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JDC Inaugurates Academy of Jewish Music in Moscow

The Moscow Academy of Jewish Music, a school for cantorial studies sponsored by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, was formally inaugurated in the Soviet capital Wednesday, JDC announced here.

The inaugural event was a concert by the Moscow Jewish Male Choral Ensemble, conducted by the dean of the academy, Cantor Joseph Malovany of New York, at Moscow’s Choral Synagogue.

The program included cantorial, Hebrew, Yiddish and Hasidic music.

Malovany, who is cantor of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue Synagogue and professor of liturgical music at Yeshiva University, was assisted by Cantor Vladimir Pliss, director of the new academy, and by Benjamin Glickman, a distinguished musicologist from Jerusalem.

According to Sylvia Hassenfeld, JDC president, the Moscow Academy of Jewish Music is the outcome of a visit by Cantor Malovany to the Soviet Union last May, organized as part of JDC’s efforts to meet the cultural, religious and communal needs of the Jewish community.

He conducted a two-week program of master classes for young cantorial students and gave five sellout concerts of classical chazzanut (cantorial music), Hassenfeld said.

The enthusiastic reception given Malovany prompted JDC to establish a cantorial seminary on a permanent basis in the Soviet Union, Hassenfeld said, with Malovany as dean and Pliss as director.

Students from all over the Soviet Union will meet for two-week sessions four times a year.

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