Resumé
film & tv The Endurance
Music Crossing the Shadows
bio
resumé
Joshua Waletzky
home
Joshua Waletzky
823 Washington Street, #4
Hoboken, NJ 07030
917-535-3098
josh.waletzky@yahoo.com
 
 

PRINCIPAL FILM & TELEVISION CREDITS

Senior Editor
THE MYSTERY OF LOVE (2006): a dozen stories and expert commentaries woven into a poetic exploration of the oldest mystery of the human heart: What is love? Hosted by Anna Devear-Smith. Produced by Joan Connor for Independent Production Fund, a two-hour PBS special.

Director, Editor
SACRED STAGE: THE MARIINSKY THEATER (2005): a venerable theater -- that houses world-class companies in both ballet and opera -- finds ways to survive as a creative force after the fall of the Soviet system that had improbably sustained this crown jewel of czarist court culture. With Valery Gergiev, Placido Domingo, Elizabeth Kendall and artists associated with the Mariinsky/Kirov companies. Red Fire Films. Distributed by First Run Features.

Editor
THE VENETIAN DILEMMA (2004): the life of a wondrous city, increasingly threatened by the effects of its 14 million annual visitors, is explored through the lives of four Venetians who struggle, each in their own way, to make the city work for them. Produced and directed by Carole and Richard Rifkind for ParnassusWorks Foundation. Score by Joel Goodman.

Editor
THE LAST HUNT (2003) : the Ryan family of Ireland, who maintain a three-hundred-year-old tradition of fox hunting, at the crucial moment when the Master must pass his horn to his son. Directed by Damon Sinclair, produced by Damon Sinclair and Samuel Slater, scored by John Califra.

Consulting Editor
STONE READER (2002) : a critically acclaimed book vanishes, its author forgotten; 25 years later a reader sets out on a journey to discover why -- and finds much more than he imagined. Directed by Mark Moscowitz. Audience Award for Best Feature and Special Grand Jury Honor at the Sundance Film Festival.

Editor
LOOKING FOR A VOICE: SUZAN-LORI PARKS (2002) : the emergence of a major new American playwright, who struggles for the right to write and live as a gifted writer with something important and engaging to tell, rather than a Black Voice That Demands Attention. With Jeffrey Wright, Don Cheatle, George Wolfe and others involved in the production of Parks's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Topdog/Underdog." Produced and directed by Oren Jacobi of Storyville Films for the PBS series Stage On Screen.

Editor
SHE SAYS:WOMEN IN NEWS (2001): Emmy Award-winning exploration of how female journalists arrive in broadcast and print journalism, bringing a new perspective to the news business. As seen in the stories of ten prominent practitioners, including Anna Quindlen, Judy Crichton, Nina Totenberg and Judy Woodruff. Directed by Barbara Rick, produced by Joan Conner Productions and Out of The Blue Films, for national PBS.

Editor
THE AGING BRAIN (2001): the surprising powers the human brain can maintain into old age, and the challenges of normal aging and of age-related diseases. Includes a remarkable appearance by 95-year-old Stanley Kunitz, America's poet laureate. Written and produced by Edward Gray, part of a five-part series on "The Secret Life of the Brain" by David Grubin Productions in association with WNET. To be aired on PBS in early 2002.

Director of Editing, Director of Filming Still Photos
THE ENDURANCE: SHACKLETON'S LEGENDARY ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION (2000): while Europe plunged into World War I, an Anglo-Irish explorer led a 28-man team on a failed attempt to cross Antarctica that turned into an incredible (and incredibly well-documented) saga of survival. Documentary feature for White Mountain Films/NOVA (WGBH). Telluride Film Festival 2000, Sundance Film Festival 2001.

Writer, Director, Editor
DASHIELL HAMMETT: DETECTIVE. WRITER. (1999): documentary bio of the hard- and loose-living ex- detective who put American hard-boiled detective fiction on the map, made and spent a ton of money in Hollywood, then reached a literary dead-end as he took up Lillian Hellman and radical politics. Alternate Current and WNET for American Masters (national PBS).

