Alberto Hemsi

Musician, composer, collector & arranger
1897-1975

Born in Kasaba, Turkey. Studied music in Izmir, and later in Milan. Worked as musical director in various synagogues in Egypt (1927-1957) and in France (from 1958). Collected many traditional Sephardic melodies mainly from Turkey and Rhodes, some he published in his Coplas Sefardies (Alexandria-Paris, 1932–1973), and some were published posthumously in Cancionero Sefardi (Jerusalem, 1995). Established the first Egyptian music-publishing house. Composed many works in which he tried to combine Western and Eastern elements.

Additional biographies, written by Israel Katz, can be found at Grove Music Online, and at Encyclopedia Judaica.

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