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Since its first edition, Rossi Fest has included lectures (dedicated to the topics on the intercultural and interdisciplinary context of Salomone Rossi`s work, his time, contemporaries, and successors) in its program. This year, we will have the opportunity to hear two lectures on the topics: "Jewish Musicians in Belgrade Between the Two World Wars", by Maja Vasiljević and "Aron Marko Rothmüller, composer and opera singer of Jewish origin" lecture by Dora Lovrečić.


Lecture by Maja Vasiljević

National Theater Museum

January 29, 2023, at 6:00 p.m

Jewish Musicians in Belgrade Between the Two World Wars


After research experience for her latest study Jewish Musicians in Belgrade: From the Balfour Declaration to the Holocaust (Jevrejski muzičari u Beogradu: Od Balfurove deklaracije do Holokausta, 2021), an author of this lecture will open a music map of the "Jewish" interwar Belgrade. In line with that, in the opening part of the lecture, a special focus will be put on the constant migration processes of Jews. Then, an overview of the presence of Belgrade Jews in all types of musical practices - classical, i.e. artistic, popular, liturgical, i.e. synagogue, and finally, folk practices, will be given. In the second part of the lecture, following the map of urban Belgrade, an overview of musical institutions founded by Jews will be mapped. Along with the leading music institution with a Jewish presence, special focus will be put on the Serbian-Jewish Singing Society, as one of the oldest Jewish choirs in the world.  The lecturer will also dedicate attention to the extremely important and so far neglected, role of Jews in the history of popular music in Belgrade and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Therefore, the dance school of Rihard Rosenberg and the Music House "Harmony" led by Isak Armidi, one of the first music impresarios in our country at a time when musical life was planned ad hoc will be accessed. The final part of the lecture will be focused on the leading musicians of Jewish origin in the field of artistic and popular music and the evocation of leading concert performances by audio and visual examples.


Maja Vasiljević (1980) holds a Ph.D. in sociology and a master's degree in musicology and works as a Research Associate at the History Department at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade. Since 2003, she has been engaged in music criticism on the Second Program of Radio Belgrade, in the programs Classics Please, Cultural Circles, and How to Listen to Music, and she also acted as an expert consultant for historical issues in the Cultural and Educational Program on the National Television of Serbia. She completed studies in musicology at the Department of Musicology, Faculty of Music, University of Arts in Belgrade in 2007 and sociology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade. Permanently interested in the relationship between Nazism and music, after her master's thesis Treatment of degenerate music in the Third Reich, she obtained her doctorate in sociology on the related topic of the relationship between musical practice and discourse on biopolitics by Michel Foucault and Holocaust studies. Since 2012, she has been the secretary of the scientific journal Limes plus for social sciences and humanities and Acta historiae medicinae. She is consistently interested in the music of "problematic" and "excluded", i.e. minorities - Jews, Czechs, Russians, and others, as well as musical practices and musicians in dramatic periods of great social changes in European history - the Great War, the Cold War, and the Second World War. So far, the topics of her works have been musical practices at the border of sociology, musicology, and history with an emphasis on the relationship between music and politics. Recently, she has been expanding his interdisciplinary research through the research of populism in the territory of the former Yugoslavia as a researcher on the Horizon 2020 inter-consortium project about the populist rebellion in Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall. She was also part of the digitization projects of Jewish heritage in Vojvodina from the 18th to the 19th century. She is the author of two studies Jewish Musicians in Belgrade: From the Balfour Declaration to the Holocaust (Jevrejski muzičari u Beogradu: Od Balfurove deklaracije do Holokausta, 2021) and Film Music in the SFRY: Between Politics and Poetics (Filmska muzika u SFRJ: Između politike i poetike, 2016).

Lecture by Dora Lovrečić

National Theater Museum

January 29, 2023, at 7:30 p.m

Aron Marko Rothmüller, composer and opera singer of Jewish origin


In the writings on Croatian music of the 20th century, Aron Marko Rothmüller (1908–1993) is frequently mentioned due to his international renown as a baritone singer. Nevertheless, his distinguished reputation completely overshadowed his efforts as a composer, despite the fact that he composed throughout his whole life. Although only a few writers have written about Rothmüller's works, two circumstances are never overlooked: on one side the fact that he was a student of Alban Berg and on the other that he composed „Jewish music“. In this lecture, coordinates that are relevant for his opus will be illustrated through the analysis of his music works and writings about music.


Dora Lovrečić was born in Rijeka in 1993. She graduated piano in 2018 at the Zagreb Music Academy under the mentorship of Dalibor Cikojević and Filip Fak. In the year 2021, she finished musicology studies at the same institution under the mentorship of Dalibor Davidović. Her master thesis represents the first monography on Aron Marko Rothmüller as a composer. Currently, she is immersed in and occupied with the musical life of the city of Rijeka – through archival research, critiques, playing in ensembles, and pedagogy.

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