Opening Event for the 2019 Archive Transformed Residency

CU Boulder College of Music 

May 19, 2019, 7pm 


Alicia Svigals, violin

Uli Geissendoerfer, piano

Yonatan Malin, musicology and flute


The Beregovski Archives:

Klezmer Stories from Soviet Ukraine to Boulder

In the 1930s a Jewish scholar from the Ukraine named Moshe Beregovski set out, with eerie prescience, to collect and preserve the deep and rich Jewish musical tradition around him. On what turned out to be the eve of the destruction of European Jewry, Beregovski organized expeditions to Ukrainian ‘shtetlekh’ (small Jewish towns) and sought out the eldest singers and instrumentalists he could find, asking them to pour their collective folk knowledge into his recording horn. In this way, he managed to save thousands of beautiful Jewish folk songs, klezmer dance tunes and religious melodies on wax cylinders, the medium of the day.

In this concert, renowned klezmer fiddler Alicia Svigals, jazz pianist and composer Uli Geissendoerfer, and musicologist Yonatan Malin bring Beregovski’s legacy to life. They tell stories of the deep and ecstatic music of Jewish Eastern Europe, blending archival recordings with contemporary arrangements. Seven scenes conjure drama, history, everyday life, rhythm, reverie, dance, and community in the cities and towns of Eastern Europe. At the end of the concert, string players from the Boulder community will join Svigals, Geissendoerfer, and Malin for an imaginative recreation of the 1937 Kiev State Ensemble of Jewish Folk Music.

For more information about the project see the 2018 Archive Transformed: The Beregovski Archive.