ERC > LEXICON OF THE YIDDISH THEATRE  >  VOLUME 5  >  LEON ZELMAN


Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre
BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE WHO WERE ONCE INVOLVED IN THE Yiddish THEATRE;
aS FEATURED IN zALMEN zYLBERCWEIG'S  "lEKSIKON FUN YIDISHN TEATER"


VOLUME 5: THE KDOYSHIM (MARTYRS) EDITION, 1967, Mexico City

 


 

Leon Zelman
 

Z. was born in April 1880 in Warsaw, Poland. He was educated by a grandfather. An auto-didact in music, in 1909 he endured examinations in the Warsaw conservatory.

In 1899 he was a co-founder of the Lodz "Hazamir," and from 1906 to 1918 (with breaks) he conducted in the Lodz "Harfe," where he also studied thoroughly many of his own compositions of Yiddish poems and arranged many folk songs.

For five years Z. was in the Lodz German "Thalia Theatre" as a chorus singer and private tutor. Since 1915 he has been connected as a conductor with the Yiddish theatre in Poland, for which he wrote from time to time music for operettas and dramas.

Z. issued "7 folks-lider (Seven Folk Songs)" adapted for mixed chorus, two original compositions for a men's quartet" [Lodz, 1928].

When the Nazis occupied Poland, Z. fled to Western White Russia, and as the actor Zalmen Koleshnikov tells it, Z. there was in the beginning a conductor in a theatre, then he became a conductor in an orchestra for feyerlesher (fire extinguisher)(?). This to him he did not feel strongly in his heart, and he was not steered very much to the theatre, and he wanted to return to the theatre., but he wasn't able to find a job in Yiddish theatre.

 


Z. was killed, together with his wife and several Jews. One son was saved and lives in the land of Israel.


M. E. from Zalmen Koleshnikov.

  • "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre," New York, 1931, Vol. I, p. 795.

 

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4783.
You can also read Leon's initial Lexicon biography in Vol. 1.
 

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