Performing the Jewish Archive

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In this section:

Project Research Team

Dr Stephen Muir

Dr Stephen Muir

School of Music, University of Leeds
(Principal Investigator)

Stephen Muir is the principal investigator for ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ project and is based at the University of Leeds, School of Music. He is working closely with The South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation, where he has previously given talks, to develop an exhibition with them and our research scholar. He is also working on a community musical production with Sinai Synagogue in Leeds. Additionally Steve is liaising with Opera North and the Nash Ensemble over a performance in the Howard Assembly Room and future Nash performances in South Africa. Another project partner whom Steve will be working closely with, is RNCM on a composition project and similarly with the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He has close links with UCT and Stellenbosch University over their participation in the Cape Town festival the ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ is hosting.

Stephen graduated from the University of Birmingham with a first-class degree in 1994 and completed a PhD in 2000 on Rimsky-Korsakov’s operas. Alongside the research project he also contributes to several modules on the School of Music Undergraduate BA and BMus Music degree programs at the University of Leeds and has worked as a professional percussionist and conductor whilst being a tenor soloist in demand in Northern England.

0113 343 8229
External website

Alexandru Bar

Alexandru Bar

School of Languages, Cultures & Societies, University of Leeds
(Project PhD Student)

Alexandru Bar is one of the PhD students funded by the AHRC project ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’. His research interests include Romanian-Jews in avant-garde movements, Romanian-Jewish history and culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and Jewish identity in the context of the politics of national unification in Greater Romania.

Within the project, Alexandru is working in collaboration with the Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah and the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association Leeds to create a series of interactive workshops in response to the consistent demand from schools for talks from Holocaust survivors. The aim of this project is to create an interactive workshop which creates a more engaging and artistic experience for school students and their teachers and it is in the spirit of the ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ project, which is motivated by a desire to recover archival materials, and to stimulate the creation of new works to re-animate existing archival repositories in order to establish a link between past, present and future. This project focuses on the volunteer speakers who are picking up from where the eyewitnesses have left off and looking at how they can engage young people in schools. We want to convince schools that these volunteer talks can be as effective in encountering the stories of the Holocaust as meeting a living witness.

Alexandru is supervised on his PhD by Dr Helen Finch who is also part of the ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ project.

Alexandru completed a master’s degree in Political science and Political Communication from Tel Aviv University. BA political Science from the University of Bucharest (Romania)

Dr Nick Barraclough

Dr Nick Barraclough

Psychology, University of York

Nick Barraclough is a co-investigator on the ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ project as well as being a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of York. His is investigating how audience members respond to different performances. This will include: testing how emotional reactions during performances relate to audience member reports of their experience, testing how the ability to empathise socially affects engagement with performances, testing how co-textuality affects audience emotional experience of and engagement with performances and exploring if emotional contagion can be studied in large groups of audience members. This research will include conducting experiments, using machine learning algorithms to process facial expression information, and administering questionnaires and psychological tests, he will be co-supervisor of a PhD student project (Richard Oakes).

Nick graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc in Neuroscience and later received his PhD from the University of Nottingham.

0190 432 3141
External website

Libby Clark

Libby Clark

University of Leeds
(Project Manager)

Libby Clark is the project manager for ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ project funded under the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s ‘Care for the Future’ theme. She will work alongside the research team and is responsible for overall planning and oversight of the project and its day-to-day management. She will manage the logistical coordination of the project, including educational projects and international performance festivals and will be responsible for coordinating a programme of project evaluation. Libby also manages the liaison with external partners as well as supervising the Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and the Performance Festival Coordinators.

Outside of work, she has been a choral singer and soprano soloist with the Clothworkers Consort of Leeds and Leeds Baroque Choir for over ten years, touring, performing and recording extensively. She has already contributed musical performances to ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ project and looks forward to offering further performances at upcoming project festivals and conferences.

Libby is a qualified PRINCE2 Project Management registered Practitioner and has taught Project Management on the University of Leeds Diploma of Higher Education in Business Management. She graduated from Durham University with a BA (Hons) in Music and an MA in Development Studies and Gender from the University of Leeds.

