The life and work of David Nowakowsky

David Nowakowsky, a forgotten master of Jewish liturgical music, is discovered by Ron Graner. Learn more here.

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Bravo Fact video : “Music of a Forgotten Master”

CBC Outfront short “A Forgotten Master”

Ron Graner narrates the story of David Nowakowsky and the recovery of his lost musical manuscripts.

Near Loss and Heroic Rescue of Nowakowsky’s music

The pogroms of the earlier years would prove minor in comparison to what was to follow under the Bolsheviks. By 1924, with the city in a state of chaos, his daughter Rosa (Rachel) smuggled his works to her daughter, Sophia, (Sofie) who was then living in Berlin. Meanwhile the Brody SynagogueRead More…

Musical Career

In 1869 Nowakowsky was offered the post of assistant conductor to Nissim Blumenthal at the newly built Brody Synagogue in Odessa, and to instruct in the choir school that Blumenthal had established. Blumenthal had experimented with the use of western songs and the German language with traditional Jewish choruses. ForRead More…


Nowakowsky was born in Malyn in Ukraine in 1848, part of the Machnovska administrative area. Little of his early life is known, although there are several stories that survive. At 8 he left home, apparently due to the hounding of his stepmother, to sing in a trio with a cantor in theRead More…

“1921 -The War…” is the story of two once-famous Ukrainian composers who have been virtually wiped off the face of the earth.