ZUSMAN KISELHOF (1884-1939)
He was born in Velizh, Vitebsk Province. He graduated from the Jewish teachers’ seminary in Vilna. He worked as a teacher in a Russian Jewish school in Vitebsk, and later in St. Petersburg he became known as a choral director. He took part in a number of ethnographic expeditions and transcribed the Yiddish musical folk creations. He was among the pioneers of Jewish folk music and a collector of Yiddish folksongs. He published the collected materials in: Lieder-zamelbukh far der idisher shul un familye (Song collection for the Jewish school and family) (St. Petersburg and Berlin: Society for Jewish Folk Music, 1912), second enlarged edition (1913), 138 pp., new edition (Berlin, 1923), 53 pp. + 138 pp. The volume was “the first and most reliable publication,” noted Zalmen Reyzen, “of Yiddish folksongs in a musical-artistic adaptation.” He also authored: Referat iber yidisher folks-muzik (Report on Jewish folk music) (St. Petersburg, 1913). He died in Leningrad.
Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3.
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 483.]