Léon Algazi (1890-1971), a Jewish music pioneer in France

LIFE COURSES, AN EIJM FILM PRODUCTION

Journalist, radio producer (“La voix d’Israël” and “Ecoute Israël”), choral conductor, composer, publisher (“Mizmor” Hebrew music collection published by Salabert), president of the Syndicat national des chefs d’orchestre pour la musique religieuse, teacher and director of the École israélite de pédagogie et de liturgie at the Séminaire israélite de France, Léon Algazi was a tireless worker throughout his life. Author of numerous articles on music, he organized the first International Congress of Jewish Music in Paris from November 4 to 13, 1957. With Edmond Fleg, he also created the first Colloque des Intellectuels juifs de langue française, held on May 24, 1957.

Appointed Director of Music for the consistorial temples in 1961, Léon Algazi died on Monday March 1, 1971, after suffering a ruptured aortic aneurysm.

In 1990, his son Jacques Algazi donated a large part of his father’s musical archives to the Yuval Association, and later to the EIJM, creating the Léon Algazi fonds. This collection was enriched in 2012 with new documents from the Victoire fonds.

The video we propose below is taken from a filmed interview with Jacques Algazi, conducted on July 11, 2017 by Hervé Roten. The editing, carried out by Jean-Gabriel Davis and based on images, videos and music from the Algazi fonds, reveals the extraordinary life of Léon Algazi, his innovative activities in many fields, and in particular in the field of Jewish music.

Download the article by Hervé Roten, « Hommage à Léon Algazi (1890-1971 », published in L’Arche Magazine, May-June 2021 »

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