Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Adolph Gimpel


Born on 17 January 1875 in Lemberg, Galicia, a son of Yaakov Ber ("Lexicon of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. I, pp. 479-480). He completed a two-class gymnasium and the Lemberg conservatory. He performed as a clarinetist in the city opera, and when Efrayim Perlmutter went with him to America, G. became an orchestra conductor in his father's theatre, and he orchestrated here many operettas -- brought over from America -- of which there were arrived only "directions" or the Purim voices. Those orchestrated operettas were then included in the repertoire of the Yidish theatres in Europe.

Jonas Turkow writes in "Farloshene shtern":

"In Yiddish theatre [in Lemberg], a military orchestra from the Austrian army had to perform. The conductor each time was a non-Jew with the name of Jozef Pletseti, or as they called him, 'Yosl', Since 'Yosl' conducted according to a military stamp, Adolf Gimpel was a much better conductor to him, and they had completed with Yosele yaz the premieres' Adolf Gimpel should conduct. He had to wear a military uniform when he conducted with the orchestra, and he had to sit as such the entire time, so people should not be recognized."

Further, according to Jonas Turkow, after his father's death, (1906),,G.'s brother, Emil, took over the concession for the theatre, the entire theatre library with the plays, the costuming and settings and had engaged his brother Adolf as an employee


studying singing with the actors, and from time to time conducting with an orchestra. At first, later G. became the main conductor for the orchestra. G. however had the notes for all plays and they didn't want to give them to his brother, and between them a quarrel was created, which was maintained throughout their entire lives, and they had not spoken to each other.

When the Soviets took Lemberg and there created a Jewish state theatre, G. performed in an orchestra as a violinist. When the Germans took Lemberg and created here the ghetto here, G. with his wife there wandered through the streets, starving, farvorlozte. They were sent away by the Germans to Belzac, where they were killed.

G. had three sons who were rescued, all well-known musicians: Kuba, a pianist-accompanist; When the Soviets had, during the Second World War, taken Lemberg, he was arrested and put into prison; Karol, a famous pianist and conductor (died in a prison hospital in Busara), and Branislav, a famous violinist virtuoso, who lived in America and guest-starred often throughout the world.

  • "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre", Vol. I, New York, 1931, p. 479.

  • Jonas Turkow -- "Farloshene shtern", Buenos Aires, 1953, Vol. I, pp. 235-251.






Home       |       Site Map       |      Exhibitions      |      About the Museum       |       Education      |      Contact Us       |       Links

Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4016.

Copyright Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved.