Remembering Jascha : Cessnock’s own musical maestro

In 1915 Jascha Gopinko, a Russian Jewish immigrant, arrived in Kurri Kurri. 

In 1915 Jascha Gopinko, a Russian Jewish immigrant, arrived in Kurri Kurri.

While he worked as a miner, his real talent lay as a musician and a naturally gifted music teacher. He amassed hundreds of students on the coalfields, specialising in teaching the mandolin, violin and cello.  

Jascha Gopinko’s largely forgotten story has inspired an exhibition ‘Remembering Jascha’ which will be held in the Cessnock Library foyer between 20-28 March.  

Jascha’s love of music greatly enriched our local community. He founded the Kurri Kurri Mandolin Orchestra, the Kurri Kurri District Orchestra and the Cessnock Symphony Orchestra.  

Jascha moved to Sydney in 1936, but for years returned on weekends to Maitland and Cessnock where he continued to inspire local students.

Some of these went on to great acclaim and professional careers, including celebrated violinist and Sydney Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Ernest Llewellyn.  

The exhibition has been timed to coincide with Harmony Day, a celebration of our cultural diversity and a day of respect for everyone who calls Australia home.    

 3/10/2017