New Muslim Cool

Thursday, December 10, 2009
7:30 p.m.
Hebrew College, Berenson Hall
$10 advance registration; $15 general admission, free for students with valid ID
The School of Jewish Music presents
A Jewish Music Forum
Music of a Nation, Music of a People:
Is Israeli Art-Music Jewish?
Ronit Seter
Respondant: Klára Móricz
Co-sponsored by the Jewish Music Forum of the American Society for Jewish Music

For information, please contact Renée Tepper, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; 617-559-8622.

What defines a particular genre of music as the voice of a people? of a nation? And what if the two are intrinsically intertwined? For the founders of Israeli art music—Paul Ben-Haim, Alexander Boskovich, Oedoen Partos, Mordecai Seter and Josef Tal—the goal was to separate people and nation, to create a national “style” of music that was unique to Israel, rather than identified with Jewish music of the Diaspora. Although these composers ultimately failed in creating a national style, they did establish a general ideology, claiming that their music was Israeli: a new entity, essentially and qualitatively different from its Jewish—and European—roots. In this special lecture, illustrated by live performances, Dr. Seter will explore the evolution and legacy of Israeli art music.

Dr. Ronit Seter studies 20th century music and specializes in Israeli art music. A contributor to Grove Music Online, she has published 30 academic entries and articles in various professional journals. Her chapter “Israel” appeared in Asian Composers in the 20th Century (in Japanese and English). She lectures frequently at international conferences, including the American Musicological Society, the International Musicological Society and the World Congress for Jewish Studies.

Dr. Seter earned her PhD from Cornell University and received her BA and MA in musicology from Bar-Ilan University, Israel. She served on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University, the Department of Music at the George Washington University, the Department of Musicology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Department of Performing Arts at American University, Washington, D.C. The Chapter Representative of the American Musicological Society, Capital Chapter, she is also a visiting scholar at the Jewish Music Research Centre, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Klára Móricz is the Valentine Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Amherst College and author of Jewish Identities: Nationalism, Racism, and Utopianism in Twentieth-Century Music (University of California Press, 2008).

The Jewish Music Forum is a project of The American Society For Jewish Music, with additional support from the American Jewish Historical Society at the Center for Jewish History.