Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Music Research Seminar: Steve Muir

Seminar Title: Performing the Jewish Archive



Lecture Theatre 1, School of Music

The speaker is Steve Muir (University of Leeds)

The catastrophes of the twentieth century, most significantly the Shoah, led to the near destruction of the rich musical heritage of Eastern European and Russian Jews. Composers, performers and their art were either lost forever, or else became dispersed and fragmented, leaving only shadowy echoes of a lost world.

In 2014,  the international, interdisciplinary project Performing the Jewish Archive was awarded one of the largest ever grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The project aims to bring back out of the shadows Jewish musical and theatrical archives hitherto lost, forgotten, fragmented or suppressed. Recovered from dusty cellars in Helsinki, abandoned suitcases in Cape Town, and the archive of human testimony held in the memories of survivors and their families, music allows us to glimpse the riches of that lost world, at the same time reminding us that unless they are cherished and recorded with painstaking care and urgency, our archives risk being lost forever along with the world that produced them.

In this seminar, Principal Investigator, Dr Steve Muir, will chart the progress of the international, interdisciplinary project Performing the Jewish Archive (2014-2018), exploring the impact of its research, and giving a summary of its findings to date.

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