NOW STREAMING — Your Guide to 350 Years of American Jewish Music

May 22, 2024

Assembling and recording the 600+ works in the Milken Archive collection required the careful work of scholars and artists over many years. Today, discovering and enjoying the immense contribution of Jewish music to life in America requires little more than an internet connection and a couple hours of your time. This month we begin the podcast re-release of one of our most popular and in-demand programs: the 13-part series American Jewish Music from the Milken Archive with Leonard Nimoy*.

Released on 5/22/24: This episode features several musical responses to the extermination of six million European Jews in the Second World War, including a “new haggada” based on the Warsaw ghetto uprising, many poem settings, and an elegy for Anne Frank.

Stream Episode 11 »

Released on 3/19/24: From the biblical story of Naomi and Ruth, to the medieval legend of the golem of Prague and the parables of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav, this episode includes musical treatments of some of the great stories in Jewish literature.

Stream Episode 10 »

Released on 1/24/24: Episode 9 highlights music directly from or inspired by the Jewish experience on the Iberian Peninsula, including the first Jewish music sung or heard in North America, and classical compositions based on Sephardi musical traditions and historical events.

Stream Episode 9 »

Released on 12/20/23: Our radio series, American Jewish Music from the Milken Archive, is back with "Episode 8: The Cantorial Tradition," showcasing its evolution and significance in Jewish worship and culture. Join host Leonard Nimoy as we delve into the artistry and history of cantorial tradition—the influences that have shaped cantorial music and its impact on broader Jewish cultural expression. As always, the episode features interviews with key figures along with performances by renowned cantors Benzion Miller, Alberto Mizrahi, and Simon Spiro.

Stream Episode 8 »

Released on 8/15/23: Host Leonard Nimoy guides listeners through five compelling symphonic works that span the 20th century. Music by Joseph Achron, David Diamond, Stephan Wolpe, Darius Milhaud, and Samuel Adler depicts dramatic scenes from Jewish history and contemporary poetry.

Stream Episode 7 »

Released on 7/18/23: The nexus between the synagogue and the concert hall is the focus of Episode six, with sacred masterpieces by some of the 20th century's most influential composers.

Stream Episode 6 »

Released on 6/13/23: Episode five features the music of Leonard Bernstein and includes several discussions of how his faith, identity, and relationship with Israel served as a well of creativity and inspiration for some of his most important works.

Stream Episode 5 »

Released on 5/16/23: A foray into the golden age of the American Yiddish theater, with songs by Sholom Secunda, Alexander Olshanetsky, Abraham Ellstein, Abe Schwartz, Ilia Trilling, Solomon Shmulevitsh, and Joseph Rumshinsky.

Stream Episode 4 »

Released on 1/10/23: Episode 3 of American Jewish Music from the Milken Archive with Leonard Nimoy features two of the most iconic recordings in the entire Milken Archive collection: Genesis Suite and The Eternal Road. In Genesis Suite, seven icons of 20th century music—including arch-rivals Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky—collaborate to depict the story of creation according to the Book of Genesis. Dramatic narration is provided by Tovah Feldshuh, Fritz Weaver, Isaiah Sheffer, David Margulies, and Barbara Feldon. Kurt Weill's The Eternal Road is an extravagant oratorio that juxtaposes modern history and biblical lore in a metaphor for Jewish redemption.

Stream Episode 3 »

Released on 11/8/22: Episode Two of American Jewish Music from the Milken Archive with Leonard Nimoy features several of our signature recordings with master soloists and world-class orchestras. With works by Joseph Achron, Joel Hoffman, Paul Schoenfield, Sholom Secunda, and Jacob Weinberg, the episode spans some 100 years, from the first forays into Jewish classical music in the late Russian Empire to the varied artistic expressions of late 20th-century America.

Stream Episode 2 »

Released on 10/11/22: Originally created as a radio series nearly 20 years ago, we are thrilled to bring back this award-winning program in a new and exciting format. Each of the 13 episodes illuminates a major theme reflected in American Jewish music, including biblical epics, sacred masterpieces, symphonic music, klezmer, Yiddish theater, and so much more. Your host and guide on this journey is the venerable Leonard Nimoy. Episode 1 is an introduction to the series, featuring orchestral and chamber pieces, Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, excerpts from an orthodox s’liḥot service, a collection of Yiddish theater songs by Joseph Rumshinsky, and much more. Listen now and be sure to click "Follow" on Spotify to be notified when new episodes premiere!

Stream Episode 1 »

*Spotify users with premium subscriptions will be able to listen to the entire tracks featured in the episodes. Free users will still get all of the history and commentary with 30-second samples of each music track. YouTube users have access to the complete tracks.

Media Inquiries

Bonnie Somers
Senior Vice President, Communications
(310) 570-4770


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