Nina Stepanskaya, z"l
From Zisl (Dmitri Slepovich), back on July 15, 2007. The delay in sharing this eulogy is entirely my fault:
I could not find strength to write you earlier. My beloved Teacher and a great friend of mine, Dr. Nina Stepanskaya passed away in Tel-Aviv after a continuos struggle with disease.
Today it is Shloyshim for Dr. Nina Stepanskaya (11.04.1954–16.06.2007), an eminent and devoted researcher of Jewish musical tradition, Professor of musicology at the Belarusian State Academy of Music. She lived and worked in Minsk, Belarus. Among her indisputable achievements are: founding an academic class on Jewish music studies in Minsk, making dozens of field recordings, including interviews and musical tradition samples in Belarus, Lithuania, and Ukraine, developing a brand new approach at understanding and systemizing Jewish musical tradition in general, and the Yiddish song and the Khazanut, in particular. Nina Stepanskaya brought up numerous generations of outstanding academic musicians and musicologists that currently are taking high ranks in world's most prestigious universities. Among her last works are the collection of articles "Evreyskaya traditsionnaya muzyka v Vostochnoy Evrope" ["Jewish Traditional Music in Eastern Europe"] (Minsk, 2006), an article "Historic and Stylistic Paradigm in Traditional Jewish Musical Culture", and an unfinished monograph "Musical Tradition of Litvak Jews". The musical heritage of Belarusian Jewry discovered by Nina Stepanskaya in expeditions and archives constitute one of the most important and large collections of Jewish musical folklore, it is also a valuable material on history of Jewish music, which cannot be underestimated.
She was loved by her students and colleagues for her delicacy, kindheartedness, wisdom, respectful attitude to others' opinion, along with ultimately high professional qualities.
Nina Stepanskaya passed away and was buried in Tel-Aviv. She was only 53.
Blessed be her memory. Zikhrona livrakha.