vengerova was known for her painstaking attention to detail and psychological insight that brought out the best in each pupil. While she denied having a particular method, she drilled students in techniques designed to achieve expressive playing and beautiful tone: keeping the fingers close to the keys for evenness and a seamless legato, playing deeply in the keys while using the weight of the forearm and a flexible wrist to achieve a full singing tone without harshness, and controlling tone by higher or lower positions of the wrist.  Among her pupils were Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Lukas Foss, Gary Graffman, Menahem Pressler, and Stanley Babin.


TZVI VOISLAVSKI (1889-1957), Polish-Jewish scholar, journalist, translator and writer,   brother of Zelde Woislavski (Grajewo “Queen of the Smugglers”), was part of the Odessa Yeshiva circle after receiving his doctorate from Berlin and emigrated to Jerusalem c. 1935. His books Words of the Generation and Individuals in Public Space are philosophical-sociological meditations on the essence of democratic conflict between the interests of the individual and society.  Voislavski wrote numerous critiques on literary and scientific matters, served on literary prize juries, and translated to Hebrew the memoirs of Dr. Shemaryahu Levine, Das Kapital by Karl Marx, Theodore Mommsen's History of Rome, and Sigmund Freud's Psychopathology of Everyday Life. - Page159;



EZER WEIZMAN  (1924–2005), nephew of Chaim Weizmann, was an RAF/Israeli fighter pilot, commander of the Israeli Air Force, Minister of Defense, and  the 7th President of Israel (1993, 1998). One of Israel's most celebrated fighters, he formed the 1948 Israeli Air Force but transformed himself into a dovish politician heavily involved in the 1978 Camp David peace negotiations.  "He represented everything mythic and heroic about Israeli society; he also represented everything chauvinistic and impolitic about Israeli society," said Michael Oren, author of the best-selling book Six Days of War about the 1967 war. Weizman was an Ashkenazic Middle Easterner who spoke fluent Hebrew and English with a smattering of Arabic and enough Yiddish to swear.  He could be caustic in any language.  Though he was the second president from his family, he took pride in his common touch.  He rarely censored his sharp tongue. In the 1980's, after crossing to Labor from Likud, he publicly scorned his former colleagues Yitzhak Shamir and Benjamin Netanyahu as "borderline fascists." ;


CHAIM WEIZMANN (1874-1952), scientist, statesman, moderate Zionist leader, master tactician, humanitarian, 1st President of Israel.   His life was sufficiently full of adventure, romance, accomplishment and fulfillment to be lived by a dozen men. He was a world-famous scientist, a statesman, leader of a forceful political movement, an intellectual, and above all a great humanitarian. In three-quarters of a century he experienced every emotion: reward for priceless scientific achievement; despair when the great prize seemed lost, and triumph when the prize -- his lifelong dream of a Jewish home in Palestine -- was achieved.  His life epitomized the collective task of transforming Palestinian deserts in an undeveloped Middle East.  Herzl was the founder of modern Zionism; Weizmann gave it practical direction. He moderated among the bitterly quarreling Zionist factions; secured the Balfour Declaration which became the key to ultimate Zionist victory; and was credited with suggesting to David Lloyd George the campaign against Turkey that resulted in Allenby's victorious march on Jerusalem. The Declaration was a central factor in Jewish aspirations even in the darkest days when war, then changes in British policy (including support of the Arab position) seemed to doom the  idea of a Jewish homeland. ; ;



ANNA (Y)ESIPOVA (1851—1914), Russian pianist and teacher, was one of Teodor Leschetitsky's most brilliant pupils. She debuted in Saint Petersburg 1871, attracting rave reviews and the admiration of  Tchaikovsky and Liszt for her effortless virtuosity and singing tone. She then began concert tours which brought her to the U.S. (1876).  In 1885 Esipova was appointed Royal Prussian Court Pianist. From 1893-1908 she was professor of pianoforte at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, where her students included Sergei Prokofiev, , Maria Yudina, Isabelle Vengerova, Leo Ornstein, Isidor Achron, and Alexander Borovsky.  Critics often contrasted her playing with that of her great contemporary, the fiery Teresa Carreño.  In the early 1900s Esipova made a number of piano rolls, some of which are available as modern recordings. ;


MARIA VENIAMINOVNA YUDINA (1899–1970), Russian-Jewish pianist, teacher, eccentric and rebel.  At graduation from the Petrograd Conservatory (c.1917) Yudina was invited to teach there, which she did until 1930 when she was thrown out due to her Russian-Orthodox religious convictions and vocal criticism of Soviet leadership.  After being unemployed and homeless she was invited to teach graduate piano at the Tbilisi State Conservatory (1932–33). In 1936 she joined the piano faculty of the Moscow Conservatory where she taught to 1951. From 1944 to 1960, she also taught chamber ensemble and vocal class at the Gnessin Institute (now Gnessin Russian Academy of Music). In 1960 she was thrown out of the Institute for her religious attitudes and advocacy of modern Western music. She continued to perform but her recitals were forbidden to be recorded. After one of her recitals in Leningrad she read Boris Pasternak's poetry from the stage as an encore, and was banned from performing for 5 years. Yudina was Joseph Stalin's favorite pianist. One night Stalin heard her perform Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 on the radio and asked for a copy. It was a live broadcast so officials woke up Yudina, drove her to a recording studio where a small orchestra had quickly been assembled, and made her record the concerto in the middle of the night.  A single copy was pressed from the matrix and presented to Stalin. Despite this she remained an uncompromising critic of Stalin’s regime.  She was awarded the Stalin Prize and donated its monetary portion to the Orthodox Church for "perpetual prayers for Stalin's sins."  Among her friends were Boris Pasternak (who gave the first reading of his novel Doctor Zhivago at Yudina's apartment c. Feb. 1947), Osip Mandelstam, Mikhail BakhtinDmitri Shostakovich, Pierre Boulez, and Karlheinz Stockhausen.


EFREM ZIMBALIST SR. (1889 –1985), violinist, composer, teacher, conductor and director of the Curtis Institute of Music.  Born in Rostov-on-Don to Jewish parents, by 9 he was first violin in his father’s orchestra. At 12 he entered the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, studied under Leopold Auer, and graduated (1907) after winning a gold medal and the Rubinstein Prize. He debuted in Berlin in 1911 in the U.S. with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  In 1912 he played the Glazunov Concerto in a concert marking Leopold Stokowski's first appearance with the London Symphony. By 21 he was considered one of the world's greatest violinists. In 1928 Zimbalist began teaching at Curtis, which he directed from 1941 to 1968.



[1] Internet sites generally accessed December 2014 – March 1915.

[2] “Cellist Emerges Unembittered From Internment Camp,” Musical America (Vol. 33-34. 22 Jan. 1921), p. 21.