D. Zisl Slepovitch (New York City, USA)
Songs of the Holocaust Survivors as the Musical Portrait of an Era
(based on the Materials from the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University)
Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University is one of the largest and most important among such collections. The archive contains over 4,400 testimonies amounting to over 12,000 hours, that were recorded between 1979 and the present day (2020). A limited number of the testimonies contain songs and poetry performed, and in some cases created by the survivors during the Holocaust. Since 2018, Dr. Slepovitch has been responsible for musicological research, recording (with Zisl Slepovitch Ensemble and Sasha Lurje), and musical production of the reconstructed pieces from the testimonies. Dr. Slepovitch will present analysis of select pieces, specifically focusing on the specter of musical genres, musical language, their social, cultural, and professional backgrounds. The paper brings to attention musical-historical and creative aspects of collections like FVAHT.
D. Zisl Slepovitch is a native of Minsk, Belarus (in US since 2008) is a musicologist (Ph.D., Belarusian State Academy of Music), klezmer, classical, and improvising multi-instrumentalist musician, conductor, music director, composer, music and Yiddish educator, founding member of critically acclaimed bands Litvakus and Zisl Slepovitch Trio; a frequent contributor to the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene; Musician-in-Residence at Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University. Slepovitch has served as clarinetist and associate conductor in Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish (off-Broadway, 2018-20), Yiddish instructor at The New School, guest artist and lecturer at universities and cultural organizations worldwide. Slepovitch's contributions include Defiance movie, Eternal Echoes CD (Sony Classical), Rejoice with Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot (PBS), and a number of original scores. @zislepovitch zislepovitch.com