Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Hebrew University Musicology Professor Yisrael Adler confesses to sexually assaulting 2 students


At 8:36 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...


May. 10, 2005 16:38
Hebrew Univ. professor suspected of sexual assault

An 80-year-old professor of musicology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting two of his students, police said Tuesday.

Professor Yisrael Adler has confessed to carrying out the two separate attacks, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said.

The attacks took place on a bus and in the professor's car, the police said.
Police said that they plan on pressing charges against the elderly suspect, who was released on bail Tuesday at a Jerusalem court.

In a statement, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem said Tuesday that the university views the revelations of sexual assault "very gravely" and is dealing with the matter "with the full force of the law."

The university added that the Attorney General has instructed the university to freeze planned disciplinary measures against the professor until police complete their investigation in the case.

2) Background

Synagogue music from the Baroque - Commemorative concert of the Jewish...

Ury Eppstein
June 16, 1992
The Jerusalem Post

Synagogue music from the Baroque - Commemorative concert of the Jewish National and Hebrew University Library 100th anniversary. Sivan Rotem and Miriam Meltzer, sopranos; Aris Christophellis, sopranist; Ya'acov Zamir, countertenor; Stephen Schreckenberger, bass; Benny Hendel, narrator; Rinat Choir; Keshet Baroque Orchestra, conducted by Avner Itai; scores edited by Israel Adler; sponsored by the Hebrew University, Jewish Music Research Center; Jerusalem Theater, June 11.

ANYONE expecting works akin to hazzanut was in for a surprise here. All the works had the identifying marks of the pure Baroque.

Not that cantorial chant was altogether missing. But in most of the pieces the Jewish element was not so much in the music as in the fact that it was composed to Hebrew texts at a time when art music in these countries was sung almost exclusively in Italian or Latin. Some of it was written by Jewish composers such as Abraham Caceres and some by Christians like Christiano Lidarti.

The evening provided evidence of the rich and highly dynamic musical activity of Jewish life in Amsterdam and Northern Italy at that time.

Art music was apparently considered indispensable for the glory of the sacred service, giving rise to initiatives imaginable nowadays only in Reform synagogues. The little-known repertoire came from manuscripts belonging to the National Library, which was edited for performance by Prof. Israel Adler.

Among the many performers several deserve special mention: Aris Christophellis for his beatifically pure voice and cultivated singing; Sivan Rotem for radiance and warmth and intelligent phrasing; and Miriam Meltzer for her firm grasp of the Baroque vocal style. Under the inspired baton of Avner Itai the Rinat Choir and the Keshet Baroque Orchestra contributed significantly bringing this largely forgotten music to life.

HU seeks Jewish music treasure trove

August 2, 1995
The Jerusalem Post

HEBREW University researchers plan to rehabilitate a music archive that belonged to Eastern European Jews, under an agreement reached with the Ukrainian Academy of Science.

Prof. Israel Adler says the archive - which disappeared in 1949 and resurfaced recently in Kiev - is "a priceless collection" of Jewish music, which will allow researchers to reconstruct the history of Yiddish music destroyed by the Nazis.

Russian Jewish collectors began gathering material for the archive in 1911. The material includes 1,000 tapes documenting Jewish music beginning in the mid-18th century, thousands of musical scores and texts, notebooks with music for Yiddish folk songs, prayers and cantorial melodies and Hassidic Shabbat music.

The HU researchers note that the archive also has an early version of "Hava Nagila," apparently from the late 19th to early 20th century.

Toward the end of the 1940s, the caretaker of the archive was exiled to Siberia and the collection disappeared.

In 1955, the owners returned from exile but did not succeed in finding the collection. Late last year, the collection was found in the library of the Ukrainian Academy of Science.

Soon after, the Hebrew University began negotiations with the academy to rehabilitate the collection.

Classical - Sight Readings - Back to Jewish roots.

