COZ 66, Tuesday 1 February, 2022

Eléonore Biezunski, PhD – Sound Archivist, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
Mark Slobin, Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music Emeritus at Wesleyan University

Yiddish music archives as a living space between research and creativity

The conversation will center around the interaction of archiving, research and musicians’ creative work with Yiddish music. Eleonore Biezunski’s own activity and career exemplify this phenomenon through her work in the archives and within a broader community of Yiddish music.

Eléonore Biezunski is an award-winning Parisian singer/violinist and band leader now living in Brooklyn. An avid collector of Yiddish music, she co-founded and is a member of bands including Ephemeral Birds, Yerushe, Shtetl Stompers and Klezmographers and has collaborated with a large number of well-known Jewish performers here and abroad. Her recordings include Yerushe (IEMJ, 2016) and Zol zayn (2014). She won a Bubbe Awards in 2021 for her song “Tshemodan” in the category Best New Yiddish Song. As YIVO’s Sound Archivist, Eléonore is the Project Coordinator for the Ruth Rubin Legacy website ( She is also a member of the Klezmer Institute’s KMDMP and Klezmer Archive Project. She has a PhD from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and has published several academic articles about Yiddish music and Yiddish theater. She is a recipient of a NYSCA Folk Arts Apprenticeship.

Mark Slobin is the Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music Emeritus at Wesleyan University and the author or editor of many books, on Afghanistan and Central Asia, eastern European Jewish music, film music, American music, and ethnomusicology theory, two of which have received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award: “Fiddler on the Move: Exploring the Klezmer World” and “Tenement Songs: Popular Music of the Jewish Immigrants.” He has been President of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the Society for Asian Music. He retired in 2016 after 45 years at Wesleyan and lives in Manhattan.