Born on 8 May 1859 on the
Dnieper island Khortitz(?), Ukraine, as a son of a
mechanical engineer, an autodidact, who also had the joy
of the rabbinate. Until the age of thirteen he learned
in a cheder and read many Hebrew books in his father's
rich library. From childhood he manifested a desire for
music and, against the wishes of his parents, entered
into the Warsaw Conservatory and became a military
Kapellmeister in Dinaberg, then Vilna. At the same time
he was choral- and orchestra director for the Yiddish
Teachers' Institute in Vilna.
P. had, through a new
method, developed and popularized among the broad masses
the playing of the concertina, and later by himself
created a concert tour with the instrument across
Europe, America, etc. In 1900 he left his previous post
and opened in Vilna a printing shop and a Yiddish
publishing house, in which he put out foreign and also
his own books. In Vilna he also founded the first
Yiddish singing union and staged in Vilna in his Yiddish
translation (in a concert hall) solo and choral numbers
of Glinka, Tchaikovsky, Mussogorsky and the "Dance of
Death" of Studzinski.
According to Noach Nachbush
and A. Azro, P. had, in 1908, staged in Vilna with a
literary-dramatic circle for the Bund. According to
Chaim Salsky, P. stood at the head of the "Vilna Yiddish
Scientific Literary Circle" (whose active members were
Peretz Hirschbein, David Einhorn, Jacob Ben Ami, Chaim
Levin and Y. Rosenbaum.)
In 1912 he immigrated to
America, and here he published many articles about music
in "Tsunkunft" ( including in 1915-16 about an
opshtat of Yiddish melodies), "Friend," "The New
Word," and for a certain time he was a contributor to
the "Forward," where he wrote articles about music and
directed the department "Replies to Questions of Music."
P. founded the first singing
union of the "Workmen's Circle" in New York and
Patterson, and children's choruses in the Yiddish
folkshul, for which he had by himself created Yiddish
lyrics for singing. He also adapted into Yiddish
Andreyev's one-act comedy, "Menshn-libe" and Chekov's
one-acter "Kalkhaz" (Anton Chekov, the "swan song" (kolkhos),
a dramatic etude in one act, in Yiddish, adapted by Y.
Pirozshnikov, Max N. Mayzel, New York, 1919, 16 pp.,
which in 1910 was performed through Jacob Ben Ami.
On 14 June 1933 P. passed
away in New York and was cremated.
Dr. Ts. Shabad wrote about
"For our Vilna...more to translate..."
Hirsh Abramowitz wrote:
"At times Yitzhak Pirozshnikov performed an entire...more
Sh. E. from
Noach Nachbush and A. Azro.
Zalmen Reyzen --
"Lexicon of Yiddish Literature," Vol. II, pp.
Necrology in the
"Forward," 15 June 1933.
Dr. A. Shabad --
Yitzhak pirozshnikov, "Vilner tog," Vilna, 30 June
Hirsh Abramowitz --
Yitzhak pirozshnikov, "Di tsayt," Vilna, 30 October
Chaim Mayzel -- "In
malpishe lapes," Di tsayt," Vilna, 26 October 1933.
Zalmen Zylbercweig --
"Theatre Mosaic," New York, 1941, pp. 172-173.