NEWS: Day of Yiddish Song

Day of Yiddish Song: From Shtetl to Stage

Sunday 30th October 2011

Upstairs at The Emperor, 21 Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 1NW


Yiddish, the East European Jewish language with a unique flavour, has a vast repertoire of expressive and evocative songs. Come and join Hilda Bronstein, one of Europe's leading exponents of the genre, to experience Yiddish song from the shtetl to the stage.


12 pm - 1.30 pm: Song workshop  (£12; £10 for students, under 18s, seniors) Learn some Yiddish songs and the fascinating stories behind them. Open to all - no prior knowledge of Yiddish or singing required! Plenty of time afterwards to stay for a schmooze, a booze and The Emperor's home-cooked Sunday lunch [not kosher!!]...


3.30 pm - 5.30 pm: Masterclass  (£20 for participants; free for audience)

Experienced performers put through their paces before an audience, working at a high level on the pronunciation, interpretation and communication of Yiddish song.


7.30 pm for 8 pm: Performance  (all tickets £7)

Hilda Bronstein sings old songs of the shtetl, new works by 21st century Yiddish songwriters, and throbbing Yiddish swing from the smoky era of New York jazz and vaudeville.


Booking: contact Alexander Blustin, or 01223 523 692. Advance booking essential for masterclass singers.



Hilda Bronstein with Chutzpah!


Hilda Bronstein grew up in East London in a family of Yiddish-speaking Polish immigrants. Inspired by visits to London's last Yiddish Theatre - the Grand Palais - Hilda initially trained as a classical singer at the Royal College of Music. After various career detours and a PhD in avante-garde poetry, she became a lecturer in English Literature. On realising that there had been a revival of interest in Yiddish, she finally returned to her first love, and has since built a reputation as one of Europe's foremost exponents of Yiddish song - the vocal counterpart of the increasingly popular klezmer music.


Hilda won the 2008 Mira Rafalowicz Prize for the Best Yiddish Song Interpretation at Amsterdam's International Jewish Music Festival. She was invited back to perform at the Festival's headline Concertgebouw concert the following year, where she received a standing ovation. Her first CD with ARC Music, "Hilda Bronstein sings Yiddish Songs Old and New" receives airplay as far afield as the Czech Republic, the USA and Canada. Her second album "Hilda Bronstein sings Yiddish songs with Chutzpah!", accompanied by her own klezmer-swing band Chutzpah!, was released by ARC Music in September 2010. Hilda has given numerous performances in association with the Jewish Music Institute (JMI), at venues including the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Union Chapel, and has given masterclasses at the JMI's London Klezfest, the Spiro Ark cultural centre and the West Road Recital Room in Cambridge. In Autumn 2010 she performed live on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour.


Yair Schleider (keyboard, accordion, guitar, trumpet) studied piano and composition at the Rubin Conservatory in Israel, and then joined the Israeli Indie-Rock scene playing alongside inspirational singer-song writer Eithan Fisher, who became a major influence in his musical career.  Since arriving in London from Israel seven years ago, Yair has played with some of the top performing artists in the UK. He toured Holland with pop diva Liset Alea, played with Mentor Kolectiv at Abbey Road Studios and toured the UK with Funk Federation. It didn’t take long after his arrival, however, for Yair to become part of London’s Jewish Music scene. He developed a keen interest in Klezmer and Yiddish music and has now played with performers such as Daphna Sadeh, Stewart Curtis, the Shir Ensemble and many others.  He has accompanied Hilda frequently both in the UK and Europe.  In 2008 and 2009 he participated as accompanist in the International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam.