The Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus (JPPC) is dedicated to preserving and fostering a love of Yiddish music. In their unique mission, the JPPC comes together to sing strictly in Yiddish, rediscovering and reinterpreting traditional works from the Eastern European shtetl, as well as new songs with a contemporary sound.
Founded in 1922, as the Freiheit Gezang Farein, the chorus began as a musical expression of the Jewish labor movement. It has evolved into an intergenerational chorus with a solid reputation as an interpreter of a wide range of choral material. One of the longest continually performing Yiddish choruses in North America, it currently has more than 40 members, as well as a smaller chamber ensemble for special events.
Performing for diverse audiences in the greater New York area has enabled the JPPC to carry Yiddish music to people of all ages. Recent venues have included: Lincoln Center, Shea Stadium, Ground Zero, the North American Jewish Choral Festival, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, Queens College, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and the Museum of the City of New York.
Zingt! A Celebration of Yiddish Choral Music, JPPC's first CD, was released in 2006. Committed to bringing Yiddish music into the 21st Century, the JPPC continues a long tradition of recordings that began in 1948. Generous donations to the chorus by individuals and foundations provided the impetus for this project.
Binyumen Schaechter, an award-winning composer of Off-Broadway musicals and cabaret, has conducted the JPPC since 1995. Raised in a family of Yiddish scholars, writers, and artists, Schaechter is devoted to Yiddish as a living language and continues to compose and arrange Yiddish music.
-Alexander Gelfand, "A Choir Testifies to the Power of Yiddish," Forward, 2005.
"The choir performed admirably, demonstrating a fine sense of ensemble dynamics, hair-trigger timing and merciful accurate intonation...the existence of groups like the JPPC and of linguistic torchbearers like director Binyumen Schaechter testifies to the tenacity of mama-loshen."
-Morris Schappes, founding editor, Jewish Currents.
"This Chorus... is valiantly continuing a great tradition of progressive Yiddish and Jewish music."
-Josh Waletzky, film director: Image Before My Eyes and Partisans of Vilna.
"The Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus is a treat not to be missed: Yiddish choral singing that celebrates text and music with deeply rooted style and precisely cultivated musicianship."
"der yiddisher filharmonisher folkskhor iz take a mekhaye tsu hern: heymishe lider un lengere verk balebatish bakleydt un fayerlekh tseshalt, mit harts, nor on sentimentalkeyt. Lang zingen zoln zey!"