Daughter of a New York music critic, the late Paul Affelder, Elizabeth
Kahn led a charmed life growing up attending any and all
concerts, operas and theater free in critics’ seats. She majored in
voice and piano at Brandeis University and continued at Brandeis
as a graduate student in musicology. She received her Ph.D. from
Harvard University in Comparative Literature, where she created
a special niche studying the relationship between music and text.
Her dissertation on the legends of Orpheus in the Middle Ages and
Renaissance was published in 1987. She is also an amateur oboist.
Elizabeth began writing program notes for her father, the first
person in the country to establish a concert program note service.
She has taught music appreciation and humanities at Brandeis and
Harvard, continuing her career teaching high school English, Humanities
and Latin. Before establishing Word Pros, Inc., she worked
for eight years as a corporate translator and interpreter.
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Joseph Kahn escaped with his family from Nazi Germany to Israel
at age six and grew up in a small community of German refugees,
mostly businessmen and professionals, who became poultry farmers.
Despite a lifestyle that made childhood music lessons impossible,
listening to good music became an indispensable part of his
life from childhood. With a good ear and avid interest, he acquired
expansive musical knowledge - all of it self-taught.
Joe is professor emeritus of biochemistry from North Carolina
State University. For ten years he hosted a classical music request
program on Raleigh’s all-classical radio station WCPE. He spent another
decade giving the pre-concert lectures for the North Carolina
Symphony’s Raleigh series and with Elizabeth was classical music
critic at the Independent Weekly for an overlapping decade. With
the sharp reduction of classical music coverage in the local print
media, Joe and Elizabeth helped found Classical Voice of North
Carolina (www.cvnc.org), a web site offering comprehensive coverage
of the state with classical music and theater and CD reviews,
feature articles and arts calendars by region.
Joe is the slightly sullen kid standing next to Arturo Toscanini during
the conductor’s 1938 visit to Ramot Ha-Shavim, Joe’s village in Israel.