SHLOYME PRIZAMENT (September 6, 1889-1973)
The son of Moyshe Prizament, he was born in Hovniv (Uhniv), near Rava-Ruska, Galicia. He studied in yeshiva and also with private tutors. From his early youth, he evinced a talent for music. After his father’s death (1905), he devoted a couple of years to work as a wedding entertainer and wrote music for operettas. His first composition for Lateiner’s operetta Khosn-kale (Groom-bride) was performed in Cracow and in New York. He debuted on the stage in Gordin’s Der yidisher kenig lir (The Jewish King Lear). In 1912 he performed in and directed Yiddish theater in Romania. In 1918 during the Communist regime of Béla Kun in Hungary, he was a commissar for the Jewish workers’ stage in Budapest. He was later the organizer of various Yiddish theatrical troupes in Poland and other countries. He composed music to a series of variety theater performances, and in 1928 was the musical director of the Sambatyon Theater in Warsaw. He also arranged the music to Goldfaden’s Shulamis (Shulamit) and Bar-kokhbe (Bar Kokhba), and he wrote music for Y. L. Perets’s In polish af der keyt (Chained in the synagogue anteroom), to Sholem Asch’s Der toyter mentsh (The dead man), and other works. In book form: Der golem (The golem), with A. Mayzils, a musical legend in four acts (Warsaw: Sh. Goldfarb, 1926), 32 pp.; Broder zinger (Broder singers), with prefaces by Z. Hirshfeld and Z. Turkov (Buenos Aires: Central Publ. for Polish Jews in Argentine, 1960), 225 pp. He translated Paul Heyse’s play Muter un tokhter (Mother and daughter [original: Mutter und Tochter]), and in 1933 he penned a drama entitled In hitler-land (The land of Hitler) which was performed in Kaminski’s theater in Warsaw. He spent the years of WWII in Soviet Russia, later in Poland. He died in Buenos Aires.
Sources: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 3 (New York, 1959), with a bibliography; Y. Yanasovitsh, in Dos naye lebn (Lodz) 53 (131); Menashe Ravina, in Hapoel hatsair (Tel Aviv) (Tevet 18 [= December 31], 1966).