Stempenyu: From Berdichev to Broadway



With thousands of works of art to his credit, Marc Chagall’s best known painting continues to be the one simply called Music (originally created for the Moscow State Yiddish Theater in 1920). Broadway lovers know this image (appearing again in 1924 as Green Violinist) was the source of the title for Fiddler on the Roof, but it is now so ubiquitous that we take it for granted.

In 2014, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fiddler’s first Broadway performance, so it’s time to look with fresh eyes. Stempenyu, a virtuoso musician from Ukraine, also gave his name to one of Sholem Aleichem’s first major stories. So who is that fiddler, so prominent every time the curtain rises on a new performance of Fiddler on the Roof? Is he Stempenyu?

For answers, come hear JUF News columnist (& Chicago YIVO Board Member) Jan Lisa Huttner’s presentation “Stempenyu: From Berdichev to Broadway.”

Where: Evanston Public Library.

When: Monday August 17 at 12:15 PM.

All programs in Chicago YIVO’s “Summer Festival of Yiddish Culture” are free & open to the public!

UPDATE: This lecture is now available as a podcast on the JUF website:

2 Responses to “Stempenyu: From Berdichev to Broadway”

  1. Sheynem Dank from Tzivi « Chicago YIVO Society’s Blog Says:

    […] dank to everyone who came to my lecture on Stempenyu yesterday & todah rabah to all who couldn’t come, but sent greetings & best wishes. Special […]

  2. Limmud Chicago Sneak Peak « Chicago YIVO Society’s Blog Says:

    […] and Jan Schwarz. Full disclosure, my own name is there too: I’ll be giving an update of my August program on Sholem Aleichem’s Stempenyu (click HERE for podcast on […]

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