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ANHALT , former German state, now part of the Land of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany; until the 12th century part of the duchy of Saxony, later becoming an independent principality. Jews living in the towns of Bernburg, Aschersleben, Koethen, and Zerbst in Anhalt are mentioned in sources from the 14th century. Communities existed in the first two towns during the 15th century when the rabbi of Aschersleben was Isaac Eilenburg, mentioned in the responsa of Israel Isserlein. No further Jewish settlement in Anhalt is recorded from the end of the 15th century to the beginning of the 17th. Afterward, the mercantilist policies of the absolutist regime encouraged Jewish traders and financiers to settle in the principality. They formed a well-to-do group which soon engaged in cultural activities.

Hebrew printing presses were established in Koethen in 1621. Moses Benjamin Wolff, the court Jew, set up a Hebrew press in 1695 in Dessau (which was active till 1704) as well as in Koethen and Jessnitz where Israel b. Abraham, who was a proselyte, was active for many years. He printed Maimonides' Code with commentaries (1739–42) and his Guide of the Perplexed with the standard commentaries in 1742. In 1742 too, Benjamin Moses Wolff 's son Elijah restored his father's press for one year, producing the Sifra and the Jerusalem Talmud, Seder Mo'ed. In the period of Enlightenment Moses *Philippson (1775–1814) established a Hebrew press in Dessau; David (b. Moses) *Fraenkel printed there the first Judeo-German monthly Sulamith (1806–33).

A synagogue was built at Dessau in 1687. The characteristic relationship of this period between the German princes and the rich Jews they patronized, a mixture of exploitation, oppression, and socializing, was also found in Anhalt. Thus, permission was given to build a synagogue in the famous gardens of Woerlitz, and a Jewish wedding was held at the palace. Anhalt Jewry played an important role in the Enlightenment (*Haskalah) and acceptance of German culture. Moves toward Jewish emancipation were initiated in the community of Dessau early in the 19th century. In 1804 the "body" tax levied on Jews was abolished in Anhalt, and Jews were required from 1810 to adopt surnames. Full political rights were granted in 1867. In 1831 the civil authorities appointed S. *Herxheimer chief rabbi of Anhalt, contributing half of his salary. Prominent among Anhalt Jews were the philosophers Moses *Mendelssohn, Hermann Heyman *Steinthal, and Hermann *Cohen, the historian Isaac Marcus *Jost, the theologian Ludwig *Philippson, and the mathematician Ephraim Solomon Unger. The Jewish population, numbering 3,000 in 1830, decreased to 1,140 by 1925. The synagogues of Anhalt were burned in November 1938; the 1,000 Jews still living there were murdered during World War ii.


E. Walter, "Die Rechtsstellung der israelitischen Kultusgemeinden in Anhalt" (Dissertation, Halle-Wittenberg, 1934); German Jewry (Wiener Library Catalogue, Series no. 3, 1958), 35; M. Freudenthal, Aus der Heimat M. Mendelssohns (1900), passim. add. bibliography: B. Bugaiski (ed.), Geschichte juedischer Gemeinden in Sachsen-Anhalt (1997); J. Dick (ed.), Wegweiser durch das juedische Sachsen-Anhalt (1998).

[Zvi Avneri]

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ANHALT, ISTVÁN (1919– ), composer. Anhalt was born in Budapest where he studied with Zoltán Kodály at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in 1937–41. Conscripted into a forcedlabor unit of the Hungarian army in 1942, Anhalt escaped in 1944 and was hidden by Pater Janos Antal and Theresa de Kerpelz, whom he sponsored for recognition by Yad Vashem.

At war's end Anhalt went to Paris where he studied conducting at the Conservatoire with Louis Fourestier; piano with Soulima Stravinsky; and composition with Nadia Boulanger. During this time he lived on a stipend from the Union des étudiants juifs de France and led the vocal quartet at a Paris synagogue. He immigrated to Canada as the only musician among 64 displaced intellectuals who were fellows of the Lady Davis Foundation (1949–52). Anhalt spent the rest of his career at McGill University's Faculty of Music (1949–71) and Queen's University's School of Music (1971–84). His students included composers Jack Surilnikoff and William Benjamin.

Among Canadian composers, Anhalt was a leading figure in the postwar avant-garde. Seemingly self-taught in Arnold Schoenberg's 12-tone technique, he employed an idiosyncratic form of serialism that culminated in his Symphony. Anhalt conducted the premiere of this, his first large-scale instrumental piece, at a 1959 Montreal concert sponsored by the Canadian Jewish Congress to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the first Jewish community in Canada. A turning point in his career, the Symphony helped secure Anhalt a tenured position at McGill and resulted in international exposure. Other works of this period are Seu Sheorim (1951) for chorus and organ to a traditional text, and Psalm xix (1951) for baritone and piano, to a text by A.M. Klein, for Otto Steieren, cantor of Montreal's Temple Emanuel.

