Rosowsky, Solomon

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ROSOWSKY, SOLOMON (1878–1962), composer and musicologist. Born in Riga, the son of the noted cantor Baruch Leib Rosowsky, he studied at St. Petersburg under Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov and Liadov. He was a cofounder of the *Society for Jewish Folk Music in St. Petersburg (1908), where he also served as musical director of the Yiddish Art Theater. In 1920 he founded the first Jewish Conservatory of Music at Riga. Rosowsky immigrated to Ereẓ Israel in 1925, taught music there and did research on biblical cantillation. He attempted, in cooperation with Y.L. *Ne'eman, to present and analyze the "essence" of the East Ashkenazi (Poland-Lithuania) style. This resulted in the voluminous work, The Cantillation of the Bible (The Five Books of Moses), published in New York in 1957. Rosowsky composed songs, chamber and orchestral music, and music for the Hebrew theater. In his quest for a modern Hebrew style based on traditional and Oriental elements, he was a pioneer. His latter years were spent in New York, where he taught at the Cantors' Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary.


L. Appleton (ed.), The Music of… Solomon Rosowsky (1963), 9ff., incl. bibl.; M. Bronzaft, Ha-Askola ha-Musikalit ha-Yehudit (1940), 68–75, index; New York Times (Aug. 1, 1962), 31.

[Mordechai Breuer]