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Popular, prize-winning Yiddish singer and actress Ruth Levin's career is no small measure due to her love and devotion to her late father, Leibu Levin, a well-known actor, singer and composer.
Ruth Levin, who came to Israel from the Soviet Union in 1972, began performing with her father at a very early age, and after his death, she continued to perform the works of great Yiddish poets that he had set to music.
Although she has a vast, multi-lingual repertoire of varied musical genres, most of her concerts include at least one item of her father's.
Leibu Levin was a great expert on Yiddish literature. By singing the melodies that he composed, his daughter has kept his memory and that of several Yiddish poets alive. Leibu Levin's compositions have also been sung by other Yiddish singers, but until now, there was no anthology of his work.
In yet another labor of love, Ruth Levin has produced Word and Melody, an anthology of music to Yiddish poetry by her father, published by I.L. Peretz Publications.
The anthology - with texts in Yiddish, English and Hebrew - will be launched at what could well be described as a Yiddishfest, this Saturday night at 7.30 p.m. at Beit Brenner, 14 Brenner Street, Tel Aviv. Reminiscences and performances will be provided by Alexei Blausov, Regina Drukker, Benny Hendel, Melech Ziv, Prof. Zvi Yavetz, Vera Levinski, Ella Levin, Lev Levin, Ruth Levin, Nechama Lifshitz, Arye Lish, Avishai Fish and Moti Shmit.
In addition, there will be recordings and video clips of Leibu Levin in performance, so that those who are only familiar with his music will have an opportunity to hear his voice and see his face.
The anthology contains 49 melodies to songs by 21 Yiddish poets as well photographs and drawings, piano arrangements by Hanan Winternitz, and a preface and epilogue written by Ruth Levin.
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