Music and the Jewish World Conference

Jardena Gertler-Jaffe's picture
February 18, 2017 to February 19, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Music and Music History, Jewish History / Studies, Ethnic History / Studies, Sociology, World History / Studies

Music and the Jewish World: Expression Across Real and Imaginary Boundaries

Conference and Concerts

February 18-19, 2017

University of Toronto

Sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies and the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto.


The special place that music and musicians hold within society is one of the fascinating aspects of the interaction between the Jewish and the non-Jewish world throughout time. In the past, music—as practice and art form—has reflected the racial, religious, and cultural oppression of Jewish people. Concurrently, music also marked an ongoing confluence, influence, and appropriation of Jewish and non-Jewish cultures. Finally, as an alternative to conventional discourse, music has the potential to undermine established distinctions of race, ethnicity, religion, and class.


Music and the Jewish World: Expression Across Real and Imaginary Boundaries seeks to address the issues mentioned above. The conference will explore the ways in which music reinforces, transgresses, and even transcends boundaries determined by geographical, political and cultural realities. In bringing together scholars from diverse fields, this interdisciplinary conference will illuminate the interconnections between music and other aspects of the Jewish world in the past and present.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Father Madden Hall, Carr Hall, St. Michael’s College. 100 St. Joseph Street, Toronto

7:30pm - Keynote Lecture/Recital

“‘And from the Ruins of Time, They Blossom’: Tragedy and Transcendence in Viktor Ullmann’s The Chronicle of the Love and Death of the Flag-Bearer Christoph Rilke (1944) .”

Philip V. Bohlman (University of Chicago), narrator

Christine Wilkie Bohlman (University of Chicago), piano


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Jackman Humanities Building, Room 100, 170 St. George Street, Toronto


9:30am - Keynote Address

“Music in Israel: Forty Years of Shifting Boundaries, Connections, and Possibilities.”

Benjamin Brinner (University of California Berkeley)


Panels and Lectures by Caryl Clark (University of Toronto); David Conway (University College, London); Dan Deutsch (University of Toronto); Jardena Gertler-Jaffe (University of Toronto); Charles Hersch (Cleveland State University); Lily E. Hirsch (University of California Bakersfield); Sherry Lee (University of Toronto); Noam Lemish (University of Toronto); Evan Rapport (New School, NY); Anna Shternshis (University of Toronto).


7:30pm - Closing Concert

Walter Hall, Faculty of Music, 80 Queen’s Park Cres., Toronto


Amos Hoffman (USA/Israel) & Noam Lemish (Toronto) Quartet

Exciting jazz arrangements of songs from Yemenite, North African, and Persian Jewish communities.


All events are free and open to the public. No registration needed. Please write to with your comments and questions.

Contact Info: 

Jardena Gertler-Jaffe

Music and the Jewish World Conference

M.A. Candidate in Ethnomusicology