Composers of Classical Music of Jewish Descent
This book describes and explains the relative preponderance of composers of Jewish descent, particularly during the last two hundred years. The first two chapters of the book give a brief history of composers of Jewish descent from biblical times to the present day. Chapter three attempts to assess the importance of such composers of classical music during the last two hundred years, and tries to explain their relative preponderance. The fourth chapter on Jewish consciousness shows that although most composers of Jewish descent have abandoned their faith or that of their forebears, the majority are nevertheless conscious of their Jewish heritage. The second and larger part of the book contains biographical sketches of over 250 composers of Jewish descent. Some are well known as composers, such as Mendelssohn, Mahler, Schoenberg, Copland, Gershwin; others are better known as performers or conductors, such as Klemperer, Schnabel; and yet others are often not generally identified as of Jewish descent, such as Finzi. Each composer entry has a brief bibliography. The book is intended for anyone with an interest in classical music and Judaism. It contains an extensive glossary of Hebrew and musical terms.