0113 343 2581
External website

Dr Teryl Dobbs

Dr Teryl Dobbs

Chair of Music Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Teryl Dobbs, Associate Professor and Chair, Music Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a co-investigator for ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ with appointments in both the School of Music and Department on Curriculum and Instruction. Dr Dobbs’ research addresses the intersection of music education/pedagogy and the musical experience during the Shoah.

Her research agenda includes theoretical and philosophical conceptualisations of multiple forms of the experience, critical discourse and social semiotic analyses of texts, e.g. testimonies, musical scores and performances. Additionally her research includes phenomenological investigations of survivors’ musical experiences and conceptualising a critical music pedagogy of remembrance.

(Teryl will be conducting her research with the partners of Mosse-Weinstein Centre for Jewish Studies, Arts Institue and Disability Studies Initiative.)

Dr Dobbs holds both the Ph.D. and Master’s degree from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.

External website

Emma Dolby

Emma Dolby

School of Music, University of Leeds
(Undergraduate Research Scholar )

Emma Dolby is an undergraduate research scholar for ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ as part of the Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship at the University of Leeds. Emma is collaborating with the team to create an exhibition to be taken to the festivals hosted by the project, including the research and design of the exhibition.

Emma is an undergraduate BA Music student at the University of Leeds and will be working with the project as part of a scholarship for 3 years.


Dr Helen Finch

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds

Helen Finch is a co-investigator for ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’.

0113 343 3510
External website

Dr David Fligg

Dr David Fligg

School of Music, University of Leeds
(Project Consultant)

David Fligg is the Project Consultant for ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ and a researcher for the project. His main research area is the music of the Terezín (Theresienstadt) concentration camp and ghetto, in particular the life and music of Gideon Klein, about whom David is currently writing a critical biography.

Through his work on Klein, David has presented numerous papers and guest-lectures. For example, he was guest speaker for ‘The Edge of Words: The Holocaust in Music and Poetry’ at the University of Edinburgh’s ‘study day’ in April 2015. For this, David discussed the methodologies and ethical considerations of the ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ project. In May 2015, he gave a guided tour of ‘Gideon Klein’s Prague’ around the Czech capital, informed by David’s recent research, for the Washington DC based Rafael Schachter Institute’s summer school. David’s research areas are reflected in the teaching he undertakes as Tutor in Academic Studies at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music, which has collaborated with the PtJA on a number of research-related initiatives. David is also Visiting Professor at the University of Chester’s Faculty of Media and Arts.

David is a graduate from the University of Leeds where he gained a BA(Hons) in Music and his PhD, and he holds an M.Mus from Royal Holloway University of London.
External website

Dr Simo Muir

Dr Simo Muir

School of Music, University of Leeds
(Post-Doctoral Research Fellow)

Simo Muir is the Post-Doctoral Research Fellow for ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ and his research focuses include the representation of antisemitism and the Holocaust in the performing arts of the Jewish community of Finland including Yiddish cabaret, choral and liturgical music. He is also researching material which has been previously unknown but has recently been discovered in Helsinki. Such as pieces by Helsinki born author Jac Weinstein and music composed and arranged by Simon Parmet-Pergament as well as studying the life and work of this author and musician.

Simo will be updating the project website and planning the interactive website which will showcase the research and performances of the project. He will also be organising the practicalities of festival arrangements and editing and overseeing the project newsletter.

Simo graduated with an MA from SOAS, London and received his PhD from the University of Helsinki.

0113 343 2581
External website

Richard Oakes

Richard Oakes

Department of Theatre, Film & Television, University of York
(Project PhD Student)

Richard Oakes is one of the PhD students funded by the AHRC project ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’. As part of his PhD he is investigating audience responses to theatrical and musical performances with the aim of determining the impact of the performances hosted by the project. He hopes to achieve this by using methodologies from multiple disciplines, in order to identify the most effective approaches to audience response testing, including methodologies from Psychology and Theatre Studies.

