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Israel J. Hochman                                                         c. 1872-1940

Israel J. Hochman (c. 1872–1940) was an American klezmer bandleader, music arranger, and Yiddish song accompanist of early Twentieth Century New York City. He recorded prolifically for Edison Records, Emerson Records, Okeh Records, and Brunswick Records during the period of 1916 to 1924. 


Background information From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Early life

According to US Census and immigration records, Hochman was born in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Podolian Governorate, Russia around 1872 and emigrated to the United States around 1904 with his wife Victoria "Witte" (née Goldstein) and three children.[1][2][3][4] His parents were named Jacob Hochman and Maria (Chaja or Miriam Chaie) Bechter; according to the 1910 US census at least his mother emigrated with the family as well.[3][5] Hochman's life in Europe before emigration at age 25 or 30 has been poorly documented.

Music career

What he did for the first decade after his emigration to the United States is also not clear, but his recording career began 1916 when he made an unreleased test recording for Victor Records. At around that same time his music arrangements started appearing on other Yiddish recordings in the New York area, such as on a Yiddish song record by Jacob Jimmalmon on Victor Records.


By 1919 he had moved to Emerson Records as an arranger and conductor for singers such as Joseph Feldman, Clara Gold, and Simon Paskal. It was during the period of 1918 to 1922 that he recorded most of his klezmer and other instrumental music recordings with orchestras variously called I. J. Hochman's Jewish Orchestra, Hochman's Orchestra, I. J. Hochman's Yiddisher Orchester, and so on. These recordings were made on Edison Records, Okeh Records, and Brunswick Records. Recording during this time made him a contemporary of other New York klezmer bandleaders such as Naftule Brandwein and Abe Schwartz. In particular, he was part of a cohort of Ukrainian-born bandleaders and arrangers which included Joseph Frankel, Joseph Cherniavsky, Abe Elenkrieg. Klezmer researcher Hankus Netsky notes the orchestration style used by Hochman in his klezmer recordings was shared with Abe Schwartz, Abraham Elenkrieg, and Harry Kandel, with a large brassy sound.

With the passing of the Immigration Act of 1924 which greatly restricted Jewish immigration from Europe, and then the onset of the Great Depression by 1930, the market for Yiddish and klezmer recordings in the United States saw a steep decline, which essentially ended the recording career of many of the popular bandleaders of the 1910s and 1920s. Hochman's 78rpm recording career does not seem to have continued past 1924. By 1930 he listed his occupation in the US census as a private piano teacher in The Bronx.


His main musical output in the 1930s seems to have been composing, arranging and direction in a series of films by a little-known director named George Roland. These were Joseph in the Land of Egypt (1932), The Wandering Jew (1933), and A Daughter of Her People (1933).


During the Klezmer revival of the late 1970s and onwards, there was renewed interest in Hochman's recorded music. Tracks of his appeared on reissue compilations such as Klezmer Music 1910-1942 (Folkways Records, 1981), Klezmer Pioneers: European and American Recordings, 1905-1952 (Rounder Records, 1993), and Klezmer Music - Early Yiddish Instrumental Music - The First Recordings: 1908-1927 (Arhoolie Records, 1997). In 1993 Global Village Music released a reissue CD specifically of his music called I. J. Hochman: Fun der Khupe, Master of Klezmer Music.


According to the 1920 US Census, Israel and Victoria Hochman had three children who were born in Europe (May, Jack, and Rose), as well as four more who were born in the United States (Max, Sadie, Joseph, and Milton).


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*Immanuel Kant


Created: 20230220


Wikipedia: This page was last edited on 20 February 2023, at 03:36(UTC)