20th-Century Jewish Classical Music and its Klezmer Roots 
August 7–11 @Musikschule
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 3 – 6 p.m.

Mit Alan Bern, Ilya Gindin, Mark Kovnatskiy & Hitomi Niikura

Academic credit for this workshop!

Are you an undergraduate or graduate student at a university or conservatory? If so, you can probably get 1-3 academic credits for taking this workshop, thanks to our new cooperation with the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar, Germany. Please send an email to for more details.

The turn of the 20th century was a watershed in Eastern European culture. For the first time, Jews were granted the right to attend music conservatories. They responded with a veritable flood of creativity: Jewish musicians began collecting and performing traditional Yiddish instrumental (klezmer) melodies, using them to create a new, Jewish classical music style. This style eventually evolved into what became known as the New Jewish School, which remained active until, and to some extent even after, the Shoah. Composers such as Prokofiev, Engel, Achron and others composed major works that are now part of the concert repertoire, as well as many undiscovered gems. To interpret these works with insight, it is necessary to understand their relationship to the Yiddish instrumental and vocal music that inspired and shaped them.

In this master class, we will study individual works of the New Jewish School in the context of traditional Yiddish music, focusing on aspects such as phrasing, ornamentation, harmony and form. This workshop is for conservatory-level or professional instrumentalists; all others are welcome to participate as auditors. A list of the compositions we will be studying will be published here soon.

If you're unsure about whether this workshop is right for your musical level of experience, please click here.

Workshop fee: 345 € Standard / 270 € Reduced / 470 € Sponsor / 145 € under 18.
For information about the Standard, Reduced and Supporter fees >> read about

The evening program that caps each workshop day has much to do with the unique atmosphere of Yiddish Summer Weimar. On some evenings we meet for jam sessions in Weimar's cafés or in the Other Music Academy (OMA), a great opportunity to put into practice what you've been learning during the day and connect with the other participants. On other evenings, we present concerts connected to the workshop topic performed by internationally recognized artists. During the Festival Week (July 27 - August 3), directly following each evening's featured event in the mon ami cultural center, we meet again in the OMA for the Late Night Cabaret, an informal and fun atmosphere for short performances by anyone ready to jump on stage. In Yiddish Summer Weimar, learning, playing and connecting with each other go hand-in-hand.