"klezmerwelten"- a wide-ranging project


Jewish Klezmer music came to life in the town of Gelsenkirchen between February and June 2003. The project named "klezmerwelten" highlighted not only Klezmer music itself, but also provided a broader view over the function of music in society.

The department of culture of the town of Gelsenkirchen and various supporters of the project offered a programme that includes an exhibition, concerts, a ballet performance and dance-workshop, further training course, film showings, a symposium and lectures. The department of culture had worked in close cooperation with scholars from the fields of music and history to design this project.

The significance of music in society

"klezmerwelten" had the intention to illustrate that music fulfils significant functions, which have been changing in the course of history. Music is closely connected to patterns of identity and can even be seen as an indicator of cultural and social processes. Throughout the project Klezmer music was used as an example to demonstrate functions, changes and meanings of music. Furthermore, an intense insight into the social and musical background of this style of music, which was originally the music of east European Jews, was provided, including history and revival. The project desired to enlarge the knowledge of Klezmer music and by doing so to explain why this music, after being revived in the USA, sees a present-day revival in Germany.

The programme

The heart of "klezmerwelten" was an exhibition on history and reality of Klezmer music as well as different concerts with historical and modern Klezmer interpretations:

The exhibition "Klezmer- hejmisch und hip, Musik als kulturelle Ausdrucksform im Wandel der Zeit" was presented in "die flora" from the 6th of February till the 13th of April.

The exhibition functioned as a base camp for the exploration of Klezmer music and therefore answered questions such as what is Klezmer music, where does is come from, what kind of identity is connected with this style of music and which particular importance does it have today. Various lectures and readings were given additionally on several mondays.

A wide-ranging concert agenda staged 17 national and international bands such as "The Andy Statman-Trio", "Brave Old World", "Frank London", "Di Naye Kapelye", "Budowitz", "Sukke", "Kroke" and other, which presented different kinds of Klezmer music, from classical to modern versions. The influence of Klezmer in contemporary music was significant in new compositions from Josef Dorfman.

In cooperation with the Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg and Prof. Max P. Baumann a symposium was held on 8th and 9th of April 2003 focusing on traditional music in times of globalisation.

Those who are interested in the relation between Klezmer music and ballet visited the "Ballett Schindowski", which was accompanied by music played live by "Badeken di Kallah". This event took place for the first time on the 25th of April 2003 at the "Consol Theater". Further performances had been in April and May.

Teens and adults participated in a dance- workshop on the 26th of April conducted by Michael Alpert, an international expert for Klezmer music. Results had been presented the next day during a concert of "Brave Old World". Workshop and concert took place at the "Consol Theater" in Gelsenkirchen.

Films such as "Tickle in the Heart" or "The last Klezmer" and other were shown during the whole project time.

Teachers working in the field of music came together in a further training course on the 10th of February, presented by Prof. Dr. W. M. Stroh from the University of Oldenburg.

Teachers from fields such as History and Social science participated in a further training course on the 12th of February. Topic to discuss was "The culture of Jews in middle- and east Europe".



Translation: Janet Lakatos


HomeImpressum  • backTopsitemap