WOLFSTHAL, CHUNE (1851–1924), composer. Born in Tysmenitsa, Galicia, Wolfsthal was the son of a cantor. Together with his six brothers he organized the well-known Kapelle Wolfsthal ensemble in Tarnopol. It toured widely and entertained both at gentile social functions and at ḥasidic courts. After service as a military bandmaster, Wolfsthal became conductor at the Jewish Theater in Lvov but was forced to flee to Vienna in 1914, and returned to Tarnopol after the war. The operettas which he composed, Der Teufel als Retter, R. Jehuda Halevi, Der komische Ball, Die Malke Schwo, Die Tochter Jeruschulajims, Die Drei Matunes (from the story by I.L. Peretz), and Bostenai were written in the classical pattern of Johann Strauss and Suppé operettas. They were played in every Jewish theater in the world and made Wolfsthal's reputation second only to that of Abraham *Goldfaden. He also composed waltzes, marches, and dances which attained great popularity. Despite his success, Wolfsthal lived and died in poverty.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.