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Fannie Bloomfield-ZeislerThe Life and Times of a Piano Virtuoso$
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Beth Abelson Macleod

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039348

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039348.001.0001

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Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler and Judaism

Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler and Judaism

(p.102) 7. Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler and Judaism
Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler

Beth Abelson Macleod

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the role that Judaism played in Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler's life and career. It begins by summarizing the experiences of nineteenth-century European musicians of Jewish heritage and the extent to which music, unlike other professions, allowed them a pathway to success. It then considers the portrayal of Jewish musicians in novels and plays of the period, with particular emphasis on Israel Zangwill's The Melting Pot. It also discusses various Jewish aspects of Bloomfield-Zeisler's life, including early conflicts within her immediate family, her experience in Chicago attending a Christian boarding school, and her time in Vienna during a period of increasing anti-Semitism. Finally, it analyzes the reasons for Bloomfield-Zeisler's frequent comparison with Sarah Bernhardt; allusions to her Jewishness in reviews; and the Zeislers' monthly salons in Chicago, which attracted an impressive range of prominent U.S. and European intellectuals—musicians, authors, jurists, artists, writers, scientists, and philanthropists.

Keywords:   anti-Semitism, Judaism, Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler, Jewish musicians, Israel Zangwill, The Melting Pot, Vienna, Sarah Bernhardt, Jewishness, salon

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