Hidden sides of Hélène Engel, author, composer and performer of Jewish music.

A radio program from the European Institute of Jewish Music, hosted by Hervé Roten.

MUSIQUES JUIVES D’HIER ET D’AUJOURD’HUI – July 4, 2017, JUDAÏQUES FM (94.8), 21H05


Hélène Engel is a singer with a classical training, a musicologist, author, composer, performer and arranger. Specialized in Jewish folklore, she sings in Yiddish, Hebrew, Ladino, as well as French, English or other languages.

After having studied musicology and classical singing in Strasbourg and Paris, Hélène Engel became passionate of Jewish music, from the collecting on field to contemporary compositions, from known folkloric songs to rare and ignored gems, passing by the socio-ethnologic research.

At the beginning of the 1980’s, she joined a Group of Yiddish Artistic Research created by Jacques and Catherine Grober, Violette Szmajer, Batia Baum, Paul Szpielgman and Yitskhok Niborski, under the impulse of Bernard Vaisbrot. This group presented in Paris and other French cities shows with yiddish songs and poetry, and published in 1986 a collective audio cassette, The Golden Peacock, with Laurent Grynszpan on the piano, Odile Lavault on the accordion and Michel Gorlicki on the guitar.

In 1985, Hélène Engel released her first album called Chansons traditionnelles juives (Traditional Jewish Songs). This record would be followed by four other discs: La Serena (1988), Errance (1992), Ay Lu Lu (1995) and Voyage (2007).

In 1993, Hélène Engel settled in Montreal (Canada) where she continued her carrier as a singer. She performed regularly in festivals in France and Europe. She also sang occasionally as a cantorial soloist at the Temple Emanu-El Beth Shalom of Montreal.

At the end of the 1990’s, she started studies of musicotherapy at the Quebec University in Montreal, and obtained a diploma in 2000. In 2005, she created the Hélène Engel Trio, in which the repertoire is dedicated to Jewish music of all around the world, and in which she incorporates some of her own compositions and works from other contemporary artists. Finally she hosts since 2007 a weekly radio program on Radio-Shalom Montreal, called “The hidden sides of Jewish Music”.

Read the biography of Hélène Engel
Look at Hélène Engel’s website
Look at Hélène Engel’s discography
Listen to the radio programs “Hidden sides of Jewish Music” hosted by Hélène Engel on the EIJM’s website
herve_photo_retouche_fond_uni_bleu_500px.jpgOfficer of the Ordre of Arts and letters, PhD in musicology at Paris University Sorbonne, prize-winning graduate from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, Hervé Roten is the director of the European Institute of Jewish Music since its creation in 2006.
Ethnomusicologist, he quickly developed an interest in the safeguard and digitization of archives, subjects he taught for several years in Reims and Marne-La-Vallée universities.
Author of many articles, books and recordings related to Jewish music, producer of radio programs, Hervé Roten is recognized today as one of the best specialists of Jewish music in the world.

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