By Michael Church.
March 12, 1999
The Independent - London

A unique archive of folk music has been given new life, as have historic piano recordings

In 1911 a group of folklorists set out from St Petersburg to comb the Russian shtetls for Jewish songs and chants. Inspired by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov and led by SM Ansky - author of The Dybbuk - they wanted to record this oral tradition before it evaporated for good. The resulting collection of cylinders was so impressive that the incoming Bolsheviks decreed that the work should continue in Kiev, and put their own man in charge. Moses Beregovsky was a good Stalinist and an excellent folklorist, and until his deportation to Siberia in 1949 he recorded and meticulously transcribed several thousand more songs and texts. However, when he was released in 1955 the cylinders were found to have disappeared, and people came to assume that this unique archive had been destroyed.

Now the ebullient Israel Adler, professor of musicology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, takes up the tale. "Four years ago the director of the National Library in Kiev came to see us about photocopying manuscripts and, seeing our cylinder collection, he mentioned that he too had some cylinders, which the American Library of Congress had looked at without much interest. Could this be the Beregovsky collection? I jumped on the first available plane to Kiev, and discovered that it was."

Last week, in an oddly touching ceremony at London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Adler and his patron Yehudi Menuhin took delivery of an inaugural CD from the Ukrainian ambassador, amid protestations of eternal friendship between Ukrainians and Jews.

Even leaving aside the awkward matter of past pogroms, the course of this love-affair has been bumpy, with Kiev raising endless obstacles to the digitalisation of the recordings Jerusalem wants. While Adler's aim is to make the archive available to scholars all over the world, Kiev's aim is to make a profit. As a Berlin-born Ost-Jude, Adler takes this sort of adversity for granted. "Whenever things seem discouraging, I listen again to these marvellous recordings. Then I am re-inspired."

To illustrate the point, he plays some examples: a Bartokian country song with driving rhythms; a dance sounding as if it is straight out of Fiddler on the Roof; an austerely beautiful liturgical chant. When this latter was recently broadcast on Haifa radio, he adds, a middle-aged Israeli rang in to say that he recognised the voice of the cantor. It was his own grandfather.

Jewish music is at present on a roll, but what exactly is it? Alex Knapp, the Joe Loss lecturer at City University, who next month moves to SOAS, offers a neat definition. "Cantillation. Music that traces its origins to the temple chant of 2,000 years ago." But then things get complicated, because the music has absorbed influences from every land where it has alighted. He traces its transmogrifications with the Ashkenazic Jews to America, the Sephardics round the Mediterranean, and Oriental Jews through Ethiopia, Yemen, and eastwards to China.

China? "Well, they're not one of the 57 officially recognised minorities, but there are still 600 Jews living in Kaifeng, and they still retain remnants of the orthodox tradition." Adler has several times lectured on Jewish music at Peking Conservatoire. "The Chinese find Jewish music very moving - they say it comes straight from the heart."

Adler is hot on Jewish music's influence on "daughter religions", as exemplified in Gregorian chant and the music of Islam, but he excludes from his researches most Western music composed by Jews, except when it reflects a conscious return to its roots. Examples? "Ernest Bloch, Arnold Schoenberg, Darius Milhaud - and Leonard Bernstein".

MEANWHILE SOMETHING extraordinary is happening with that other piece of dinosaur technology, the piano roll. While Nimbus perseveres with its ambitious Grand Piano series, in which rolls cut by Twenties virtuosi are translated into sound by a robot pianist, Telarc has just unveiled the ultimate computerised answer. The problem with the robot is one of tonal balance; we get the architecture of the performances, but little sense of their original texture.

Computers have often been used to "translate" rolls, but never with anything like the finesse of Telarc's two Rachmaninov records, entitled A Window in Time. Wayne Stahnke, an aerospace engineer, apparently conceived his idea while working at Nasa; it involves a computer program containing a mathematical model of the pneumatic mechanism originally used to play the roll. But the results, played through a computerised Bosendorfer, banish all thoughts of science. Here at last is the airy magic the unsmiling maestro must have exuded in reality.

ON THE other hand, if you don't mind the boxy acoustic you can get a very decent idea of Rachmaninov's disc recordings in Philips's Great Pianists of the 20th Century series. This month's releases include Jan Paderewski, Benno Moseiwitsch and the divine Clara Haskil, plus an Alfred Cortot record that really does stop me in my tracks. Launching into Schumann's turbulent Kreisleriana, the French guru shoots clean off the rails in bar six and stays off them, floundering desperately, for the whole of the first piece. This isn't great pianism; it's an absolute hoot. How can its inclusion possibly be justified?