Co-Director, Editor
SHAKER HEIGHTS: THE STRUGGLE FOR INTEGRATION (1998): one-hour documentary on the latest developments in a remarkable American suburb that has a 40-year history of pro-active integration and now confronts the gap between black and white students' academic achievement levels. For national PBS broadcast, Stuart Math Films.

Editor (opening & closing programs)
LIBERTY! (1997): Peabody Award-winning series of six one-hour programs on the history and significance of the American Revolution, with actors, recreations, scholars, and an original orchestral score. Funded by the NEH. Middlemarch Films with KTCA-TV for national PBS.

Segment Editor
VOTE FOR ME (1996): Peabody Award-winning four-hour survey of the absurd but true: contemporary America in local electoral politics. Center for New American Media, Midnight Films, and WETA-TV for national PBS.

Editor
ITZHAK PERLMAN: IN THE FIDDLER'S HOUSE (1995): Emmy Award-winning performance documentary on Itzhak Perlman's embrace of the traditional Eastern European Jewish klezmer music of his background. With world-leading klezmer ensembles. Awarded the Rose d'Or Grand Prize at the Montreux International Festival (of European television programs). WNET for Great Performances (national PBS).

Director, Editor
MUSIC FOR THE MOVIES: THE HOLLYWOOD SOUND (1995): celebration of movie music of the Golden Age of American film Ė Max Steiner, Alfred Newman, Dmitri Tiomkin, David Raksin Ė with performances by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under John Mauceri. Awarded an Emmy for Best Sound Mixing. Great Performances (national PBS)/ Alternate Current (New York)/Les Films d'Ici (Paris)/NHK (Japan).

Editor
THE ORPHAN TRAINS (1994): the story of a 19th-century social engineering program, which lasted into the 1920s. Nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Editor. The film also won a Best Writing Emmy and was nominated for Best Directing Emmy. Ed Gray Films for national PBSís The American Experience.

Editor
ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM AND DEMOCRACY (1993): the chances for democratic development in the Middle Eastern Islamic environment. Galex Foundation for PBS.

Director, Editor
MUSIC FOR THE MOVIES: BERNARD HERRMANN (1992): Academy Award-nominated documentary feature on the work and life of the pre-eminent Hollywood film composer. Alternate Current (New York)/Les Films d'Ici (Paris)/Channel 4 (London).

Editor
RIVER OF STEEL (1992): half-hour presentation of the history of the birth of the New York City subway system. Steel River Productions c/o Stuart Math Films (New York). National PBS broadcast. Winner of: Cine Golden Eagle Award, Silver Apple at the National Educational Film & Video Festival, Red Ribbon at American Film & Video Festival. Shows regularly in New York on the Metro Channels.

Director, Editor
PAVAROTTI AND THE ITALIAN TENOR (1991): performance documentary filmed in Modena, Italy of Luciano Pavarotti and the Rossini Chorale. New York Center for Visual History/SCETV. Broadcast on national PBSís Great Performances, 1992.

Editor
PERES - THE ROAD TO PEACE (1990): exploration of the Israeli leader's failed peace initiative of the 1980s. Galex Foundation - PBS acquisition. Winner CINE Golden Eagle.

Co-Director, Editor
HEAVY PETTING (1988): feature based on sex education films and features of the 1950s plus interviews with performance artists. Obie Benz, producer. Released by Skouras Pictures.

Director
SIMPLE JUSTICE (1987): screenplay developed in collaboration with producer and writer based on a 1940s Kansas housewife/civil rights pioneer. New York State Council on the Arts script development grant.

Director, Editor, Writer
PARTISANS OF VILNA (1986): documentary feature on the dilemmas faced by Jewish resistance fighters against the Nazis. In Yiddish, Hebrew, English, Russian. A European Classics release, major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Broadcast on PBSís POV series, and on European and Israeli television. Anthropos First Prize.

Producer, Director, Editor
THE METROPOLITAN OPERA: THE FIRST 100 YEARS (1983): A series of six six-minute intermission pieces for the Emmy Award-winning gala special celebrating the Metropolitanís centennial, with vintage recordings and footage of the Metís glorious history and a witty commentary by Gerry FitzGerald. The Metropolitan Opera House for PBS.

