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Met Opera Series


What It's All About

Throughout musical history there have been compositions written that changed the face of music making. These seminal pieces allowed subsequent composers to break new ground and explore different ways of communicating with their audience. 

This series delves into 6 of these pieces and looks at the impact they made on both composers and audiences.


“Jewishness” In Music

This series looks at Jewish musicians’ involvement in the Western Musical world. From their contribution at the beginning of the 19th century, through their persecution in the Nazi regime and beyond Jewish musician have help shape the face of music.

Start Listening


Jewish Emancipation and Music

The early Christians based the music for their new religion on Jewish liturgical music, but from then to the 19th century we see no more such influences. After the Jewish emancipation at the turn of the 19th century, Jewish composers had a profound effect on Western music which fundamentally changed the course of music history. 


‘Jewishness’ in Classical Music

When Jewish musicians finally entered the world of classical music in the 19th century, they did everything possible NOT to include their “Jewishness” in their music. Interestingly from Handel to Shostakovich, non- Jewish composers, used both Jewish religious themes and musical ideas to enhance their music.


Degenerate Music

One of the Nazis first acts when coming to power in Germany in 1933 was to dismiss Jewish musicians from their employment, be they teachers, performers, composers etc. Then in 1938 the Nazis launched an exhibition called “ Entartete Musik” or Degenerate Music which vilified any music which did not fit the Nazi ideal especially those written by Jewish composers.


Music in the Camps

Music was an integral part of camp life in almost all Nazi concentration camps prior to and during World War II. Yiddish songs were sung in Eastern European camps, classical and Jewish music was performed at Theresienstadt and specific orchestras, like the ‘ Girls Orchestra’ in Auschwitz and the Jazz Big Band in Buchenwald, were established. Why?


Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

How music saved 1000 lives; the birth of an orchestra

In 1935, following the Nuremberg Laws, the world renowned violinist Bronislaw Huberman decided to establish the Palestine Orchestra by recruiting the best European Jewish musicians who were no longer allow to perform. Miraculously he managed to convince 80 musicians to leave Europe for the ‘cultural’ wasteland of Palestine and on 26 December 1936 they gave their inaugural concert conducted by the world's leading conductor, Toscanini. Huberman not only saved 1000 lives but established one of the world's greatest orchestras, the Israel Philharmonic.


Here's What You Need To Know

Date & Time

All classes are held once a month and last for 1 and a half hours starting with coffee and cake.


Locations are the Eastern suburbs or North Shore. They are easily accessable by public transport.


Classes may be conducted elsewhere and can be customised to fit your specific group.

Classes & Groups

Classes must be taken as a series of 6. A minimum of 5 people is required to join a class.


Address will be supplied upon enrolment.

Join Coffee Cake & Culture

Courses do not necessarily follow the term calendar. Organise a group of friends for private classes or join in an existing group.

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