Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


David Beigelman


Born in March 1887 in Ostrowce, Radom Gubernia (in Russian Poland), into a musical family. His musical education began when he was very young. He joined a theatre orchestra at the age of eight. Later he began directing and conducting. In 1912 he became conductor of the orchestra at Zandberg's Yiddish theatre in Lodz, in which his father acted. Despite more lucrative opportunities to work for Polish orchestras, he remained with the Yiddish theatre.

[According to his declaration of intention to join the Professional Actors Union in Poland (dated 6 January 1923), he had previously worked in the following theatres/cities: Epelbergen's (Warsaw), Adler's (Lodz), Kompanayetz's (Lodz), L. Kahan's (Lodz) -- ed.]

From 1928, B. was the composer for the Yiddish theatre in Lwow, and during this period, he wrote scores for Dr. Tsipor's "Revolt" and Levitas' "The Sentence". On the eve of World War II, he wrote the score for Turkow's musical comedy "The African Son."

From the 1920s on, B. tried to immigrate to America without success.

In the late 1930s, he composed a score for a large potpourri of the work of A. Goldfaden. This, along with the vast majority of B.’s work, was lost during the Holocaust.

At the outbreak of World War II, B. returned to Lodz. While in the ghetto, he and Moshe Pulaver (formerly an actor with the Ararat Theatre) organized a theatre. B. not only wrote new scores for their productions, he even wrote plays and librettos.

B. was part of the last group of Lodz Jews to be deported to Auschwitz. He brought his violin and all his scores with him. Even in the camp, he tried to provide entertainment for his fellow Jews. He lived until Liberation, but died immediately thereafter.

Sh. Kaczerginski published some of B.’s songs in his "Lider fun di getos un lagern". These included “Tsigayner lid” (The Gypsy Song) and “A yidish lidl” (A Little Jewish Song)—to which B. wrote both the lyrics and music.

B. also wrote the music for the following, which are published in the same collection: “Zamdn gliyen af der zun” (Sand Shines in the Sun), “Kleyner volkn” (Small Clouds), “Kinder yorn” (Childhood), “Shpiglt zikh af shoyb di zun” (The Sun Reflecting on the Window Pane), “Makh tsu di eygelekh” (Close Your Eyes), “Nit keyn rozinkes, nit keyn mandlen” (No Almonds, No Raisins), “Ikh leb in geto, in kavkaz” (I Live in the Ghetto, in the Caucasus), and “Dos shnayderl” (The Little Tailor). Kaczerginski was able to publish some of these with their melodies.

B. was married to the well-known actress Andzhe Foderman. She was killed earlier on. Their only son, Pinyek (also a musician), survived the war in Russia, and thereafter came to America.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 3725.
Also see an earlier biography of David Beigelman in Volume 1 by clicking here.

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