Biography of Martin Widerker
Martin Widerker was born on December 11th, 1935 in Tel Aviv, Israel. He began playing the violin at the age of five. By age 13, he had concluded his studies at the Conservatory and at age 12, he played his first Vivaldi concert in front of a large audience in Wroclaw, Poland.
Since the age of 11, Widerker has been living in Europe. After completing his high school education, he studied electronic engineering and business studies at the University “Technische Hochschule” in Stuttgart, Germany.
Career and Community Involvement
Martin Widerker launched his career as a self-employed entrepreneur at age 25 and later founded the Widerker Group, which specializes in property development and the management of commercial real estate.
Since 1968, Widerker has been a board member of the Jewish community in Stuttgart, Germany (Israelitische Religionsgemeinschaft Württembergs “IRGW”). He has also been chairman of the board a number of times, playing a key role in negotiating the financing treaty between the state of Baden-Württemberg and IRGW.
Widerker is a central figure in the vibrant community life of the IRGW. He has been a member of the Central Council of Jews in Germany for many years and became honorary president of the Jewish Sports Club “Maccabi” in 2010.
Dedicated to Supporting the State of Israel
Since 1991 Widerker has been the chairman of Keren HaYessod – United Jewish Israel Appeal for Württemberg and in 2001 he became the deputy chairman of Keren HaYessod, Germany.
He is a long-time supporter of and contributor to the State of Israel and various Jewish organizations. He is founder and sponsor of the Karl-Adler Music Performance competition for Jewish youngsters and children.
Martin Widerker speaks eight languages. His hobbies include sport diving, skiing, tennis, volleyball, playing music instruments and composing. MW also enjoys flying high performance aircraft.
Martin Widerker’s family origins are Eastern European, Orthodox Jewish and his family heritage stems from Poland, Galicia, Ukraine and Belarus. This culture, its language and its customs have disappeared over the years, but continue to exist in Widerker’s memories.
Jewish Music and Memory
Martin Widerker remembers the Jewish songs that were sung in his family when he was child. In recent years, his passion has been to compose “Nigunim” or Jewish melodies following in the style and tradition of the Bobover, Satmar, Wishnitzer and Kretschmer Chassidim. This musical style has influenced him since his childhood.
Widerker has composed 50 such melodies, many of them put to the words of well-known psalms and prayers which are typically sung on Shabbat. He named his newest composition “Shabbat HaMalka” (The Sabbath Queen) – old traditions revived in a new form, at a new age.