From St. Petersburg to Vienna
The New Jewish School in Music (1908–1938) as Part of the Jewish Cultural Renaissance
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The history of the so-called “New Jewish School of Music” began with the founding of the Society for Jewish Folk Music in St. Petersburg in 1908 by several music students from the St. Petersburg Conservatory. The end of this movement came with the 1938 invasion of Austria by Germany, and the dissolution of the Viennese Society for the Promotion of Jewish Music that year.
The fascinating and dramatic history of the New Jewish School is the subject of this monograph, which summarizes the author’s years of intensive international archival research. While many other national “schools” of music – such as the Russian, Czech, or Hungarian – were able to develop freely and establish themselves in an environment of cultural transparency, the Jewish school was violently suppressed. The reconstruction of its historical development in Russia and, after 1917, increasingly in other Eastern and Central European countries, was first presented in 2004 in German and has served since as a basis for the rediscovery of a valuable, highly original repertoire of this association of composers. The current English-language edition of this book has been thoroughly revised, and supplemented with additional materials.