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From David's Harp to Tum Balalayka: Jewish Strings in Russian Song

Psoy Korolenko

Scholar and singer-songwriter Psoy Korolenko will present a lecture-concert that combines discussion of Jewish musical tradition in cross-cultural context of the 19-21st centuries and artistic performance on Thursday, November 3, at 4:30 pm in Anabel Taylor Hall. The public is invited to attend.

Pavel Lion, PhD in Philology, MSU, more known by his art name Psoy Korolenko, is a singer-songwriter, translator, scholar, and journalist, often referred to as a ''wandering scholar'' and an ''avant-bard''. His multilingual one-person cabaret balances various genres and traditions, among which East European music, Klezmer, and Yiddish play a significant role. On stage since 2000, he released several books of essays, poetry, and song lyrics, and more than 20 CDs, solo or in collaboration with active Jewish and Klezmer musicians ("Opa!", Daniel Kahn, Igor Krutogolov, "Oy Division", Michael Alpert, Bob Cohen, Jake Shulmann-Ment). Featured in movies "Soul Exodus" (Hungary), "The Wandering Muse" (Canada), several Russian films (sometimes in cameo episodes). He has been a part of various international music projects, such as “Brothers Nazaroff'' (Smithsonian Folkways Records, 2015), ''Defesa'' (2015, tribute to Brazilian Tropicalists) and other. In 2020, ''Psoetry'' was published, a bilingual selection of Psoy's original Russian songs  in English translations by other authors, and songs by Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Daniel Kahn and other artists, translated into Russian by Psoy. 

One of his most recent achievements is his participation in ''Yiddish Glory'', a long-term collaborative project with the historian Anna Shternshis, professor of Toronto University. Yiddish Glory is an academic and artistic exploration of long-lost and recently discovered trove of Yiddish songs in Yiddish created and performed by a group of amateur singers and musicians from Ukraine evacuated to Middle Asia at the time of WWII. The album "Yiddish Glory" (2019) won “The Fiddler on the Roof” award from the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia and had been nominated for a Grammy award. Psoy is a voting member of the American Recording Academy, one of the organizers or the Russian American open-air music festival JetLAG, and participant of multiple klezmer music festivals. He had been artist/scholar-in-residence at the Trinity College (Hartford), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA), and he currently is a visiting lecturer at Dartmouth College.

Time and Place
November 3, 2022, 4:30 pm
Anabel Taylor Hall, 203, Auditorium, Cornell University