Also a pioneer in electronic music, Anhalt spent his summers in the late 1950s and early 1960s at Canada's National Research Centre, the Columbia-Princeton Center, and Bell Labs. In 1964 he established Canada's first electronic music studio at McGill. These experiments resulted in Electronic Compositions 1–4 (1959–61) and such mixed-media works as Foci (1969). As in other post-1960 pieces, Anhalt himself wrote Foci's text, which contains kabbalistic references and requires extended vocal techniques. In his 1995 opera Traces (Tikkun), a single singer enacts many characters in Anhalt's libretto, which is influenced by the Kabbalah, the Exodus story, and the writings of Martin Buber, Gershom Scholem, and Isaac Luria. The Tents of Abraham (A Mirage – Midrash), which Anhalt has characterized as "a dream of peace between Judaism and Islam," was awarded Canada's Juno Award for best classical composition in 2005. Anhalt was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003.


R. Elliott and G.E Smith (eds.), István Anhalt: Pathways and Memory (2001).

[Jay Rahn (2nd ed.)]

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Anhalt, István

Anhalt, István, Hungarian-born Canadian composer, teacher, and writer; b. Budapest, April 12, 1919. He studied composition with Kodály at the Budapest Academy of Music (1937–41), and pursued training in Paris at the Cons, with Fourestier (conducting; 1946–18) and privately with Boulanger (composition) and S. Stravinsky (piano). In 1949 he joined the faculty of McGill Univ. in Montreal, where he was founder-director of its electronic music studio (1964–71). In 1969 he also was the Visiting Slee prof. at the State Univ. of N.Y. in Buffalo. From 1971 to 1981 he was head of the music dept. at Queen’s Univ. in Kingston, Ontario, where he was made prof. emeritus in 1984. In 1967 he was awarded Canada’s Centennial Medal, in 1982 an honorary D.M. from McGill Univ., in 1991 an honorary LL.D. from Queen’s Univ., and in 1993 the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation. Among his writings are Alternative Voices: Essays on Contemporary Vocal and Choral Composition (1984), Oppenheimer (1990), and A Weave of Life Lines (1992). In a number of his works, he utilizes synthetic sounds.


DRAMATIC: Music Theater and Multimedia: Arc en del, ballet for 2 Pianos (1951); Foci for Amplified Soprano, Instrumental Ensemble, and Electronics (1969); La Tourangelle for 3 Sopranos, Tenor, Bass, Instrumental Ensemble, and Tapes (1972–74; Toronto, July 17, 1975); Thisness, duodrama for Mezzo-soprano and Piano (1985; Vancouver, Jan. 19, 1986); Winthrop for Solo Voices, Chorus, Boy’s Chorus, and Orch. (Kitchener, Sept. 6, 1986); Traces (Tikkun), pluri-drama for Baritone and Orch. (1994); Millennial Mall (Lady Diotima’s Walk), opera for Soprano, Chamber Chorus, Chorus, and Orch. (1999). ORCH.: Interludium for Strings, Piano, and Timpani (1950); Funeral Music (1951); Sym. (1954–58); Symphony of Modules (1967); Simulacrum (Ottawa, Oct. 1987); Sparkskraps (1988); Sonance-Resonance: Welche Töne? (Toronto, Sept. 13, 1989). CHAMBER: Piano Trio (1953); Violin Sonata (1954); Doors...Shadows (Glenn Gould in Memory) for String Quartet (Toronto, Sept. 24, 1992). Piano: Sonata (1951); Fantasia (1954). VOCAL: The Bell Man for Chorus, Bell, and Organ (1954; rev. 1980); Cento: Cantata Urbana for 12 Speakers and Tape (1968); Foci for Soprano, Chamber Ensemble, and Tape (1969); choruses; songs. ELECTROACOUSTIC: Sine Nomine I (1959) and 17 (1959); Birds and Bells (1960); On the Beach (1961).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Anhalt, István (b Budapest, 1919). Hung.-born Canadian composer and teacher. Went to Canada 1949 to join faculty of McGill Univ. Founder-dir. EMS 1964–71. Head of mus. dept., Queen's Univ., Kingston, Ontario, 1971–81 (prof. emeritus 1984). Comps. use synthetic sounds and incl. ballet Arc en Ciel for 2 pf.

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