Script and Music Consultant
YENTL (1983): Barbra Streisandís musical version of the Isaac Bashevis Singer short story about the young woman who poses as a young man in order to study sacred texts. Won Oscar for best Original Song Score. Nominated for best song by Oscars and Golden Globe. Golden Globe winner for Best Motion Picture.

Producer, Director, Editor
IMAGE BEFORE MY EYES (1981): documentary feature which celebrates and explores the rich, variegated Jewish civilization of pre-War Poland, integrating interviews with documents from the archives of the YIVO Institute of Jewish Research, including rare travel films shot in the 1930s. A Cinema 5 release, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Awarded the Silver Ducat at the Mannheim Film Festival. Broadcast on national PBS, and on European and Israeli television.

Sound Editor
THE WAR AT HOME (1979): Academy Award-nominated feature documentary that chronicles the anti-Vietnam War movement in Madison, Wisconsin. Catalyst Films, a First Run Features release.

Sound Editor
WITH BABIES AND BANNERS: THE WOMEN'S EMERGENCY BRIGADE (1978): Academy Award-nominated documentary on women in the 1937 Flint sit-down strike. Women's Labor History Film Project.

Sound Editor, Writer of additional lyrics
HARLAN COUNTY, USA (1976): Academy Award-winning, landmark feature documentary on striking coal miners in Kentucky. Barbara Kopple, producer. Cabin Creek Films. Writer of additional lyrics to the song Which Side Are You On. Film was named by Congress to the National Film Registry, designating it an American Film Classic.
 
 

FILM & TELEVISION SCORES


Composer, Arranger, Conductor, Producer of original music:

HIAS MEANS FREEDOM (1993): The current programs of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) involving the resettlement of Russian Jews in America. Half-hour. Scored for trumpet, violin, flute, and percussion. TELLY Award, 1993. Questar Award, 1993.

THE GOOD OMEN (1978): A contemporary artist tells a traditional family story of Jewish Eastern Europe, illustrated by her series of paintings. Half-hour video directed by Bill Daughton. Full score with violin, clarinet, and flute. Distributed by Phoenix Learning Group, Inc.

CAR WASH (1977), BODY SHOP (1977): PBSís Sesame Street live-action shorts. Scored for trumpet and piano. (These segments have been re-broadcast many times since the initial airing.)

CIRCLE IN THE SQUARE (1976): A full-length dramatic film about love story of two gay men living in New York City, directed by Bill Daughton. Scored for wind ensemble.

DOS MAZL (Luck) (1975): Children listening to a Yiddish folktale about luck re-enact the story. Half-hour Yiddish-language film/video directed by myself. Scored for violin, clarinet, and trombone.
 
 

PERFORMER


PARTISANS OF VILNA (1986): Documentary feature on the dilemmas faced by Jewish resistance fighters against the Nazis. A European Classics release, major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Broadcast on PBSís POV series, and on European and Israeli television. Vocal rendition of Hirsh Glikís Shtil di nakht.

THE CHOSEN (1981): Feature film based on the Chaim Potok novel. Pianist for the band Kapelye, which is featured on screen and in the sound track (in the wedding scene).

THE BENT TREE (1977): Sand-animation short inspired by my rendition of a well-known Yiddish song with text by Itsik Manger and traditional tune. Unaccompanied vocal. Directed by Sally Heckel and distributed by Ergo Media Inc. Has played often on cable television.
 
 

FILM SOUNDTRACKS


MUSIC FOR THE MOVIES: THE HOLLYWOOD SOUND (1995): Created the sound design, which involved sequences where scenes (and their soundtracks) from classic Hollywood films (Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, etc.) were integrated with fresh footage of a symphony orchestra rehearsing and playing the corresponding cue from the original musical score. Won an Emmy Award for Best Sound Mixing.

PARTISANS OF VILNA (1986): Created the compilation score from songs sung in the Vilna Ghetto and surrounding areas. Drawn from historical recordings, field recordings of the original singers and composers, new renditions, and newly recorded instrumental accompaniments and versions.