Tom Deacon, whose brainchild this series is, sees no reason to apologise. "All right, it's a mess. But he was a great pianist, and his Schumann has a wonderful glow. I'd rather hear his wrong notes than any proficient pianist's right ones. We have every right to put into the edition someone who has his eye on poetry, rather than merely on notes. The saddest thing now is to be confronted with Maurizio Pollini in concert, because it has nothing to do with the Pollini we know from records. The pursuit of technical perfection is the curse of modern musical life." I can only agree.

Milken Archive's treasure trove --U.S Jewish music released in France
Lauren Elkin, Jewish Telegraphic Agency. New York: Apr 22, 2005.

PARIS, April 21 (JTA) -- Leonard Bernstein is one of America's most renowned and beloved composers. His name immediately brings to mind the music he composed for the theater, such as "West Side Story," "On the Town," "Candide," "Wonderful Town." His "Kaddish" is also famous. But how many people know Bernstein composed an abundance of sacred and secular Jewish music, including compositions such as "Simchu Na," "Vayomer Elohim" and "Hashkiveinu"?

The Milken Archive of American Jewish Music, sponsored by the Milken Family Foundation, has been releasing recordings of music composed entirely or partially in America from the colonial period to our time. Distribution has begun in more than 57 countries, beginning with the United Kingdom, Germany and, now, France.

Lowell Milken founded the archive in 1990 as a means of combining his passion for Jewish music with his family's commitment to education.

"We established the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music to preserve and make available to the world a vast body of outstanding music, much of which was undiscovered or in danger of being lost forever," Milken said in a news release for the project.

The recordings feature works of well-known composers like Bernstein and Kurt Weill, including some Jewish-themed compositions that have not been published or recorded before. The series began publication in the United States more than a year ago, and started being released in France last month.

Nineteen titles have been published in Paris on the Naxos/Integral label, including works by Bernstein, Dave Brubeck, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Paul Schoenfield. Also available this month is an anthology of klezmer music, cantorial recordings and chants from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Neil Levin, artistic director of the Milken Archive and a professor of musicology at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, talked at a news conference in Paris this month about what "American Jewish music" means.

"There is no such thing as Jewish music. It's just a term that sounds more convenient than what we actually mean, which is music of Jewish experience, of Jewish life," he said.

Levin added that until now the project has focused on three types of music: sacred music composed for religious services; classical or "art" music; and music composed for the theater, particularly the American Yiddish theater that thrived in New York in the first half of the 20th century.

Many of the compositions in the series are being recorded for the first time, and much work went into the painstaking reconstruction of orchestrations.

In some cases, as with the songs from the American Yiddish theater, there were no original orchestrations because directors and composers couldn't be bothered to write down complicated orchestrations for songs that were designed to be hits, not serious compositions.

"I was able to reconstruct the melodies because they were songs I knew," Levin said. "They had been passed down orally."

Levin said the project is important in order to create a "historical, documented record of the music of Jewish experience in America that has been recorded faithfully in terms of historical approaches."

The CDs include liner notes featuring scholarly essays by Levin putting the music into historical context and detailing the reconstructive work needed to restore the pieces.

Herve Roten, a musicologist and professor at the University of Reims in France, said at the news conference that the project testifies to the diversity of Jewish music and Jewish culture

"We don't speak of one type of Jewish music, but rather of many types of Jewish music," he said. "Music is not Jewish, but can become Jewish."

France, home to one of the largest Jewish communities in the world, offers "important archival possibilities," he said.

Just as Jews always have interacted with the culture of the places they live, their music has been influenced by that surrounding culture, he said.

Israel Adler, a professor of musicology at Hebrew University, said at the news conference that the music being released by the archive was "on the point of being forgotten" in France.

This kind of work is practically nonexistent in the French music market today, Eric Russo of Integral Distribution told JTA.

"Who today would invest that much time, manpower, and money to promote practically or completely unknown works and composers?" he asked.

The Milken Archive next plans to turn its attention to secular folk music, Levin said. Perhaps in the near future we can expect to have Bob Dylan added to the pantheon of American Jewish musicians.


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