Philip Bohlman, the Mary Werkman Distinguished Service Professor of Music, discusses his research on Jewish cabaret in the Jan-Feb 2009 University of Chicago Magazine.
In an Austrian archive of Nazi-censored works, he unearthed a hoard of Viennese street music. One name in particular kept turning up: the Budapest Orpheum Society, a Viennese group that Bohlman calls “the most important and most durable” of the Jewish cabarets in Vienna between 1888 and 1918. “I had heard about it through these broadsides because they often have these little advertisements: ‘This song was sung by so-and-so at the Budapest Society.’” Meanwhile, Bohlman’s group was still trying to come up with a name. He offhandedly suggested the New Budapest Orpheum Society. “Even as nondescriptive as it is,” he says, “it actually is somewhat attention-grabbing.” The name stuck.
Read the full story here.