We won't stop singing: Choirs in Land of Israel – part 2
Shlomo Kaplan was one of the founders of choral music in the Land of Israel. Starting at the end of the 1920s, he established choirs and served as their conductor. In the 1950s, he was put in charge of the State of Israel's choruses and worked to advance Israeli music. Second story in series
Shlomo Kaplan (1908-1974), one of the founders of choral music in Israel, was born in Russia and immigrated to the Land of Israel in 1927. Last week, we began presenting photos from his life and from the work of choirs in Israel between the 1930s and 1950s.
In the early 1950s, Kaplan was appointed head of the music department at the Histadrut labor federation's executive committee. As part of this position, he was in charge of the choral activity in Israel and advanced choir singing in all collective agricultural labor settlements.
He worked endlessly to develop Israeli music and produced generations of choir conductors and music lovers, in addition to being an outstanding artist himself.
This week we bring you an additional series of photos from the musical community life of those days.
1. Aharon Zvi Propes (Grisha) (1904-1978), on the right, became fascinated with Jabotinsky's ideas as a young man in Lithuania and established the Beitar youth movement (was also called the first Beitari). He immigrated to Israel in 1939, and due to his activity was persecuted by the British and temporarily fled to the United States.
Propes did not receive musical training, but he believed that singing has no borders, and thus in 1935 he established the Zamir association which included Jewish choirs from Poland and Tel Aviv. In 1952, together with Shlomo Kaplan of the Labor Movement, he founded the first Zimriya – a musical assembly of Jewish choirs from across the world in Israel.
Propes searched for a unique musical instrument which would represent the people of Israel since the Bible era, and thus founded the International Harp Contest which continues to this day. In 1961, Propes founded the first Israel Festival at the Caesarea Theater. The photo was taken at Shlomo Kaplan's house, and it shows Moshe Sharet, Shlomo Kaplan and composer Emanuel (Pougatchov) Amiran.
2. Zimriya initiator A. Z. Propes with the musical director Shlomo Kaplan and Lea Hovosh of Kibbutz Ein Dor
3. Choir conductors' course at the Histadrut labor federation. At the center of the photo: Moshe Bick (1899-1980) of the "labor corps", who established playing and singing teams among his friends following the long hours of work at the valley's quarries and roads.
Throughout his years in Israel he founded and organized choirs, playing teams, musical training and singing conventions in the north of the country. He composed and wrote many songs, including "Nivne Artzenu", "Shir LaEmek, Shir Lahar", and many more.
4. At Shlomo Kaplan's home. From the right: Moshe Bick, Shlomo Kaplan, Moshe Sharet and Mira (Rosenblit) Fine
5. The Petah Tikva Choir conducted by Shlomo
6. Celebrating half a jubilee at Kibbutz Mizra in 1949. Shlomo Kaplan organized and conducted the Kibbutz chorus. Slogan: "With the power of idea and pioneering effort we have reached this far."
7. Shlomo at general rehearsal for second Zimriya, 1958, at the Tel Aviv Mann Auditorium, before its construction was completed
8. Members of choirs which took part in first Zimriya (1952) tour Jerusalem
9. Choir members meet at Beit Lessin in session conducted by Robert Shaw
10. "Hora Yiotvata", music and lyrics: Emanuel Zamir. Dedicated to the United Movement Nahal Group for Kiubbutz Yotvata, 1957.
11. Choir conductors' course. Identified: Shlomo Kaplan, Garry Bartini, Toto from Kibbutz Dalia, Avraham Talmi (Bujik) from Kibbutz Merhavia. Those of you who identify other people are welcome to inform us using the talkback feature.
12. Choirs' convention. From the right: Yehuda Sharet, Shlomo Kaplan, Frank Peleg
13. Cellist Pablo Kazalas with his wife, composer Zvi Avni and Shlomo Kaplan, 1961
14. The Rinat Choir travels to Paris in 1956 and wins the first place in a chorus contest. In the photo: On the ship deck, Captain Hodorov, Shlomo Kaplan to his right and conductor Garry Bartini to his left.
15. Shlomo with his son Avraham (an important conductor himself) at Jerusalem's Jerusalem International Convention Center (ICC)
- For all trips to the past – click here