James Loeffler is the author of The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire, newly available in paperback.

How an American Jewish Opera Star Accidentally Launched the Soviet Jewish Movement

The 60th anniversary of Jan Peerce’s landmark Cold War Moscow show, where a final encore pointed the way to deliverance


Why the New ‘Holocaust Music’ Is an Insult to Music—and to Victims of the Shoah

A recent wave of performances turns Jewish composers into shadow images defined only by their status as Hitler’s victims


Showtime at the Apollo

Idan Raichel mixes traditional Ethiopian music, prayers, and funky beats to create dance tracks that speak to young Israelis


Beyond the Melting Pot

A hipster scholar makes room on his provocative playlist for the jubilant, in-your-face shtick of Mickey Katz


Ethnic Sampling

Madonna, Gwen Stefani, and the pliability of Jewish music


Hidden Sympathies

A dubious portrait of Shostakovich as dissident has been debunked, but motifs in his work underscore his discord with Soviet power.

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