Song Searcher: The Times and Toils of Moyshe Beregovsky

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Song Searcher: The Times and Toils of Moyshe Beregovsky


Mar 23, 2022

Watch the documentary film, Song Searcher: The Times and Toils of Moyshe Beregovsky, and then join us for a discussion on Wednesday, 3/23. The film tells the story of musician and scholar Moyshe Beregovsky (Moisei Iakovlevich Beregovskii) who crisscrossed Ukraine in the 1920s with a phonograph in hand to record and study the traditional music of Ukrainian Jewry. Many of the people who sang for him were later murdered by the Nazis. Beregovsky’s efforts saved much of our Yiddish musical heritage from being lost.

Filmed on location in Ukraine and at YIVO in New York, the film contains unique footage and archival recordings. Directed by Elena Yakovich and produced by Victorina Petrossiants, the documentary uses haunting historical images, heart-breaking testimony of survivor eyewitnesses, and commentary from renowned international scholars to recount the story of Beregovsky as well as of the people whose music Beregovsky studied. The music documented by Beregovsky is heard throughout the film in archival recordings and in live performances by contemporary klezmer musicians. It has been selected by Yad Vashem (Jerusalem, Israel) to be in its Center of Ausio and Visual Collection.

Read more about the film here
Read about the film in the Times of Israel


Program panelists include:
-Elena Yakovich (Director, Song Searcher)
-Victorina Petrossiants (Executive Producer, Song Searcher)
-Igor Polesitsky (Principal Viola Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Firentino Fous)
-Mark Slobin (Wesleyan University, Emeritus Professor)
-Eleonore Biezunski (YIVO, Archivist)

This event is made possible by the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.