Richard is supervised on his PhD by two University of York academics who are also part of the ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ project, Dr Lisa Peschel (Theatre, Film and Television Department) and Dr Nick Barraclough (Psychology Department).

Richard completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Health Science and has experience working in Cancer Epidemiology and Pharmacology.

Dr Lisa Peschel

Dr Lisa Peschel

Film, Theatre and Television, University of York

Lisa Peschel is a co-investigator for ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ and her research on theatrical performance in the Terezín (Theresienstadt) Ghetto has been disseminated through lectures, articles, workshops, performances and book-length studies. Within the project she is continuing her research with partners such as the Jewish Museum of Prague and the Terezín Memorial, creating performances of plays written in the Ghetto and developing pedagogical approaches to bring the plays into secondary schools with the Anne Frank Trust.

She is also carrying out the audience response testing research with co-investigator Nick Barraclough and the PhD student Richard Oakes to measure impact and see how will the PtJA approaches engage audiences.

Lisa graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and the University of Texas with a master’s degree in playwriting. She completed her PhD in Theatre Historiography at the University of Minnesota.

0190 432 5247
External website

Dr Joseph Toltz

Sydney Conservatorium, University of Sydney

Joseph Toltz is a co-investigator for ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ and for which he is researching changing aesthetic expressions in the work of two composers forced into exile, Walter Wurzburger (Germany – Singapore – Australia – UK) and Wilhelm Grosz (Austria – UK – USA). He is also looking at the ethnographic work of Zigmunt Schul in pre-WWII Prague, and its relationship to the content of Schul’s Terezín compositions. Joseph will also examine the influence of Jewish refugees in shaping Australian musical life, with a special study into the work of Werner Baer. He is currently completing an article on musical testimony in the work of two academics, David Boder (1946) and David Bloch (1986-2010), and collaborating with a Polish Jewish survivor of the Lodz Ghetto in the creation of a theatrical presentation of musical testimony from the perspective of a child survivor.

Joseph has had a strong collaborative relationship with the Sydney Jewish Museum since 1994, and is currently Research Fellow at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. For ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ he is looking forward to working with the Goldner String Quartet, having worked on their own launch, 20 years ago. This is his first active collaboration with the National Library of Australia and the National Film and Sound Archive.

He graduated from the University of Sydney with a B.A. (Hons) and B.Mus. (Hons 1st Class, University Medal). Joseph’s doctorate, “Hidden Testimony: music and memory in Jewish Holocaust Survivors” was completed in 2011 at the University of Sydney.
External website

Daniel Tooke

Daniel Tooke

School of Music, University of Leeds
(Project PhD Student)

Daniel Tooke is one of the PhD students funded by the AHRC project ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’.


International Advisory Board

Professor Michael Beckerman

Professor Michael Beckerman, New York University

Professor Michael Berkowitz

Professor Michael Berkowitz, University College London

Professor Philip Bohlman

Professor Philip Bohlman, University of Chicago

Professor Griselda Pollock

Professor Griselda Pollock, University of Leeds

Dr Rebecca Rovit

Dr Rebecca Rovit, University of Kansas

Professor Stuart Taberner

Professor Stuart Taberner, University of Leeds


Faculty Steering Group

  • Tim Banks, School of Music
  • Keiron Broadhead, Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts & Communications
  • Gareth Dant, Communications
  • Frank Finlay, Faculty of Arts
  • Karen Burland, School of Music
  • Sue Hayton, Faculty of Arts
  • Shelley Tyson, Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts & Communications
  • Lizzie Smith, Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts & Communications
  • Calvin Taylor, School of Performance and Cultural Industries

Festival cordinators

Samantha Crownover

Samantha Crownover, Madison festivals

Jessica Ward

Jessica Ward, Leeds & York festival

Zdenka Kachlova

Zdenka Kachlova, Czech festival


Jain Moralee, Sydney Festival Manager

Peter Martens

Peter Martens, Cape Town festival


Film crew

  • Simon Glass
  • Stefan Fairlamb
  • Olivia Thomas

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