Moiseyevich Weprik, Alexander

Russian Jewish composer (name also spelled Veprik). Born in Balta, near Odessa, June 1899. Died, Moscow, 13 October 1958. Born in the Ukraine, but grew up in Poland. Studied piano at Warsaw Conservatory until age 10. Studied composition in Leipzig with Janacek and Reger between 1909-1914. Studied piano with Dubasov in St. Petersburg Conservatory. Studied composition with Zhitomirsky from 1917-1920. Became a teacher 1923. Very active in the founding of the Society for Jewish Folk Music. In mid 1920s, composed several Jewish works, including Songs and Dances of the Ghetto, Hebrew Songs for Orchestra, and Kaddish. In March 1933, “Dances and Songs of the Ghetto” was performed in Carnegie Hall, New York conducted by Toscanini. During the Stalin regime, Weprik was sent to a Gulag. He died a few years after release, in 1958. Website has brief biography and photo. The book Jüdische Musik in Sowjetrussland edited by Henny van de Groep, has a chapter on Weprik.