JACOB WEINBERG (1879 - 1956)
Born in Odessa and intended by his family for a career in business, Jacob Weinberg was eventually able to study at the Moscow Conservatory (where his teachers included Sergey Taneyev) while also studying law at Moscow University. With a growing reputation as a composer and as a pianist he moved to Vienna, where he took lessons with Leschetizky. In Moscow he became interested in Jewish music, and in 1916 he returned to teach at the Conservatory in Odessa. In 1921 he emigrated to Palestine and in 1926 settled in the United States, where he was able to pursue his interests in Jewish music.
Vocal and Instrumental Music
Weinberg’s music reflects his Jewish inheritance, continuing the tendencies first explored with Jewish colleagues in Moscow. This is overtly apparent in his Shabbat Ba’aretz (‘Sabbath in the Holy Land’), the Sabbath Morning Service, following the liturgy of American Reform Judaism. His Piano Concerto in C major had its premiere in 1947 and makes use of traditional Jewish thematic elements, as does his String Quartet, Op. 55, with its echoes of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.