THE CHOSEN (1981): As music consultant, provided a traditional tune for Rod Steiger to sing as a lullaby.

IMAGE BEFORE MY EYES (1981): Created the compilation score, representing the wide spectrum of genres and repertoires that was the musical world of East European Jewry.
 

Drawing on my experience as composer and sound editor, I function as the (uncredited) Sound Designer and (Supervising) Sound Editor and Music Editor on nearly all the films and programs I direct and/or edit, including: Dashiell Hammett: Detective. Writer. (1999), Shaker Heights: The Struggle for Integration, Itzhak Perlman: In the Fiddler's House (1995), Music for the Movies: Bernard Herrmann (1992), River of Steel (1992), Pavarotti and the Italian Tenor (1991), One Hundred Years of Carnegie Hall (1990), Heavy Petting (1988), Hollywood Goes to the Opera (1986), The Metropolitan Opera: The First 100 Years (1983), Partisans of Vilna (1986), Image Before My Eyes (1981).
 
 
 

MUSICAL RECORDINGS


Crossing the Shadows (2001): An original song cycle encompassing the full range of Ashkenazic Jewish song genres: love songs, lullabies, protest songs, songs-without-words Ė personalized in a deeply-rooted but contemporary style. Composer and lyricist of 14 original Yiddish songs and instrumentals. Lead vocals, piano. Musical director; principal arranger; producer, from recording sessions through mixing and mastering.

Partisans of Vilna: The Songs of World War II Jewish Resistance (1989): Jewish resistance songs originally written and sung in the Vilna Ghetto and nearby forests during the Holocaust. Arrangements use accordion, piano, brass, and drums. Nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Folk Recording. Musical director, co-producer, choice of repertoire, musical arrangements, liner notes. Vocals and piano.

Past and Present (1980): The first album of the pioneering Klezmer band Kapelye, featuring traditional Eastern European Jewish songs and dance tunes. A defining moment in the Klezmer revival movement. Solo and ensemble vocals and piano.

Vaserl (1977): A groundbreaking album of new Yiddish songs, in traditional and modern folk styles. Composed four songs of the albumís ten songs, arranged and conducted all the traditional songs, produced the recording sessions for one side of the album. Two of my songs first recorded here, Wissotsky's Tea and Grandfather's Melody (text by Shike Driz), have entered the repertory of the contemporary Klezmer revival. Arrangements use piano, clarinet, and violin. Produced by Yugntruf-Youth For Yiddish.

Yiddish Songs of Work and Struggle (1972): The Yiddish Youth Ensembleís collection of hymns and ballads from the Jewish workerís movements of Eastern Europe and America of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Solo and ensemble vocals. Jewish Studentsí Bund Production.
 
 

MUSICAL THEATER


THE JEWISH WOMAN (1977): Musical Director for a production created by Stanley Brechner and Josh Waletzky from the works of Peretz, Sholom Aleichem, Sholem Asch, Grace Paley and others. The American Jewish Theatre, with a cast of nine featuring Martha Schlamme.

CHELM, UNDZER SHTETL (1970): An original Yiddish musical written and directed by Josh Waletzky and Zalmen Mlotek based on traditional tales of Jewish folklore's town of fools, Chelm. Featuring the Yugntruf Ensemble, presented by the Workmen's Circle, and performed at New York's 92nd Street Y.M.H.A.

FILM AND PHOTO ARCHIVE


YIVO FILM ARCHIVE (1982-1988): Founded and developed a film archive at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research to preserve and make available for study and media presentations the unique holdings that include many privately filmed sequences of Jewish life in Eastern Europe.

PEOPLE OF A THOUSAND TOWNS (1982-1988): Project Director for the development of an on-line videodisc system to store and make accessible large portions of the magnificent photo collection of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.  The Project involved the preservation, duplication and cataloguing of over ten thousand images. Funded by the Charles H. Revson Foundation.
 
 
 

EDUCATION


M. F. A. from N. Y. U. Graduate Institute of Film and Television (1974)

B. A. magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in Linguistics and Mathematics from Harvard College (1969)

Musical studies at the Juilliard School of Music, Preparatory Division in piano, theory, and composition (1959-1965)