Kipnis, Menahem

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KIPNIS, MENAHEM (1878–1942), singer, folklore collector, and writer. Born in Ushomir, Ukraine, Kipnis came from a family of ḥasidic rabbis and ḥazzanim. As a boy he sang in the choirs of Nissan *Spivak ("Nissi Belzer") and Jacob Samuel *Morogowsky ("Zeidel Rovner"). In 1901 he went to Warsaw where he completed his musical education, sang in the chorus of the opera, and began to publish articles on various aspects of Jewish music in the major Hebrew and Yiddish newspapers. From 1912 to 1932 he toured Poland, Germany, and France, appearing in concert with his wife and former pupil, Zimra Seligsfeld, in combined lecture-performances of the Jewish folk songs which he had collected and studied. These he published successively in 1918 (60 Folkslider), 1923 (80 Folkslider), and a combined edition in 1931 (140 Folkslider), with a parallel edition of 25 tunes with piano accompaniment which appeared between 1924 and 1926. He also published three collections of songs for children, and was active in the Polish cantors organization.


Sendrey, indices; Rejzen, Leksikon; P. Szerman, in: Di Khazzonim Velt (Jan. 1934), 2–4; J. Mastbaum, Warsaw 1939 (Heb., 1944), 174–5; M. Ravitch, Mayn Leksikon, 1 (1945), 230, 232; H. Zeidman, Yoman Getto Varshah (1957).

[Haim Bar-Dayan]