Yehudi Wyner is a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and the son of the widely influential composer and conductor Lazar Weiner. In these excerpts, Wyner offers a window into the world of Jewish music in America in the early–mid 20th century. He further touches on the conflicted nature of his relationship with his father, with music, and with his own Jewishness. Interview by Neil W. Levin.
Part 1: Yehudi Wyner reflects on growing up in the heady world of his father, Lazar Weiner, and the circle of Jewish composers and musicians to which he belonged. Also, he relates having to reconcile his love of music with his conflicted feelings about devoting his life to it.
Part 2: Further aspects of Lazar Weiner's world are touched on, including his work with various choruses and New York's Central Synagogue, and his fervent secularism. Also, Wyner recalls his conflicted relationship with his Jewishness, and the life-changing experience at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute that helped resolve it.
Note: These recordings have been lightly edited to enhance public access.
Date: February 20, 1998
Credit: Milken Family Foundation
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