November 4, 2009 Israeli Classical Music Is Subject of Nov. 19 Lecture

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

The music of Israel is a unique combination of Jewish and non-Jewish traditions that have come together over the course of a century to create a distinctive musical culture. Immigrants from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere brought with them their musical traditions, melding and molding them into a new Israeli sound that helped define the emerging national spirit.

Ronit Seter, a scholar in the field of Israel art music, will pose the question “Is Israeli Classical Music Jewish?” at a discussion to be held at noon on Thursday, Nov. 19 in the African and Middle Eastern Division Reading Room (Room 220), located on the second floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Hebraic Section of the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division. Tickets are not required.

Music scholar Ronit Seter earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in musicology from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and a doctorate degree at Cornell University. She has served on the faculties of Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University, American University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She was awarded the Dan David Scholarship and two grants from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. She currently serves as the Capital Chapter Representative of the American Musicological Society. Her articles have appeared in Grove Music Online, Tempo, “Encylopedia Judaica,” “Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia” and “Asian Composers in the 20th Century.” She has presented her work at many international conferences, among them those of the American Musicological Society, the International Musicological Society and the World Congress for Jewish Studies.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

The Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division ( is the center for the study of some 78 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East to Central Asia. The division’s Hebraic Section is one of the world’s foremost centers for the study of Hebrew and Yiddish materials.


PR 09-227
ISSN 0731-3527