Dr. Diana Matut

Project Creator

Diana Matut is a Yiddishist, musician, and Jewish Studies scholar. She has lectured and taught at various universities in Germany and abroad, among them Genova, Rome, Jerusalem, Toronto and Graz.

From 2018 -2019 she was the Lilly- and Michael Sommerfreund guest professor for Jewish Culture at the University College for Jewish Studies, Heidelberg. There, she gave several courses on Jewish Music, ranging from Renaissance and Baroque to Music of the Mizrakhim and Hassidim. The year before brought her to the United States, where she was the Joseph Kremen Memorial Fellow in East European Jewish Arts, Music and Theatre at the Yiddish Scientific Institute (YIVO) in New York.

Beginning in October 2019, Diana Matut will lead an international seminar on Jewish Music in the Early Modern Period (1500-1750) at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies

Beside her academic career, Diana Matut is singer and leader of the ensemble simkhat hanefesh (Joy of the Soul) which performs Jewish instrumental music and Yiddish songs from the Renaissance and Baroque.

Joshua Horowitz

Orchestrator, Composer

Joshua Horowitz is director of the ensemble Budowitz and co-founder of the klezmer trio Veretski Pass. He plays the cimbalom, 19th-century button accordion and piano, and has taught, performed and recorded with Itzhak Perlman, Stan Getz, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Frank London, Theodore Bikel and the late Adrienne Cooper.

He has written several books including The Ultimate Klezmer and The Sephardic Songbook, and his music has been featured in three award-winning films. He co-founded the Austrian experimental composer collective, “Die Andere Saite” and was awarded the Prize of Honor of the Austrian government for his orchestral composition Tenebrae as well as the Outstanding Talent in Composition Award of the city of Graz for his children’s opera Der Wilde Mann.

He was twice a finalist in the national American ASCAP competition. Joshua is currently adjunct professor at Sonoma State University in California.

Michael Wex

Writer, Librettist

Author of Born to Kvetch, bon vivant and raconteur, Michael Wex has been called “a Yiddish national treasure;” Born to Kvetch, the bestselling book ever written about Yiddish, was hailed by The New York Times as “wise, witty and altogether wonderful.” His other books, among them Just Say Nu and How To Be A Mentsh (and Not A Shmuck) were described as "great for the Jews" by The Literary Review of Canada. His novel, Shlepping the Exile, originally published in 1993, was reissued by St. Martin's Press earlier this year.


A native of Lethbridge, Alberta, Wex has worked in virtually every area of contemporary Yiddish. Some of his songs have been recorded by such klezmer bands as Sukke, The Flying Bulgars, and the Grammy-winning Klezmatics. He has been a columnist for New York's Jewish Week and a commentator on the Yiddish radio show sponsored by The Forward.


Wex's teaching and lecture activities--a unique combination of learning, stand-up comedy and probing investigation into the nature of Yiddish and Yiddishkayt--have taken him from Toronto to Budapest, and to many points in between.


Bas-Sheve  Yiddish opera

© 2019 Content and Design: Joshua Horowitz