Stutschewsky, Joachim [Yehoyachin]

(b Romny, Ukraine, 7 Feb 1891; d Tel-Aviv, 1981). Israeli cellist, composer and scholar. His father was a klezmer musician. Stutschewsky studied the cello at the Leipzig Conservatory (1909--12). After returning to Russia, he was soon smuggled to the border to avoid forced conscription. A difficult period as an impoverished cellist in Paris and Jena followed. In 1914 he moved to Zurich where he met Joel Engel and became active performing Jewish music. He settled in 1924 in Vienna, where he became for a time the cellist in the celebrated Kolisch Quartet, which gave first performances of works by Schoenberg, Berg and Webern. He published articles in Jewish periodicals, mostly Die Stimme, corresponded with colleagues in Jerusalem and was involved with the founding of the World Centre for Jewish Music in 1937. A dedicated pedagogue, he also wrote a treatise on cello playing.

In 1938, immediately after the Nazi Anschluss, Stutschewsky and his wife Julia, a soprano, emigrated to Palestine. He was appointed inspector for Jewish music by the general council that ran the Jewish autonomy under British mandate. Despite the dismal economic situation, he organized concerts of Jewish folk and art music in Tel-Aviv, which he funded himself. He also presented lecture-recitals throughout the country, using his travels to collect and transcribe Hassidic tunes. He founded a string quartet with Kaminsky, leader of the Palestine Orchestra, and performed piano trios with Taube.

As a composer Stutschewsky preferred small forms, dominated by the idiom of Jewish prayer modes ('Prayer' from Israeli Suite, 1977). His deep commitment to Schoenberg and his circle was also expressed in a few works (Composition for Violoncello, 1970). As a scholar he published transcriptions and studies of Hassidic music and biographies of great klezmer musicians. His many periodical and newspaper articles express his total dedication to the struggle for the recognition and dissemination of Jewish music.

(selective list)
Orch: Concertino, cl, orch, 1957; To the Youth, str, 1958; Fantasia, ob, hp, str, 1959; Concertante, fl, str, 1963
Vocal: Mizmor leilibi [Song to my heart] (M. Stekelis), 1v, fl, str qt, 1954; Bat Harim [The girl from the mountain] (U. Offek), chorus, 1955; 5 Songs (Offek, L. Goldberg, S. Levi, F. Bergstein, N. Alterman), 1v, pf, 1955; Herzl (A. Broides), SA, cl, 1956; more than 30 other brief song collections
Chbr and solo inst: Elli, elli, lama asawtanu [Lord, why have you forsaken us], vc, pf (1923); 4 judische Tanzstucke, pf, 1929; The Art of Playing the Vc, 6 vols., 1932 [studies]; Hassidic Dance, pf, 1934; Landscapes of Israel, pf, 1950; Kaddish, vc, pf, 1957; Three for Three, 3 vc, 1967; Composition, vc, 1970; Israeli Suite, vc, pf, 1977; arrs. and transcrs. for vc
MSS in IL-Ta
Principal publishers: Culture and Education Centre of the Histadrut, Israel Music Institute, Israeli Music Publications, Jibneh, Juwal, Or-Tav, Peters, Schott, Schirmer, Universal

Die Kunst des Cellospiels, i--ii (Mainz, 1929); iii--iv (Vienna, 1938)
Mein Weg zur judischen Music (Vienna, 1935)
Musika yehudit [Jewish music] (Tel-Aviv, 1946)
Klezmerini (Jerusalem, 1959) [on Jewish folk musicians]
Musical Folklore of Eastern Jewry (Tel-Aviv, 1959)
Zikhronot: korot hayav [Memoirs: the life of a Jewish musician] (Tel-Aviv, 1977)

U. Voss: Joachim-Yehoyachin Stutschewsky: a Complete Catalogue of his Works (Tel-Aviv, 1980)
P.V. Bohlman: The World Centre for Jewish Music in Palestine 1936--1940 (Oxford, 1992)
J. Hirschberg: Music in the Jewish Community of Palestine 1880--1948 (Oxford, 1995)
P. Gradenwitz: The Music of Israel (Portland, OR, 1996)